Norwegian Rockmaster - Deep Water Soloing / by Mayan Smith-Gobat

The whirlwind of travel continues, and at the moment I am really not so sure that I will be able to handle being anywhere for more that a week - Its been a long time since I have even spent a whole week in one place. However, the next chapter in my life has been slightly different... After years of perusing my own dreams and not wanting to go near competitions I suddenly ended up attending a couple within a week! The first was and the Adidas Rockstars event, where I did not actually compete, but made an appearance and assisted one of the young competitors in setting a boulder. This turned out to be fun - It is amazing how fast an hour goes when you are trying to set a boulder with someone you have never met before... Make it suited to their strengths, at the perfect level where they can just climb it, but hopefully not anyone else can... Especially when I personally had not set or climbed on plastic for a very long time. In the end the problem we set was definitely not the hardest... but he was the only competitor to succeed in climbing his own boulder, and as a result, won the comp! Rockstars was a fun event to be at and I really appreciate that Adidas asked me to come.

I spent the following week in Germany, training and enjoying a little quiet time with my family there, then it was off to Norway! The Norwegian Rock Master, was a very different event was (in many ways) - It was a deep water solo competition, held in Kristiansand, one of the most southern cities in Norway... Yes, Norway does seem a strange place to hold a deep water solo comp, but to my surprise even though far from perfect weather, it was much warmer than I expected, and the ocean was a balmy 18 degrees. The comp had a relaxed, friendly  atmosphere, and though it was a serious competition there was non of the usual competition stress!

Unfortunately, it was raining on and off all day, but the we managed to all climb the two qualifying routes and a final in between showers. There were still a plenty of spectators and even the major of the town was present to welcome us to the event!

This was my first real experience with deep water soloing, and I definitely did not want to fall from the top of the 14m wall. This was also not helped by the fact that it was far from warm and the thought of being wet was not exactly pleasant... I managed to top out on the first route, then on the second I fell near the top of the wall. The fall was not nearly as bad as I was expecting and the water was actually really pleasant. I ended up in second place, which was also a nice surprise for someone who has not entered a competition for many years.

I also think that deep water solo is a discipline of climbing to use in competition format. It is combines rote climbing and bouldering, is fast paced and fun to watch and has that extra element... All in all it was a really fun event and I am looking forward to next year!