Wednesday, August 8, 2012

First Lead World Cup: Chamonix 2012

Chamonix, France was the first stop of the year and just happened to be my first ever appearance at a World Cup event!  Despite it being such a short trip, it was a lot of fun and a great learning experience both in terms of climbing and traveling.  For results, check out the IFSC website.  In this blog, though, I’ll try and give a short recap of the event from a World Cup newbie standpoint.

I generally consider myself to be the kind of person that learns from the mistakes of others, but Chamonix proved me wrong.  I f***ed up quite a few things, but also observed what some others did right.  As a result I came up with two lists: what to do and what not to do.

What not to do for/at a World Cup event:

  • For training, do laps on 5.11s: it’ll help you with endurance training for the big event
  • Even if traveling from 6 time zones away, arrive to destination less than 20 hours before the qualifiers
  • Don’t sleep on the plane at night, because it’s already morning at your destination
  • Expect 3 cups of macchiato to help you climb well if you only had 7 hours of sleep in 2 nights
  • Warm up, then relax for a while before climbing; there’s no need to keep your hands warm
  • Expect all of the holds at a World Cup event to be similar to the ones you train on; after all, how different can these slopers, pinches, and crimps be?
  • Treat a World Cup as just another comp; there’s no need to try hard in the qualifiers to make it to the next round

What to do for/at a World Cup event:

  • Volume is important to endurance training, but nothing beats being able to climb something really hard even once.  Ramon Julian sent some 9a+/9b just the other week…
  • Make sure you are in the best shape of your life; top 10 climbers all have ~2% body fat
  • When traveling from afar, arrive at least a couple of days early to adjust to the time zone; it’s important to feel naturally energized… If possible, just move to Europe.
  • Warm up well, stay warm all the way until you begin climbing
  • Try your absolute best; even if you’re pumped, you can typically will-power yourself another few holds

Enjoy the pictures… and I’m off to Stuttgart for Adidas Rockstars!


  1. I think a lot of that is good advice for day to day or destination climbing. If you're going out of your way to climb somewhere special/different or just want to climb better I suppose being well rested and diversifying the workout never hurts.

    Thanks for sharing, Vas. I'll try to keep all that in mind at any of the local comps.

  2. Bravo to these tips! Chamonix is a perfect place for sports climbing events. And good to know that you attended one.