Monday 31 March 2014

BMC Youth Climbing Series - Welsh Final

As usual, before the competition, I went to Mc Donald's and had some hash browns for breakfast. Little did I know that these hash browns weren't lucky hash browns!

When I arrived at Boulders I looked at the routes and hated them which made me feel even more nervous. Next I looked at the bouldering problems and these didn't look too bad. There was one problem which you had to crawl through like caving. This looked really cool. I was still feeling nervous about the routes but I warmed up well. I couldn't use the route I was going to for falling practise because it was roped up. We found a wall that was free but it was really short. This made me scared of falling to the ground which wasn't going to happen but my brain does believe this when I am just about to fall. If I could have two things programmed into my head for ever, they would be: not being scared of falling and times tables!

The competition was about to start and I wasn't happy or confident or anything! My judge told me my route would be orange which looked pretty easy. When it was my turn to climb I reached the 4th clip with no problems. Next I came to a crimp level with the clip and still in my comfort zone. My hands were sweaty, but I got chalk and I held on. The next hold wasn't far away but I didn't want to risk smearing in case I fell off. So I put my foot out but not up and went for the hold. I touched it but didn't grab it enough to stick it. I came down so disappointed and sad. I should have topped that climb easily! Phoebe and Hannah did well and topped the climb. I was upset because I thought that I might not qualify for the final in Ratho.

Next I tried the green climb, I got to the last quick draw but couldn't clip it because the hold I was holding felt sweaty probably because I was nervous. I dropped because I was so scared. I cried again because I thought that I could do better.

It was at least half an hours wait until the last climb which gave me time to get psyched for the last route. I really wanted to qualify for the final in first place. The other girls were really friendly and chatting to them helped take my mind off the last climb.

After everyone else had climbed I was called. I was nervous again but determined to get really far up this climb to try and gain some more points. The first bit that I thought was going to be tricky wasn't that hard. This made me less nervous and so I felt better about the part of the climb on the roof which looked hard as well. I managed to reach the roof ok but couldn't reach the hold on the other side of the wall. I was hanging around for a long time getting tired until I couldn't hold on any longer and jumped for the hold - missing it.

I did much better on the last climb and felt more confident about qualifying for the final in Edinburgh.

For a break mum, dad, Oscar and myself went to TGI Fridays to get a drink. I had an Oreo milkshake.

We just got back in time for the bouldering. Most categories had already started apart from ours as our judge had gone walkies. The first two problems were pretty easy and I competed them first try. The third problem looked really hard and I failed it on my first two attempts along with everyone else. Nobody got further than the first hold. My third attempt was my final climb of the day. If I did this I thought I had a really good chance of winning and I knew I would qualify. It was my turn to go. I held the starting holds and jumped for the next hold just grabbing it with my fingers. I then adjusted my fingers and went for the next hold which was fairly similar to the previous hold (a sloper). From here I dynoed forcing my feet and the rest of my body through the air and one hand shot out and grabbed the hold and yanked the rest of my body in. I moved through the next holds to the top dynoing for the last hold. I made it, matched it, came down and felt really happy.

When the results came out I was disappointed to be second but thrilled to qualify. Hannah came first by 5 points so the result was pretty close in the end.

Sunday 23 March 2014

Leading Ladder Grand Final - Beacon Climbing Centre

We arrived at the Travelodge hotel at about half past midnight on Thursday night/Friday morning. But little did we know that Dad didn't book our hotel for the right day. Fortunately its wasn't to busy so the receptionist managed to find a room for us.

The next morning we woke early and went next door for a Premier Inn breakfast!

Crazy Climb

After this we headed over to the Beacon centre to have a look around and a quick session on the routes.

While I was there I had a go at the crazy climb which was fun.

Later on that day we went off for a walk into Caernarfon along side the docs. It is a really nice place to visit. But it was nice also, to go back to the hotel early and and get a good nights rest before the competition.

Five Finger Thing
Beacon Centre
We arrived early at the climbing centre and registered for the leading ladder final. I was given a t-shirt with some cool writing on the front which said "Five Finger Thing".

I collected my score sheet for U16 elite category (C), looked at the grades and saw that they went from 6c+ to 7c. The highest I managed in the rounds was 6c. So I was very concerned that I wouldn't be able to do any of them. So I spoke to Rob and he put me into to the intermediate category (B). The grades for this category went from 6b - 7a. I felt much more confident about the competition after this.

I warmed up well and I tried my first climb which was an orange 6b. Near to the top of this climb I got scared. I don't normally get so afraid of falling on such easy routes but I was very nervous and I let go. I was really sad and disappointed that I had failed the first climb miserably. It took me a bit of time to relax so couldn't do any more climbs for a while. My Dad gave me a belay on some non comp routes to get me back into the swing of things. I did quite a few of these including one I didn't manage to top the day before in practice. Once, I came down I thought I was ready to do the next climb.

Next I attempted the black 6c+ which I failed because I was scared of falling again. So far I only had 1 point from the bonus on the first climb which is not very good. The next climb was a 6b+ which I also failed. The following route I tried the orange 6b again and managed to get to the top this time. This made me feel a tiny bit better but I was still really annoyed because I was not doing very well and I was expecting to do much better. Next I tried the 6c yellow and managed to get a bonus point. I tried the other climbs and used up my second and third attempts but failed to score any more points, except for a bonus point on the black 6c+. This was a difficult climb for me so I felt I had improved a little from the bad start I had had in the morning.

I didn't think I was in the top 5 but I still waited to hear the results. Surprisingly I got third place! I won a DMM chalk bag and chalk ball plus a medal and a certificate. I was very happy and shocked that I got on the podium because I thought I had climbed really badly.

Once the presentation was over we went for a nice meal in the Blackboy Inn.

The next day we went back to The Beacon Centre to try some of the climbs again. I climbed much better and managed to do a lot of the routes I didn't do during the competition. It pleased me that I topped those climbs but probably more frustrating that I didn't top them on the comp day.

UPDATE: Just found out that there were only 3 in my category - so I was LAST as well as third. Not so pleased :(

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Sunday 2 March 2014

Round 2 BMC Youth Climbing Series 2014 - Grades

Today we went back to Dynamic Rock to check out grades of the comp climbs and try some of the other routes. Here are the grades for the routes in Dynamic Rock on Saturday.

Round 2 BMC Youth Climbing Series 2014

Yesterday, was the second round of the BMC Youth Climbing Series 2014. It was held in Dynamic Rock climbing centre near Swansea. On the way there we past Port Talbot refinery and saw a flame burning from one of the chimneys. The centre wasn't open so we decided to go for a walk to pass the time, we saw a waterfall and a canal. We walked along many paths next to the river and crossed the river using a bridge by the rugby ground. We threw a few stones into the river and then went back. When we returned to the centre the doors were just opening. Perfect timing! My brother and me were at the bottom of the centre first so we got first dibs of the lockers. My dad registered us and belayed me up some climbs as a warm up, my brother Oscar didn't do any climbs to warm up because he was too busy messing around not thinking about the comp at all. 

Once the comp started the girls went rope climbing and the boys went bouldering. Some of my climbs looked hard but they were easier than they looked. I managed to top all my climbs and I was very pleased.

Once everybody had finished climbing we had lunch and went to the pub to have a drink and a rest away from all the noise. Oscar and I had a sports drink.

When we arrived back it was bouldering time. I was very exited because the first two problems looked easy. The last problem looked really hard and some of the climbers in the older categories didn't do it. I managed to do the first and second ones easily but I didn't manage to complete the third. I touched the last hold so two points were deducted from my total score. My score was 478 out of 480 which wasn't bad. After having my last go on the last problem I realised that  I had taken my last to attempts too quickly and as a result I fell off earlier that I should have. Next time I will have more rest between attempts.

My group finished early so I tried the bouldering problems again and managed to do the third problem. This was frustrating because I should have done it in the competition.

Because my group finished so early it was a long wait before the certificates were given, our judge told us our places so I knew what position I had come. Oscar and I collected our certificates and were very happy. Oscar was second for category E and I was first for category C and we have both qualified for the welsh final.