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.