Tuesday, 26 July 2016

European Youth Cup (Bouldering) L'Argentiere 2016

On Saturday I travelled down to London with my parents. I was dropped off at a Premier Inn near Gatwick Airport where I met Tom (GB bouldering team coach) and some other members of the team. We were flying the following day and needed to get up at 4! I shared a room with Sid and Holly. 

We got up at 4:30 and only just made it downstairs on time. The rest of the team were ready so we all walked to the bus stop and took a bus to the terminal. I checked my bag in and went to get some breakfast. Our plane was delayed by 20 mins but apart from that it was really good. We flew to Marseilles and then drove for 3 hours to L’Argentiere-la-Besse. Our house was massive, it had three floors and a hot tub (we didn’t get a chance to use it though). I shared a room at the bottom with Holly which had a balcony. After unpacking we drove into town and had some food in a restaurant. 

Everyone had a long lie in on Monday before getting up and doing some mobility and get ready for the competition. We did some TRX exercises which I found really helpful and I can use in my training. I also used a foam rolled and lacrosse ball to get rid of any tight muscles. I did a little bit of finger boarding too. Later in the day we went to a lake near the climbing wall. It was really nice and there was a cafe too. I had an ice cream and put my feet in the water.

Before going to see the wall we went shopping to get snacks for the competition. I didn’t bring my own food from home because they sold it in all the shops abroad last time and so I thought it would be the same this time but I was disappointed to find they don’t sell half the stuff I wanted. 

It was very hot at this time of the day so I found it quite nice standing outside reading my problems. The wall had a self standing bloc and a long row of walls. It was much smaller than I thought which made me feel a lot less nervous and really excited about the competition.

For dinner we helped to make a big bolognese and we ate it outside in the garden - I really enjoyed it.



It was an early start for us Youth B’s as our qualification round was first. The warm up area opened at 7:30 so we went down just before to read the blocs again. I felt a bit nervous but ok. I went straight into the warm up room at 7:30 and started my long warm up. I felt that it went well and I was ready to go. Here are descriptions of all the blocs.

Bloc Description Pictures
Qualifier 1 A balancey problem on the self standing bloc. It starts on the big sloper and then goes over to a small crimp on the tip of the volume. I locked off and reached up for another longer crimp which was easy to hold meaning I could stand up on the volume and edge over and bridge between a big and small volume. I couldn’t quite reach the top from this position so I started to get a bit stressed out. I knew I had to move my foot up but I was too nervous to do it as I didn’t want to fall off. Eventually when I was calm I moved my foot up and matched to top with ease. It made me look a bit stupid!
Qualifier 2 One of my favourite blocs because it had lots of crimps and was overhanging. It started on 2 crimps and then went over to a decent gaston I locked off and reached to the top of a volume and then flipped my hand to an undercut, this allowed me to get the next volume. From this position I dropped my left foot and threw my left hand to a side pull and my right hand again up to a volume. The last move I popped for, because it was a good jug. I matched it and jumped down.
Qualifier 3 I think this was the pink overhang. It had many big moves to small sloping crimps - my ideal climb! It started off with a big move to and good crimp followed by another big move to a small slopey hold. For the next move I stood on the black volume and jumped for the same slopey hold as i was already holding and then swapped feet before jumping to a sloper. The sloper was on a volume so it wasn’t so bad. I heeled my hand and went over to the final sloper which I then jumped off to get the finish!
Qualifier 4 I didn’t like this one. It had a massive sloper at the top and lots of people were falling off trying to get it. It starts off matching a good sloper which you lock off on and reach up to a sloping crimp. I then rolled into a mini jug and stood up over to a gaston crimp. I put my foot in the middle of the black volume and rocked over to the sloper. I didn’t quite get around it enough and almost slipped off but I managed to hold on. So I came back to the gaston and shook out quickly before having another go. This time I went a little bit quicker and managed to reach it and swap feet quickly to secure my balance. I reached up for the final hold which was a crimp on the side of a small volume. I got it with one hand a touched the other to it. I closed my eyes holding on really hard mainly so I wouldn’t have to climb that horrible climb again. I heard the judges call and I jumped down.
Qualifier 5 Pinches. This climb started on two crimps with a big cross over to a long pinch and then a quick move out to another pinch on the opposite side. I then bumped up my left hand and stepped though to a good foot hold. I then crimped the top right of the next hold and came into the middle with my left hand. And with my left hand again I jumped for the top jug and got it! It was one of the easier routes. 
Qualifier 6 This bloc was half balance and half strength. The start move you balanced three points on the yellow volume and one hand on the white sloper. I then straightened my arm and rolled over to the white crimp blocked by another hold, this allowed me to move my feet up and lean into the side pull underneath my left hand. Once I had this I jumped for the crimp on the volume trusting my route reading, and it paid off! I caught it with one hand and placed my foot onto the blue volume and matched my hands. I rocked up for the almost upside down gaston which was good before kicking my foot out and slowly pushing over for the top crimp. I matched it and jumped down.
Qualifier 7 This bloc looked really fun and is the one I am most proud of. The start was fine and it included a heel hook which I managed to stick which I was really pleased with as I hate them! Next was a long move to the flat sloper followed by a toe hook. I was really nervous about this because I had never done one before ever! I decided to try it because every single person who had been on it used it. I put my toe under the hold and pulled myself up to the ball and got it! I was very surprised! I crossed over and used everything I had to try and get the second top but I was powered out so I fell. I knew all I needed was a rest and to stick to my plan and completely go for it. No hesitation! I kept my card in and waited forever while it went round the other competitors watching them to find any extra tips. Finally it was my go. I chalked up and completely went for it! First heel was perfect and my toe hook worked really well! I went for the second top and got it! The last move I was loosing energy but I jumped and held the top hold. It was an easy match but a rubbish top hold because it was all slopey.
Qualifier 8 This was my least favourite out of the whole competition. I started off on two crimps and a rock over to the top of a volume with a small intermediate. Next you flick out to the crimp on the volume which is good. Up to here is reasonably easy. Then you have to either heel the volume and hold the barn door or use your outside opposites which involves twisting and lock offs. I went for the twisting way first because it felt easier. This almost worked but I didn’t quite get the bonus. I only got to have two more goes because there wasn’t enough time and everyone took forever on each go.

Altogether I thought the qualifying blocs were really fun and I enjoyed them. My ending score was 7 tops in 8 attempts and 7 bonuses. I was happy with this but I feel I need to work on my volumes a lot more. When the results finally came out (I kind of thought I was in anyway from talking the the top girls but) it was official that I had made finals! I was 5th place! That is 3 places better than last qualifying!

For the rest of the day Holly and I watched the rest of the qualifiers. Here is a link to the results:




Another early start but not quite as early as the day before. I was there as soon as warm up area / isolation opened and Ellie (GB senior lead team coach) came in with me and helped my warm up. It was weird in isolation because there was only 8 of us whereas yesterday there was over 30. Ellie made me some good blocs to do and I felt ready to go! 

Soon I was called out and I followed the official over to the back of the climbing wall. I sat down on the chair facing away from the wall. 5 minutes until my final started.

Bloc Description Pictures
Final 1 Was on the same wall as my first qualifier and was again a balencey climb. I stated matching the blue and then went to the volume which had a hold on the corner. I held the hold and heeled the blue starting hold. I shuffled my hands up to the top of the volume and put my foot on the hold. I then pushed up for the Bonus (a square brick slopy side up) and my foot poped off. I was so disappointed as I knew I would have finished it if I had got that hold. My next go was better and when I went for the bonus my foot stuck. I matched it and rocked over pushing the bonus behind me, I was then just standing knowing that I was going to have to step down onto the starting hold and then ping up for the top hold. The top hold was a massive sloper of a volume so easy to catch. I was nervous about the jump as I wanted it so badly. I messed around with my feet and then went for it. I stepped down wards onto the start hold and launched for the top sloper. I got it and it looked quite smooth as well. You can see the top move of this climb if you look carefully on the video of the competition. You can find the link of my Facebook page.
Final 2 This was a dyno problem. I started on the volume which had a nice crimp on it. I pulled over and got a hand on the flat crimp which was on a sloping black volume and then matched it putting my hand on the crimp below. From this position I jumped for the decent crimp on a triangular volume. I got nowhere near it. On my next go I almost got it. Its a shame I didn’t get my third go on video because I got the hold with one hand and face planted the floor because the swing was too big. After this go I had enough knowledge to get it. I threw double handed for it and held it. The top was my style, I leant away from the side pull volume and reached over to the big round sloper that I matched carefully!
Final 3 The easiest climb. It was almost all volumes. It started as a short move to an undercut volume. I then matched it and went up to a pinch volume, I stepped through and stood on the long flat box and went out to the triangular volume which had two holds on it. I matched it and got the second last hold, I guppied/undercut it and jumped for the the top volume. It was very good and I matched it. 
Final 4 I didn’t do very well on this boulder. It was going between volumes with rubbish crimps. I started on two crimps then moved over to a volume with I guppied and then tried to match into the crimp underneath but it was too hard. Over my next 6 go’s I got closer and closer to the bonus which was the move after the match. You come into the match then flick out to the bonus. On my 7th attempt I finally held the bonus. I tried to rock over onto the volumes to a tiny screw on hold but I didn’t quite make it. I was really disappointed and I need to do a lot more work on volumes.

After the competition I chatted to Ellie and Tom about the competition and how they thought I did. I waited for the results with Michelle and when they finally came out I was 5th. I was a bit disappointed because it came down to attempts between me and 4th. But 5th is one place better than my last EYC.

Over I really enjoyed the competition and I want to say a big thank you to all the coaches and team GB for all their support throughout the competition. 

Saturday, 18 June 2016

European Youth Cup (Bouldering) Graz 2016

Travel and Friday

Last weekend was my first ever bouldering EYC, held in Graz, Austria. I flew out to Austria with the GB team on Thursday. It was a very small team going to this competition, only 4 competitors. Holly, Martha, Silvia and me. Our two chaperones/coaches were Tom and Michelle. We arrived at Vienna airport in the afternoon and then got our hire car and drove straight to Graz.

On Friday I got up late and after breakfast we drove to The Bloc House wall (the wall where the competition was going to be held) to see how long it would take to get there for Saturday. Then we parked in Graz’s city centre and had a walk around.

Next we went to Graz’s old town which had a big clock tower on the top of a large hill. It had a lot of steps! It was very hot and tiring walking to the top, but the view was amazing! You can see the art gallery or university from up there and it looked like a massive bunch of water bottles, as you can see from the photo. If you look closely at the picture on the ground  you can see the stairs leading up to the clock tower. 

We carried on walking up, and got to a little shop near the very top, where we had Ice cream before finishing the walk to the very to of Graz! The view from there was the best. It also had a metal plate with markings showing which direction different cities were. London was on it, but not Cardiff.

You had to pay to take the lift back down to the bottom so we walked and got the car. After dinner we did some mobility stuff ready for Saturday. 

The Competition

In the bouldering team they have a system at these comps. Everyone competing gets a buddy. The buddy follows them around, carries there stuff, talks to them and gives them tips of how to do the climbs. My buddy was Silvia.

I felt my warm up was good and was ready for the blocs. We had 5 attempts on each bloc and 2 hours to complete as many as possible. Here is how they went:

Bloc Description Pictures
Qual. 1 This was the second bloc I tried and it was the easiest of the 8. I wanted a top so I decided to get this one done. The start was fine and all of the holds were crimps on big volumes. I topped it easily and I enjoyed it.
Qual. 2 This climb was a roof. I got on it quick because there wasn't a big queue. The start was a volume and an under cut. I went over to the jug matched and then out to the crimp on the volume before moving my feet in close and going across to a mini jug. The last move was the hardest as the hold was shiny not grippy. I jumped right over it and pinched the top part so I couldn't swing off. I then matched.
Qual. 3 My third choice was this one as it looked top-able and really fun. It was a slab with a big volume at the start. I was most looking forward to the last move to see if I could stand on the tiny foot hold. When I pulled on and stood up for the first hold I got it pretty easily. The next move was to a two pinches. They weren't as good as I'd hoped but I managed to step my feet across and pull over to the big blue hold, it was so nice! And for the final move I stood on the tiny foot hold and popped up for the top jug. I held it and was very pleased with myself!
Qual. 4 My fifth bloc was the salmon. It had a lot of big holds which looked slopy and difficult to hold. I thought the top part would be the easiest but it was the other way around. I found the start moves easy but struggled a little on a rock over to the bonus. The next hold was a crimp which would have been really good if it hadn't of been turned slopy side up. It was horrible. Eventually I worked out that I just had to pull hard on it and got for the top. Once I did that I topped it.
Qual. 5 This was my first choice of bloc to try. On my first attempt I was shaky and managed to shake my way to the last move almost falling a few times before I got there. I stood on a slippy foot hold and pushed up for the top hold where I almost had it but slipped off. This put me in a bad pace of mind but I put my card straight back in. There was a 15min wait before my next go as a lot of people thought this climb was ok! I had composed my self by this time as was ready to finish it and move on. I was a little less shaky this time and my feet didn't slip around as much as my first go. I got to the last most again and this went low and rocked up slowly for it. I crimped the good bit and quickly matched.
Qual. 6 I left this problem until last as it was a run and jump. My worst nightmare! I was in a good state of mind at this point though as I had topped 6, 4 of which were a flash. I put my card in, pulled on and ran across the volumes turning the wrong way and spinning off! For once I just laughed at how rubbish I must have looked. Silvia gave me some tips and I had another go. This time I almost caught the aret and I knew how to do it, all I needed was to catch it slightly higher up. There was only one person in front of me as again nobody wanted to do this climb. For this attempted I kicked my leg back and bounced across the volumes and hit the aret with a straight arm tensing everything to hold the swing. I was so surprised that it actually worked! I managed to hold it. But this was only the bonus, I still had the big roll over to complete before I could be un-focus. I stood up on the foot hold and fell over into the finishing jug. I was so psyched!
Qual. 7 This climb took me 3 attempts. On my first go I got passed the bonus and threw out for the second sloper and couldn't hold the swing. The waits in between go's were so long but I just watched everyone and worked out what to do next. My second attempt was roughly the same. I got to the same place again but tried a few different feet but none felt good so I went my original way and fell again! Between my second and third attempted was the longest wait but I learned a vital tip from it, and with out it I wouldn't have topped the boulder. All I had to do was soap my feet around so I was off balance for a bit but could hold the swing between the slopers. I knew I could top it this go. I pulled on and climbed it as soothly as carefully as I could so I didn't mess up before I could try out the new beta. I got to the sloper and with out hesitation I put my left foot into the pocket and went for it! I got it easily! This annoyed me a lot but showed me that my route reading needs improving. I was also very excited, I managed to keep calm and put a foot up for the last move. I pushed up and got it! I was so excited!
Qual. 8 This was the hardest bloc and the only one I didn't top out of the 8 qualifiers. It was completely my style so I was disappointed not to top it. I had attempts at different times of the day. I had my first 3 go's in a row and then the last 2 later. On my first go I missed the bonus because I didn't catch the right part of the hold. On my second and third attempt I got to the same place, the second last move. It was so big and my arms could only just touch the hold. I then had to transfer my weight from one side to the other. I needed more shoulder strength for this. I tried a few ways but none worked. On my last go there was only a few mins left so I spent as much time brushing as I could to run the time down a bit so there wouldn't be time for many others to go. It was a bit mean of me but it was a good tactic. I messed up this go really bad. As I was jumping for the hold I fell of on, on my first go my foot slipped off the foot hold and I didn't have any power to get me to the hold so I ended up on the floor. I spent so much time brushing too! I was angry for a little bit until I realised that I did well on all the rest of the blocs and there was a small chance I could get into finals.

I packed my bags up and when the time ran out we went outside for lunch. As I was eating I saw people standing by the results and so I ran over to see if I was in. And I saw my name in 8th! The last placed finalist again! I was so excited! My Dad was watching the results on his phone and he got them before me! Holly and Martha also did really well finishing 22nd and 38th.

After I finished talking I went through the time table with Michelle and I had 4 hours to wait before finals because youth B make and youth A and Junior female still had to compete in their qualifiers.

Silvia was in A so we watched her qualifying. She had some of the same blocs so she already had good beta. She climbed really well finishing 16th.

By this time I had to go into isolation. Tom came in with me. And I was in there for an hour! The food in isolation wasn't as good as Imst because this time they only had fruit no celebrations!

There were 4 blocs in the final. You had 5 mins to do one then 5 mins rest. There were also bonuses to get. The finals went very quick, here is how I got on:

Bloc Description
Final 1 My first move was a dyno which I managed to get on my second go. Then next was to a small crimp (the bonus) I held it but it was very sloppy and so I jumped for the next hold but couldn't hold the swing. On this attempt I did the dyno and found a good bit on the crimp. This then made it easy to do the next move. It was to a sloping hold with a nice edge on it, I matched it then went to the final hold. This hold was a big sloper but easy to match with my foot up high. I was so happy to top it!
Final 2 My second bloc was a slab and it looked doable. On my first attempt I got onto the volumes and fell off trying to put my foot up. This was really annoying but I got back on and managed to put my foot up slowly. The next holds were OK and I had to switch my weight from one hand to the other so I could reach further. This part wasn't as hard and it was really fun. The last few moves had lots of feet and good holds. I remember smiling as I matched the top hold!
Final 3 This bloc looked completely my style and I was very excited for it. It had positive holds but it was overhanging which made them not so good. I pulled on and did the first move wrong handed this then messed up the next part and so I fell off. In total I had 5 attempts which was way too many as I was so pumped. On attempts 2, 3 and 4 I kept missing the bonus because I was pumped. On my last go I had a longer rest and did all the moves right  getting the sequence correct before grabbing the bonus. This was great. I knew the next move would be very difficult as getting the bonus took all my strength. I was also aware that time was running out and  I needed to speed up a little. I put my foot up and went for the second top hold. I didn't get far enough and fell.
Final 4 My last problem. It was again my style but looked like the hardest bloc. The first few moves were ok up until the big move to the volume. I went for it and held the swing well. This is the bit I am so happy about, I think I was the only person to get the bonus first attempt! After holding another swing when catching the bonus I was getting pumped. I now know that  I should have used the under cut I originally planned to used but made a quick decision (which properly lost me the top) to go for the second to top hold which I didn't get. This out of all my goes was the best. I think the previous boulder tired me out.

Overall I was pleased with my performance but I made some mistakes that could have boosted my final position by a lot. On the results it showed that my final position was 6th. I was happy but felt annoyed that I didn't top the last two blocs as I knew I was capable of doing them. I let the pressure and time force me into mistakes. Next time I will be more comfortable so should climb to my full potential.

Thanks to Tom and Michelle for coaching and taking us to Graz. Also thanks to Silvia because you helped me a lot going around in qualifiers. I had an amazing first bouldering EYC.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Junior British Bouldering Championships (JBBC) 2016

After school on Friday my mum and I drove up to Manchester for the Junior British Boulder Championships 2016 which was being held in the depot. We stayed in a Premier Inn ready for the comp on Saturday. On the way up we realised my Dad had forgotten to register me. But we called Rob and he said we could register on the day.

It was an early start on Saturday. I wanted to be there early so we could register quick and look at the blocs.

I had a Premier Inn breakfast and got to the centre for 7:45. There was already a small queue at the door because the doors weren't open until 8. We shouldn't have arrived so early.

Eventually the doors opened and we went in to register with the wall and the competition. We were due to start climbing at 9 so I started warming up straight away.

The blocs looked really fun and do-able so I felt confident. The last two Boulder comps I have lost to count back so my goal for this comp is to not loose to count back! This means pressures on qualifiers.

The comp was running late so they decided to start it at 9:15 instead of 9:00. After briefing I topped up my warm up and went to the easiest bloc. Here are the qualifiers and how I did them. (Not sure if the numbers correspond to the right bloc though)

Bloc Description
Qual. 1 In my opinion the hardest bloc and I left it until last. Nobody topped it and the furthest I got was touching the bonus. It had a big first move and then another big move to the arrêt. I am not sure about how the top was meant to be done but the last two holds were blocked!
Qual. 2 This problem was the most overhanging of all the blocs. It looked my style and I was looking forward to it. All the holds looked good and easy to catch. Again I watched a few people first before getting on. The first move was to a good hold, the I jumped to a side pull and held it. The next move was the same and the next hold was a core pinch which was better than it looked. The last two moves were easy and it gave me a lot of confidence topping it.
Qual. 3 I hadn't seen anyone top this bloc. A lot kept missing the top hold. I had a go and the first part was the hardest for me because my foot felt unstable. But I managed to go slowly and keep my balance. The next moves were to an undercut and then to another undercut. The last undercut was a screw-on foot hold and wasn't that good. For the last move I rocked over and popped for the last hold and I held it. I was surprised, I don't usually do well with slabs!
Qual. 4 I didn't watch many people on this, but all I needed to see was someone try the first move. I decided to not use the starting foot hold because it seemed to be stopping people doing the next move. So I did a pull up and chucked my hand out to it. It was decent and I matched it. The next two holds were spaced out and of similar shape. They were slopey holds but good enough. It wasn't as hard as I had expected. I topped it.
Qual. 5 This was just impossible and was one of the problems that if you were taller it was easier. I only heard of one person getting the bonus. I had three attempts but couldn't do get the bonus.
Qual. 6 Definitely the easiest bloc for me. It was the first one I did. I saw many people top it before me. I was confident for it. It took me a bit longer to get the first hold but then the rest was easy.
Qual. 7 A lot of people topped this but lots of people didn't. The starting volume wasn't very good but I moved off it quickly onto a jug. I then rocked over to the bonus (a screw-on foot hold) and stood on the volume. I got ready for the jump and wobbled almost falling but saving it just! I got ready then jumped for the two big volcano shaped holds. They were good and I got the jump just right! I was surprised again because jumps aren't usually my thing. For the last move I put my foot high and pushed up for the top. I got it!
Qual. 8 This was my nightmare climb. First go I completely missed the first move. The second time I got close but fell again. And the last time I went very slow rocking over and I grabbed it. It felt very good because I knew the top was my style. I jumped for the bonus and then to the next hold which was a nice crimp. And finally I grabbed the last hold and went again for the got the finish.

I was happy with my qualifying performance and I got first place meaning I was in the final! And I had completed my goal of not loosing to count back! The last two rounds I lost to count back.

Finals was at 1:00 and Kitty and Holly kindly came to get me because I didn't know we had to be in isolation.

We were only in isolation for 30 mins before we went out for observation. The blocs looked really fun. We had one really hard one and two OK ones.

Bloc Description Picture
Final 1 This looked the hardest but really fun as it was a massive overhang with lots of pockets. When I went out I was nervous but excited. I pulled on and found that the holds were a lot worse than I thought. But I went slow and tried to get each one perfect. I got to the hold on the volume and couldn't move off it. I tried jumping and a weird heel hook thing but I couldn't get it. I was disappointed I didn't even get the bonus but ready for the slab.
Final 2 The Slab. I was really excited about. I am not that strong with slabs but that day they seemed easier. I pulled in for my first go and slowly found the right part of the volume to stand up on. I got the big sloper and felt around for the right bit. I reached out for the bonus and got it. I then went back to the sloper though, because I needed to put my foot over first. I then tried a stupid method of holding the volume which resulted in me back on the mats. I went straight back on and topped it easy using the splits move. Again a little disappointed.
Final 3 Finally, the easiest problem. I knew I could flash it and that I was strong enough. But I was still nervous. I pulled on and did the first few moves easy and was just going over the roof when my foot slipped off making me fall and ruin my flash. I was so annoyed but forced myself to have a quick breather. I got back on and was determined not to slip. I found the Boulder ok and did it easily compared to my first attempt.

Overall the comp was really fun and the best part was definitely the final blocs. They were amazing!

Thanks to the BMC team for a great comp.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

My First Leading European Youth Cup (EYC)

Day 1 - The Journey

On Wednesday 25th my family and I started a 14 hour car journey to a small town in Austria called Imst. The reason we were all going was because the first weekend I was competing in my first ever EYC (European youth cup) for leading. We decided to stay out for the week because the following weekend my little brother was competing in a different competition, The Youth Color Climbing Festival at the same place.

The journey wasn't as bad as it sounds as my brothers and I slept while my parents drove. The only down side was that Germany had a lot of traffic and no free mobile data roaming (😠) resulting in us arriving 2 hours later and a grumpy me!

After arriving in the late afternoon on Thursday I decided to stay with my family for the first night and meet the GB climbing team in their hotel the next day.

Day 2 - The Alpine Rollercoaster!

I met up with the team at 10 and shared a room with Kitty (a good friend on the team) which was really nice. The room was massive! It had a good sized bedroom with two single beds joined. We also had a really nice large bathroom with a living room next door. The living room had a TV and a sofa!

I had all you can eat breakfast before taking a team trip to the local supermarket to buy food for the competition day. I bought rice crackers, Kitkats, bananas, bread and banana flavoured milk.

When I arrived back at the hotel I realised Kitty had the key so Pippa let me use her fridge.

We had a short walk into town but the highlight of the day was definitely the Alpine Roller Coaster! I remembered it from the previous year and it was amazing! First you drive up a long road up the side of a mountain and there is a park and various activities to do. Then you get the chair lift further up the mountain to the top of the track. It is a bit different to your usual roller coaster because you sit in your own car and control you own speed. It is amazing until you get stuck behind some old slow people at the front which is what happened to us when we went on it. On several occasions we ended up in a large queue. But it was still really fun.

We ate at the hotel that night before going to bed early for the competition.

Day 3 - The Comp!

I got up at 6am and I went to breakfast at 7. It was all you can eat again but two croissants was enough for me.

Ian said we needed to get to the wall by 7:30 so we were in the cars by 7, and I was nervous by this point. The night before I checked the running order and I was up 27th so I had a while to read the route before warming up. I was happy about this because I knew for the second route I would be up towards the start.

My first route was a black which went just into the roof. It looked do-able but pumpy. I spent a while warming up in the inside wall as it relaxes me because I have something to concentrate on. I thought the bouldering problems I warmed up on we're really fun and they put my mind in a good place for the route.

After warming up I was psyched to climb and wanted to get it over with. Sitting in the chair and tying in has got to be the worst part of the comp because it is so nerve racking. The climber just before me had topped it so I felt the pressure even more. I pulled on the starting slopers and they weren't as bad as they looked. There were a few of these over the first section of the route but I found them okay and got to the big undercuts which were good but not as amazing as they looked. I did a double clip from them and moved on to the two mini jugs next to a large black volume with another small jug on it. This was a good resting spot but I didn't spend long there I just moved on quickly. I regret this now! I was pumped but I fought through the slopers and got another 2 clips just missing the hold by the next clip because of pump. When I came down I wasn't completely happy as I could have got further if I had rested longer but I got to the average place which put me in jointed 8th with 9 people for this route.

My next qualifier was the yellow on the right of the wall with all the pinches. I had a while before the climbers on the first route had finished and so the obvious thing to do would be to route read the second route but they didn't announce it until route one was over leaving me with less time than anyone else to read it as I was up 5th. I didn't mind to much though because I didn't have much time to think about it. I just warmed up and watched the other girls. My dad and brothers came down to the wall to watch me and I am so glad they did because I forgot my liquid chalk and if I didn't have it I would have been so nervous! But my brother ran to get it for me as he knew I'd do the same for him. He passed it to me while I was tying in and sitting on the chair waiting to climb.

I was confident that I could do enough for finals. I looked for the judges go ahead and then pulled on. The start was easyish with some nice big pinches and a few crimps. I worked my way through the section not knowing that I was climbing really fast again and not taking time to shake out. I got the the middle section and really enjoyed it as it had lots of crimps and fun moves. I should have rested on a really incut crimp because I ended up wasting loads of energy clipping from a bad sloper! The next move was to the volume where I held a big undercut and moved over the volume. After this I did a horrible move to a big sloper on the last volume very close to the top and I got it, I threw for the undercut around the side and then up for some disgusting slopers which I shook on quickly before going out for the next pinch which I didn't quite hold and fell off.

I was disappointed and hoped I could scrape into finals. But now I could relax and wait for the results. I didn't end up doing that though, my dad worked out who had to fall of where in order for me to get through. It was very stressful!

In the end I watched the last person I needed to fall off fall off and knew I was in! I was so happy but wanted to get official results before I told anyone!

Soon after this the comp finished and the official results were up. I was through in joint 9th! The other team GB members who made it to were, Hamish boys B (also his first EYC) , Molly  girls Junior and William boys Junior. The two youngest and two oldest competitors!

We then went back to our cars and my car were waiting for ages for Ian. But when we went down to check what he was doing he was sorting an appeal against me. One of the other competitors appealed me into 10th which was still in finals but officially last! I didn't mind all that much though.

We went back to the hotel for a while, and then to the pizza place down the road. It was so nice. Hamish and I had an early start again because the Youth B finals were first at 8 o'clock.

Day 4 - the final!

Got up at 6:15 and needed to take all my bags as we wouldn't be back to the hotel in time to checkout later. I met Hamish and Ian down at breakfast at 7 and we drove down to the wall for 7:30.

I was really excited to see the routes but we had to go straight to isolation. But from the top of the hill all I could see was giant blue and yellow blobs!

I got a new number at the desk still 27 but not as a scrumpled as the first one. I decided to keep it as a souvenir. There was a table with a massive barrel of celebration chocolates which I got very excited about and also some water and energy bars.

We started warming up straight away and I felt good. It was nice to have Hamish to talk to and we weren't competing against each other too!

Soon Molly and William arrived and Ellie (GB team coach). I want to thank Ellie because she helped me warm up when she came and I think it really helped.

We walked down for viewing at 8:45 and up close as well as a far all I could see well big holds and volumes! It was amazing and it looked so fun. Another thank you to Molly for helping me with the route read and going through the moves with me. It made a big difference. I felt my route read went well and I knew what to do. So after the 6 mins was up I got my bag and went straight around the back of the wall to tie in. It was cold back there and I was nervous getting everything ready.

It was a while before they let me out and I was so nervous when they did. Honestly, I thought I was going to cry, but I held it together mostly. I got out and I didn't know whether to start or wait because nobody told me but the youth B boy was already on so I got on too.

The start section of the final was very slopey and probably the hardest part. I went quickly and I wasn't really aware of what was happening so I hardly remember it. I was on the middle section soon enough and I didn't take any rests on the better holds which I again regret now. I just powered through clipping then going. Until, I reached two slopers which I hated but were new and at their most grippy stage. I pulled in to clip and got it in. I then moved on to two big pinches and then onto some nice crimps. I clipped again and went for a good volume and my foot was to low and it slipped off! I wasn't aware of this at the time but after watching the video it was clear.
At first I was disappointed but after speaking to Ian and my family I started to see that I had done really well for my first EYC. I watched our other finalists with the team under a big tarpaulin. Credits to Duncan (Kitty's dad) for making an awesome shelter.

At the end of the finals I got my stuff out of the hire car and went back to the campsite with my family.

Overall I was pleased with my performance under the pressure and I'm happy with my first EYC result. A big thanks to all the GB team coaches and to Molly for helping me out. Thanks for the support from my family, especially to my parents for driving all the way down there and to my brothers for putting up with being pulled out to loads of climbing comps (although you did get to miss school and go to Austria this time!)!

A week later ......

My brother competed in the Imst Youth Color Climbing festival. He topped all 6 of his routes on the first day, qualifying in joint first place with 17 others. On the second day he competed in the final and finished 10th! Very Proud!