Torben crushes boulder at Fontainebleau

PRO talent Torben van Kolfschoten never stops climbing… even his holidays are committed to it! In the May holidays he decided to crush some boulders in Fontainebleau! Along with Top Climbing Twente he topped several 7a’s, a 7a+ (Beatle Juice – 7a+ Cuisinièr(Amédée)) and finished off with a solid 7b (Pensées Cachées – 7b Cuisinière). He’ll be back in summer to finish a 7c! Well done Torben!


West Coast wins the National Team Competition 🏆

April 21st 2018 Rotterdam

The West Coast Climbing team from Leiden has won the national youth boulder team ranking competition that was introduced by the Dutch Climbing Association (NKBV) this year. In 4 national qualification competitions the West Coast Climbers earned 1216 points, whereas the teams from MONK youth Eindhoven and Team Mountain Network who collected 1169 and 1069 points respectively. Although bouldering is an individual sport in principle, the NKBV stimulates with this new team ranking competition the team spirit and the breadth of the sport in general.

The popularity of bouldering in the Netherlands is rapidly growing. This climbing sport envisions climbing in- and outdoors to heights of 4,5 meters indoor and 30 meters outdoor without belaying. The routes vary in difficulty level from 3 trough 9a. Momentarily there are 20 boulder gyms throughout the Netherlands, plus three that are under construction. 25 teams enrolled in the NKBV youth boulder competition.

West Coast Climbing was set up by Jörg Franken two years ago, in order to train young boulder talents using modern intensive trainings methods. Franken, a climber himself, has been training young talents for over 20 years among who Jorg Verhoeven, the best climber of the Netherlands at this moment. Franken was trainer at the Regional Talent Centre West before he started with WCC. The West Coast Climbers train mainly in the boulder gym Kunststof in Leiden, but also frequent Energiehaven in Utrecht. In his PRO team are momentarily two climbers that are part of the national youth team (Jong Oranje), namely Tiba Vroom and Paul Brand, apart from a number of other talents. In the NEXT team there are several talents that score well at all qualification competitions, like Lisa Klem. Tiba Vroom was absent at the National Youth Boulder competitions 2018, since she was attending the World Cup in Moscow that same weekend.

At the National Youth Boulder competitions three West Coast Climbers earned medals: Lisa Klem got silver in the girls B group, Paul Brand deserved silver in the boys B group and Jouke Visser obtained the bronze medal in the boys C group!

Dutch Youth Championship Boulder 2018

Saturday April 21. 2018 MONK Boulder gym in Rotterdam

Yesterday the National Youth Championships 2018 were held in Boulder gym MONK in Rotterdam. The athletes, divided in three age groups (Junior 17-18 yrs, A 15-16 yrs, B 13-14 yrs, C 11-12 yrs) and by gender, battled hard to obtain the champions title of the Netherlands. In the former factory hall located at the Ceintuurbaan a spectacular set of competition boulders had been built. Their difficulty turned out to be high, since some were only topped by 2 or 3 climbers!

The athletes had qualified for this national championship through their results in four preceding competitions in Groningen, The Hague, Enschede and Arnhem. Climbers that ranked 1 through 8 after these matches qualified to participate.

In the category “junior boys” Don van Laere was best (Jong Oranje, Team Delfts Bleau). Best “junior girls” was Julia Meijer (Jong Oranje, MONK Eindhoven). Best boys A: Jens de Louw (Jong Oranje, Team Mountain Network), best girls A: Pleun Frank (MONK Jeugd Amsterdam). Best boys B: Ynze Visser (Jong Oranje), best girls B: Lies van Raaij (Team Delfts Bleau), best boys C: Ferbe Verburg, best girls C: Noor Witte (Team Kids from the Block).

From the West Coast Climbing (WCC) team Paul Brand (boys B) and Lisa Klem (girls B) both were second best in their categories. Jouke Visser (boys C) won bronze! Hidde Bakker and Torben van Kolfschoten ended 6th and 8th respectively in the boys A group, with very tough competition from seasoned climbers Jens de Louw and Leto Cave.

This year the Dutch Climbing association (NKBV) introduced a team ranking competition, which was won by the West Coast Climbing team led by Jörg Franken. In the qualification competition the West Coast Climbers earned 1216 points. The MONK Eindhoven team (1169 pts) was second and Team Mountain Network third (1069 pts).


New kid Hidde wins Boulders & Beats

April 13th 2018 The Hague

The third edition of Boulders & Beats in bouldercenter “De Campus” in The Hague has been won by Hidde Bakker (15 yrs) in the men’s section. Hidde topped 24 boulders (out of 25) and flashed 20 of them. 4 boulders were of high difficulty (>7a) according to Hidde. Hidde started bouldering one and a half years ago at the Climbing Center in Haarlem. Two and a half months ago he has joined Jörg Franken’s PRO team of West Coast Climbing (WCC) in Leiden. Paul Brand (14 yrs), who also trains with WCC and who is part of the national “Jong Oranje” selection, ended up third place. In the womens department WCC climber Lisa Klem (13 yrs) conquered second place.

Meet the team – Paul Brand (is on fire!) 🔥

What does Paul do when he’s not climbing? Well…then he’s probably sleeping. Paul Brand – born in 2003 – has been climbing since he was four years old and climbing is pretty much all he ever does. In 2016, at age 13, he became Dutch Lead Youth Champion. He’s managed to advance to climbing 7c+ (lead) and 7b (boulder), and is hungry for more. Look out world: Paul is on fire!

Inside outside

“I really want to continue pursuing both lead and boulder climbing. That’s why I train five times a week in different training locations in the Netherlands and throughout Europe”, says Paul. So he’s not your typical indoor-kind-of-athlete. Together with his parents and older brother he often travels to (or vacations in) special outdoor climbing spots, in Germany, Austria, Italy, and France. Recently he climbed his first 8A, as he conquered Dr. Feelgood in Margalef.
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All eyes on Tiba & Isabelle at the IFSC World Championships

That’s it: the IFSC Youth World championships are finished. And what a tournament for West Coast Climbing it was! Both Tiba Vroom (boulder) and Isabelle van der Heijden (lead climbing) did an amazing job, especially considering the fact that for both of them it was their first ever Youth World championship. Both our girls finished in the top 25, leaving their calling card at the world stage.

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Tiba takes home the bronze @EYC!

West Coast top talent Tiba Vroom won a fantastic third place at the European Youth Championships Boulder (juniors) in Sofia today. In the finals, she topped all 4 boulders in a fluent style. With 9 attempts, she finished right behind Sterrer and Holfield, this year’s best junior climbers.

This bronze medal proves that Tiba has made a big step towards the international top athletes, as she can now say she’s amongst the best youth climbers in the world. On September 1st, Tiba is entering the World Youth Championships Boulder in Innsbruck, and she can’t wait! “I’m really pleased that all the hard work I put in with my coach and fellow teammates is now paying off. I’m fired up for Innsbruck and proud to represent my country!”