Wednesday 11 December 2013

3 climbing centres 1 weekend

On the 6th of December my Mum, Dad and me drove up to Sheffield for two competitions one bouldering and one leading the bouldering on Saturday and the leading on Sunday.

Awesome Walls Sheffield

Towards the end of the journey my Dad spotted an Awesome Walls Centre on the sat nav, he looked on their web site and noticed they were  holding the leading ladder. I wanted to a go there and do it  quickly before going to hotel as I had never seen an Awesome Walls Centre before so it  would a good experience. My Dad said yes because the centre looked really cool and I needed to do the next round of the leading ladder. Inside Awesome Walls was amazing, it was so big and it had artificial cracks and rocks. I warmed  up on some easy climbs then progressed on to the leading ladder. I managed  to do climbs 5+ to 6c on my first go but I didn't do any other problems 6c was my highest.
After finishing the leading ladder I went to my hotel room to get an early night for the bouldering competition the next day.

Climbing Works Bouldering Centre Sheffield

Bouldering - BMC Open Youth Event December 2013

I was up bright and early exited to see the bouldering centre my Dad looked it up and said it was massive. As usual for competitions I put on my lucky t-shirt and trousers to make sure it did my best. I stuck to the traditional lucky breakfast I had McDonald's hash-browns the nicest piece of food ever!!!

The bouldering competition was held in Climbing Works which is a bouldering only centre. It has every type of bouldering wall and some of the routes were a lot more interesting than the ones I have seen in other centres.
My number at the 2013 BMC Winter Open Youth Bouldering Event

We wanted to get to the centre early so that we had time before the competition started to look around at the centre. When we registered I got given a number (61)  which I had to pin to my back.
I was also given a score sheet with numbers 1 to 8 where the judges could mark my attempts at the 8 problems.

This was a no joke competition! There were two rounds a qualifier and a final. For the qualifier there was a judge standing by each problem and you had to give him or her your sheet and wait in a queue until your name was called. The problems weren't in any order, you could choose any problem to start with. After you had finished one problem the judge would give you your score sheet back and if you failed you could either go again or come back to it. I didn't manage to numbers 2 and 6 first time, I needed to watch others attempt them and reread them. For problem 2, after watching other people, I found that toe hooking the side of the wall would keep my balance which would allow me to reach the useless hold in control and be able to hold it properly and move off it to the finishing hold. Number 6 had a reach at the end and I think the reason I didn't do it is because I was scared of falling awkwardly and hurting myself.

When I finished all my problems it was so hot and stuffy in the centre I asked the guy at the desk what time the results would be up for category C to see if we would have time to go out. We had loads of time to get some food but if we went in the car we would lose our parking space. We walked to the shops to get some fresh air. My mum wanted to get something from Laura Ashley (yuck!) and I saw a small single bed in there. This gave me an idea! If I change my bed for this bed I would have space to get a climbing wall in my room.

When we got back to the climbing centre I ran around the centre trying to find the results. They were posted at the back of the centre and I was third. This meant I qualified for the final.

Since the final wasn't starting until later on, we walked to a pub to have lunch.

We just got back in time for isolation for the final - I had no clue who anyone was and I am pants at making friends. Isolation was so boring, it felt like hours. I climbed around a bit trying not to jump on people and made up 5 problems to keep me warm and less bored (my Dad's iPad was useless as it didn't have any games). There were 6 in the final for my category and they called all the competitors who reached the final to be introduced to the crowd then turn around and have a few minutes to read the problems. The first one didn't look that bad, the second looked OK and the last looked mega hard - it was reachy.

We went back into isolation when the time was up and were bored for another 5-10min. Finally I was called to climb the first one. I had 4 minutes to do as many attempts as I could. If the time ran out and I was still on the wall I could finish my attempt. The problem was fairly easy except the start because, as it was a national competition, I wasn't used to starting in a very specific position. This cost one attempt and probably a higher position - I was sad because I didn't do it first or second go. My second attempt failed because I didn't get on the wall properly according to my judge.

On the second and third climbs I didn't reach the bonus on either of them, I was a bit disappointed because if I hadn't of had so much pressure then I could have won. I think I will do better next round because I will have a better idea of how it works.

Foundry Climbing Centre Sheffield

Leading - BMC Open Youth Event December 2013

After another traditional breakfast I was nervous and excited about my first leading competition. We arrived at the Foundry early and the first thing we did was register where I was given a number (54).
There were two rounds to this competition a qualifier and a final. The qualifier had two routes - the demonstrations were videoed and played on a big screen for everyone to see. The routes were demonstrated by adults and didn't really help my route planning - they only showed me which routes I was doing.

Once I had round which route I was doing me and my Dad walked around the centre to examine the route from different directions. I thought the route looked hard and scary. It didn't look like an easy one to start off with.

I was called to do my route which wasn't as hard as I expected but the top was harder. I managed to get well over half way but couldn't reach the next hold because I was too short. I didn't let this bother me, I just focussed on route 2.

Route 2 did not look as hard as Route 1 because it wasn't as high so I wouldn't be as tired at the top. When I was climbing it was as expected. I followed my plan until an awkward clipping position came up and I couldn't clip. I started to panic then climbed down and did a long distance clip but only just. This was a relief and when my clip is in I am not scared because it is like a top rope. This meant I could carry on climbing. I got to the hardest point in my plan and tried to reach my foot over to the other wall but my leg wasn't long enough and I tried to go for the next hold but I didn't have enough momentum because I couldn't push off the wall so I fell off.

After route 2 I was going to be a while before the results were posted so we went upstairs to the shop to try on some shoes and look at other climbing stuff. After the results were published I was a little disappointed to see that I was third because I thought I was in second place. It didn't matter as I qualified for the final anyway. We went to the pub for lunch after this as we had some time before the isolation for the final was due to start.

When we got back it was isolation time this wasn't quite as boring as isolation in the bouldering competition but it was still a heck of a long time. I was called third last to climb the final problem and I was nervous because the climb looked really, really hard. When I was half way though the climb I got scared but I knew if I jumped off I would be very low down on the scoreboard. So, I did a mini dyno for the next hold and stuck it. The hold after that was good but I couldn't reach the clip this made me scared. I went down a hold and still couldn't reach the clip so I dangled by my hands and was really, really scared - too scared to carry on. I let go and banged my hip against a volume that was sticking out. 

I really disappointed that it wasn't good enough to get a top three place but at least I have something to work on while I am waiting for the next competition to come up. I was cross about not going for the move and hopefully next time (after training) I will be able to make the next move.

Thursday 21 November 2013


Earlier today I went to academy to train for a competition I'm doing at Sheffield in a couple of weeks. When I arrived at boulders my friend Shani and some of the other guys from academy were there so we decided to play tag for a warm up. While we were playing tag Catlin, Bethan and Rosie came and joined in too. After a long game of tag with almost every member of the boulders academy Dave my coach came over a told us that Lee would also be coaching us today  because Simon my usual coach couldn't make it. We worked on circuits today we climbed each circuit until we fell off an then on our next turn climbed from where we fell off on our first go. I didn't manage to finish a circuit but I got quite close. After we had finished the circuits the girls did core training and the boys did pull ups, after we had both done our training we swopped. I did pull ups with Lee, Catlin, Bethan, Shani and Rosie. After this we had to go home but I am very much looking forward to next weeks academy.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Leading ladder

On Monday I went to Boulders to try the Leading Ladder for the first time. I was given a yellow score sheet with a list of 10 climbs going down the page. The grades ranged from 5+ to 8a. The first 4 climbs were easy but the 5th one had a very hard move in the middle of the climb. I tried lots and used up most of my energy but saved a bit for the rest of the climb and managed to get to the top. The 6th climb was very difficult and I made it to the third last hold. I couldn't reach the last two holds because I had used up all my energy by holding a lock off on a crimp and clipping at the same time. I know all the moves now so next time I will be able to make the last moves because I will have more energy.

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Welsh Climbing Championships 2013

On  Friday the 8th of November we drove up to North Wales to practice climbing in the Beacon centre for the open welsh championships climbing competition. I trained hard by leading and top roping hard climbs. I got a bit frustrated with one climb because it was so crimpy and you had to have amazing balance to complete it. My dad and brother gave me some advice and I managed to do it after trying each part on its own.

When the day of the competition came I was very nervous but managed to top the first three with no problems. I qualified for the semis where I was put into isolation with 5 other climbers who also qualified. I found this semi final climb easier than it looked and followed my route read exactly. I qualified for the finals in joint first place. When I was reading this last route it looked hard. Finally I was called to do this route. It was a high yellow one. I tied myself in, chalked up and started to climb. I really climbed my best trying to complete every move. There were only 3 or 4 moves to go when I got tired and slipped but managed to hold on. It shocked me so much I tried my ultimate hardest to finish it and I managed to. I was so happy. My dad said it was my best climb I have ever done. Me and the other competitors shared our scores and I had won. I felt amazing I said well done to the girls and told my dad and little brother the news they were both thrilled for me. When all the categories had finished climbing Mark announced the winners and presented us with our trophies.
My Trophy

It always an amazing feeling. The day after the comp I went back to the Beacon centre and looked at the grades of the climbs I did in the comp they were:

Girls D - Routes

  1. 5c (purple)
  2. 6a+ (green)
  3. 6b+ (orange)
  4. 6c+ (purple)
  5. 7a+ (yellow)

I really liked the boys D category semi final climb so I decided to try leading it, I got half way no problems then it started to get harder and harder but I climbed it well and focused hard that is how I got to the top!

You tube video of the competition:

Thursday 7 November 2013

Radio ad and documentary

I am so glad I can blog again, my house has just had a loft conversion so I haven't been able to blog. I am so happy, I can talk about everything that has happened while my loft was being converted:

I have been filmed for a Boulders advert which is all about my climbing story and how Boulders helped me through my NICAS levels.You can find that here: Boulders Advert

I also recorded a radio advert for Boulders with Capital FM.

Simon is now working for Boulders and takes the academy sessions which I really enjoy.

Monday 23 September 2013

First lead comp

On Saturday I went to Boulders 5th birthday party and I entered the open route master finals. My dad belayed me up all 6 top ropes. I managed to get to the top of the first 4 but I got to the 3rd last hold on the fifth. The sixth was hard so I only got to about the middle of this climb.

While I was waiting for the results I did some bouldering, but before long we were called for cake. Just before we had cake the results were announced and I had come second.  I wasn't expecting to get such a high place, I was overjoyed until I heard  there was a supper final. It was a lead just one, but a really hard red climb on the roof of boulders.I was so nervous as it  was my first lead comp.

I was second in line for the climb shaking as I tied myself in. With the first two clips clipped in I made my first move. oop's wrong hand, all the moves I did were with the wrong technique I cilped the third clip and tried to move off it but I had the wrong technique and I was too nervous so jumped and fell.

I was very disappointed to have climbed so rubbish and I hope in my next lead comp I will give a  better performance.

Monday 19 August 2013

3 new t-shirts

Today I went to Boulders for a climbing day wearing my new outdoorkit t-shirt. I am working on a green 6c lead and I have all week to red point this climb. By Friday I hope to get to the top smoothly with no mistakes.

Wednesday 10 July 2013


Yesterday in academy I did a leading and flexibility session. First, I did the big jump twice to worm up. Next I did some gymnastic moves to make me more flexible. After twenty minutes of gymnastics I lead my favourite route the roof! It makes me feel really good after doing the roof because it is the most scary climb for me in boulders because it goes up to the highest part of the roof and it makes me less scared of leading.

Wednesday 3 July 2013


Earlier today I did my academy session at Boulders. After warming up I climbed a wall using all the holds, each move I made I used a different technique. This will help me to improve my footwork. Next I used my technique to help me do a hard, crimpy holded, blue bouldering problem. First I placed both feet on the foot holds below the starting holds, I carefully moved to the next hold only able to hold it with two fingers in the hole. I balanced my feet and lifted one finger and placed  another from my other hand. Second  I managed to do the next two moves quite easily but the last four were very hard, once I had reached the volume I used the side of it to balance myself so I could move my feet up. Slowly I managed to get them up on the high holds but I couldn't keep them on for very long so I made a quick but in control move to the second last hold. Finally the top I could just reach that last hold with my feet up high I was very pleased, and just to make it even better we did some core and strength training to finish!

Friday 28 June 2013

Summit Centre

Earlier today Oscar, my dad and me went to the summit centre to train. We hadn't been there for a long time and we wanted a change from Boulders. I noticed that it wasn't as dark and the coloured holds stood out more. The new lights made the centre more inviting.

I played tag with Oscar to get my heart rate going. Once I had finished stretching I went leading with my dad. I started off with easy climbs then moved onto harder ones when I got warmer.

The grades I climbed were 6a+ to 6c. One of the climbs I did was the high orange on the overhang wall at the front of the centre. On the last 3 panels it started to get reachy and I was off balance because the climb was near the arĂȘte so my foot didn't have anything to push off. This meant that I had to hook my leg around the arĂȘte and do a small dyno to grab the next crimpy hold. I managed to stick it, clip and do the last two moves. I felt amazing because when I was reading it I didn't think was going to reach the holds because they were spaced out quite a lot.

New fleece

Thanks OutDoorKit for another great fleece.

Sunday 23 June 2013

Emily on ITV News!

ITV featured Emily on the Evening Welsh News on Sunday 23rd June 2013

Friday 21 June 2013

Emily in South Wales Echo

Following a photo shoot in Boulders on Thursday 20th June, Emily featured AGAIN in the South Wales Echo on Friday 21st June.

Thursday 20 June 2013

Interview for Capital Times

Emily was interviewed at Rhydypenau School by a journalist from the Capital Times.

Interview on YouTube:

Emily on BBC website

The BBC also covered Emily's success in this online feature. Thursday 20th June 2013

Emily on BBC South East Wales news website.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Boulders team success article in South Wales Echo

The South Wales Echo printed this piece about the Boulders team on Wednesday 19th June 2013.


Sunday 16 June 2013

British Final 15/06/2013

On the 15th of June I competed in the British youth climbing series 2013 held in EICA Ratho climbing centre.

At the competition my category had to climb a very hard blue bouldering problem I was very worried about it because some of the climbers in the group above me couldn't do it. After every climb I did I went back to the blue bouldering problem and planned how I was going to each move, what holds I was going to use and not going to use making sure I didn't make any mistakes and in all the spare time I had I was reading that hard problem. Finally the time came for me to try the blue I was chalking up and brushing all the slippery holds, I gripped the starting hold and pulled off the ground, at a medium speed I grabbed the next slopper hold matched it then skipped the pinch and placed my finger in the finger hole, with only two fingers in the hold shaking I managed to touch then grab the second last hold I was felt my heart  beating really fast so as soon as I had that second last hold straight away I went for that last hold  and  I got it! I was thrilled I couldn't have been happier with my performance!

After that I only had the  last  climb left but I slipped on the third hold from the top I thought I'd come second, It wasn't good enough for me, and I was disappointed until my name was called out first place! I was on top of the world, I didn't just get the glory I also won a 40m rope and a big trophy.