Monday 30 June 2014

Youth Climbing Series 2014 - Super Final

I was really nervous about the super final as I had never been in one before. I had to warm up because I didn't know when I was going to be called. I got my harness and chalk bag on and I put my shoes on my chalk bag belt ready to go to isolation.

Eventually we were called to the front. They said Pippa and me were climbing for first place with Izzy and Kitty climbing for third. As soon as they had explained this to us they shoved us behind the climbing wall into isolation. We sat in a chair behind the wall fidgeting in worry of the climb. The GB team member tossed a coin for who would have the choice of when to climb. I chose heads and won the toss. I chose to go second. I said good luck to Pippa and then watched her walk off to do the climb. After hearing a big thud I knew it was my turn. I walked up to the climb and started reading it as soon as they said I had one minute. I started to read to the top by then I thought that I wouldn't get there so I concentrated on the bottom. Once I started the climb I manged to get to the lip fairly smoothly I then went around the corner and matched the sloper. I tried to clip from it but my arms were too pumped and I didn't want to fall. So I went to the under cut below the sloper. This meant I could go with my left hand to the higher hold. The Welsh crowd cheered so loudly when I got this hold I didn't realise that so many people were supporting me. I still couldn't clip because I was too tired so I decided to forget about the clip and just go as high as I could. I went another hold and the crowd cheered even louder this time - I knew then that I had won but I wanted to make sure so I went one hold higher to a foot hold before leaping off as I knew that if I missed a clip the holds above wouldn't count anyway.

The belayer had too untie my knot because it was so tight. I walked off to the Welsh group and they were all saying congratulations. I can't believe how supportive they were. Loads of people stayed to cheer me on even though they could have gone home. I asked if I had won just in case and everyone said yes and then I started crying because it was over. It must have been devastating for Pippa because I was only three holds higher.

Podium with Pippa and Izzy

My prize for first place was an experience day with DMM. Sometime in the holiday I will get a tour of their factory where they make all of their products and get to go outdoor climbing with some of their sponsored climbers.

I would like to thank all the people who supported me through this competition especially my coach Simon.

Sunday 29 June 2014

British Final of Youth Climbing Series 2014

My mum got me a pair of lucky pink shorts, a lucky pink hat and a lucky pink buff. I put these on to give me luck for the competition.

We had hash-browns for breakfast in the Premier Inn and we drove down to the centre to bagsie some seats before a load more people turned up. On our way into the centre we parked  near my coach Simon's van and saw him going into the centre. We carried in the box of Welsh team hoodies that some of the team hadn't picked up. When we got into the centre we registered and got a red t-shirt which clashed with our lucky pink stuff. We checked our routes to make sure they hadn't changed - Oscar's had changed so I helped him read the new route.

Boulders competitors met on the balcony in Ratho and Simon said to be that the year Rhos won she had a green route on the competition wall on the right hand side - the same as my final route. This gave me confidence for the competition.

Oscar and I decided to start warming up ready for when they called us to sit down on the mat. After our warm up they went through the rules and relevant stuff with us. The GB team led a group warm up and then we started the competition.

First of all I did route 1 - I was 8th in line to do it. Oscar was bouldering opposite me so my parents wouldn't miss either of us climbing. Route 1 looked easy and when it was my turn I managed to top it.

I thought next we were doing our pink route on the Sardinian Pillar. We waited until eventually someone came up to me until someone rushed me over to my first bouldering problem as no one had told me we had changed to do that. I was really nervous because I wasn't prepared to do this next but I had to put my shoes on a chalk up quickly because I had to climb immediately. I had a two second route read and off I went. I topped this problem but I didn't feel like I was prepared. I was glad I got that over with and was definitely going to be more prepared for the next climb.

Next I had my second bouldering problem. It was an orange which went upside down. I was really looking forward to this problem - it looked really fun. It made me feel relaxed like I wasn't competing. I was 5th this time so I started getting ready when the first person start because I thought the attempt would go quickly as this was a hard problem. I had read this route lots of times because the roof bit was very close to the floor and one touch of the floor with any part of my body would be the end of my attempt. I really wanted to flash this route so I tried my best. On the roof part of this climb, to get any of the moves statically without cutting loose, I had to move my legs around the wall so I was almost facing the wrong way so that could get the holds in a good position. I managed to do the main roof part and got to the first jug on the flat wall. I put my heel on and my toe and rocked over to get to the next two mini jugs. I knew once I had got these that rest of the route would be easy. I managed to get the next hold and put my foot on a snake shaped feature to reach the second top and the top hold. I matched the top and was really happy to complete the problem.

I asked my chaperone if we could have a break for lunch and she said yes. So we had some food - hooray. After lunch I waited an hour and a half for the boys to finish the pink route on the Sardinian Pillar so we could have our turn. The pink route looked really fun and we were allowed to use all features for hands and feet otherwise everyone would crash and burn in the same place! I then found out that I was 16th out of 17 people which meant it took an extra 40 minutes before my turn. While we were waiting I was able to help Oscar do his third route which was the yellow on the speed wall. He did really well on this and equaled the best in his group. Eventually it was my turn to climb. I managed to do the route up until the feature with the hole in it pretty easily. I then grabbed the feature and pulled up to the lip feature above it. This was the best feature I have ever held in my life and I managed to move off it to the next jug. I clipped off this jug because it was good and then matched the double undercut/jug. There was another undercut/jug which I moved off to the small jug just over the lip of the top of the sardinian pillar. I was pleased to get this but couldn't see the next hold. I put my foot up and tilted my head around the other side to see another jug. I didn't take my eyes off that spot and pushed off the foothold cutting loose at the same time only just grabbing the side pull. My heart was beating fast after this move because I had almost come off the climb. I put my feet back on and shoved them in a hold so they wouldn't come off again. I used my heel and rocked over to the jug on the last horizontal part of the climb. Once I had got this hold I knew I could top it from here and I had already made the mistake so I didn't have to make it again. I clipped from the next hold and manged to top the climb. I was relieved to have done the climb because I wasn't expecting to after cutting loose and nearly falling off.

Group X had completed bouldering problems and they went on to the green route which was the last one. This meant we had to do the last bouldering problem. The last bouldering problem looked hard so I had to read it a lot of times before doing it. I was really disappointed to be 13th in line to do this climb but I expected it to go fast because it was much harder than the other bouldering problems. When it was my turn I was allowed to feel all the holds I could reach as long I didn't jump off the floor so I felt as many as I could. I started the climb by going to the wrong hold first so I went back to the start without touching the floor and then moved to the right hold. Once I had got this hold I quickly moved to the next hold getting it in the exact place I did last time. The next hold was a jug - I knew this because I had seen how everyone else held it. I got the jug. The next holds were crimps - the bottom one was ok but the top one was bad. I got the bottom one ok and I moved statically to the top one making sure I had a thumb wrapped around the knob at the side of the hold. I got this securely and jumped for the final hold. I manged to stick it and matched it on my first attempt. I was really pleased, but now really nervous about my last climb because if I completed it I knew I would have topped everything and would definitely be first unless there was a super final.

We waited for a while and I was 10th in line to do my last climb. I watched everyone really carefully and did a route read about 50 times. Finally it was my time to climb - I almost cried at the start because I was so nervous. Once I got on I manged to get to the peach volume with no problems. It got slightly harder then because it got to the more overhanging part of the wall, but this didn't stop me getting further. I managed to get to the red volume four holds from the top. I put my foot high and rocked over to get the next hold and quickly moved on as this hold wasn't very good. I didn't know whether to clip from hold or move to the top - I had to make a choice fast so I went to the top hold and clipped from there topping the route. I was really pleased when I came down because I was definitely winning.

Now I just had to wait for the other competitors to finish before I knew if I had won or whether there was going to be a super final. I had to wait a while but eventually Pippa managed to top all the routes as well so she was in a super final with me.

Friday 27 June 2014

BMC youth climbing series 2014

On Wednesday 25th of June my bother, parents and I drove to Carlisle to brake up a long journey to Edinburgh. The reason we were going to Edinburgh was because previously Oscar and I had qualified for the British youth climbing series and it was going to be held in Edinburgh, Ratho climbing centre! Oscar and both really wanted to win this comp so we needed a good night sleep.

We traveled the rest of the way on Thursday after a short lie in. I wanted to go to the centre when we aririved because we couldn't check–in to the premier inn until 4:00. We decided to go to the centre to kill some time and to have a easy session before having a meal in the hotel bar.

Sunday 22 June 2014

Rock UK

Earlier today I went up to Rock UK with my Dad and brother Oscar. We decided to go to Rock UK because the walls are high than boulders so it would be good practice for the competition. The comp is going to be held next week on the high walls in Ratho. I am looking forward to Ratho this year because its my third year and I had so much fun last year and the year before.

After arriving at the centre my brother and I did a couple of laps of the centre before some traversing. I traversed all the way around the wall and on the last move I dynoed to the finger board jugs. After this I did a 5+ warm up climb falling at every clip to make sure I wasn't scared. Next it was Oscars turn to climb so I tried the auto belay I managed at 6b.

 I  need something harder so I did a 6c+  Orange on the mini roof wall next to the auto belay. It was really
reachy, I new I was going to struggle before I started the climb! I found the first part of the climb up to the first mini roof ok. But the first and only move on the actual roof was really far I had to get my foot so high to reach it. I only just got it. I clipped and managed to get to the next and last mini roof. It was another big move but I managed to do it and complete the rest of the climb even though I was very pumped.

 I attempted some other climbs before trying a 7c+. I got to the 5 clip and then fell off. I got back on and with all my determination managed to complete it only falling off again once! I was really please with myself it was one of my best climbs of the day. I was then tired so I rested and had a drink.

After the routes I went bouldering I managed to complete a V7 and a V6. I attempted an orange hard bloc, it took me a couple of goes to do it but I felt really good once when I had finished it.

Both my brother and I were getting tired now so we decided to go home. I though I had a good session this morning and I am feeling more confident for the comp now than I was before.

Monday 9 June 2014

Youth Color Climbing Festival 2014 - Grades

The following are the grades for the girls pupil category:

Day 1 - Morning:

1. Orange 7a - "School For Cool"
2. Green 7b
3. Blue 7b

Day 1 - Afternoon:

4. Yellow 6c - "Thin Air"
5. Blue 7b+ - "Scenic Tour"
6. Black 7b+ - "YBF 1. Quali"

Day 2 - Morning:

7. Yellow 7a
8. Orange 7c+ - "YBM 2. Quali"
9. Grey 7a - "Over Night"

Picture of the grade sheet

Photo with all the routes

Area 47 - Deep Water Soloing

The day after the competition we went to Area 47. Area 47 has a few different areas with different activities, but we went to the Water Area.

Inside there were diving boards, slides and deep water soloing! The first time I went deep water soloing I was scared of the water and wouldn't jump in and the same with diving! I kept trying to jump off the board until my mum came and encouraged me to do it! It was amazing, so fun, I even did the higher board with my brother Oscar.

This gave me much more confidence for deep water soloing. Oscar and me jumped in and swam over to the wall. I climbed to the top and Oscar climbed half way and we both jumped off with no hesitation. We kept on doing it and had so much fun! I was great practise for the deep water soloing comp I entered at Exeter in August! Can't wait!

Sunday 8 June 2014

Youth Color Climbing Festival 2014 Day 2

Again I woke up at 6:30 but didn't have a lot of picnic left as we had eaten most of it the day before. I got my climbing bag ready and grabbed the football for the boys to to play with while I was reading routes and waiting for my turn. Instead of getting a taxi my Dad drove us to the centre this meant we could bring more stuff.

Once we arrived at the centre I went to the indoor part of the centre and started warming up with Kitty and Holly. I did a big warm up the same as yesterday because it worked well, maybe better than my usual one.

After warming up I went down to the outside arena but unluckily missing some of the first demo. I saw the other demo's. On the yellow route the demonstrator should have been timed out because he took ages to get to the top. For one of the boys routes the demonstrator fell off. I couldn't believe the routes were that hard.

There were only three routes today and my first one was the yellow. I thought it looked hard but not as hard as the other climbs I was going to do. By the time I had finished warming up it was my turn. I did well and got to the 4th from the top and was really pumped. I knew I was too pumped to top it so I held the next hold, only just, and got 1 more point.

The next climb was the orangey-yellow, it looked the hardest climb in the comp. I read it as much as I could and I thought I could get to the overhang but I fell off at the second clip. I was really-really disappointed with this because I thought I could get further.

My final climb was grey and it was a disaster! I was really looking forward to this and thought that I could top it. But I was concentrating on the top bit when I was doing the first few moves. I tried to clip from a side pull but my foot slipped and I barn doored. I tried to hold it the other side so I wouldn't fall off, but it was useless. I only got 4 points on this climb. This mistake cost over 10 places in the competition!!! It will never happen again. Ever!

I was really disappointed with this and cried. I couldn't think of what I did well because I was so annoyed with that climb.

We went up to the cafe to wait for the rest of the climber to finish. Kitty and Holly's coach came to talk to me and told me I did really well on my other climbs and that it happens to everyone. This was nice of her and made me feel better about the competition.

Once everyone had finished the presentation started. They call up every climber who entered and everyone got to choose a prize. I got a rucksack which I am now using for my climbing equipment when I go training.

I really enjoyed the competition and it was really good experience. It will definitely help me in the YCS final in Ratho. But I came the lowest place I have ever come in any competition 38th. Previously my lowest position was 5th. I hope this is the lowest place I will come in my whole life.

Saturday 7 June 2014

Youth Color Climbing Festival 2014 Day 1

I got up at 6:30 on Saturday ready to get a taxi to the climbing centre. My mum got some food together and because it had been so hot on Thursday and Friday we packed loads of drinks. We were expecting it to be raining in Imst and had brought all our waterproof coats, but not much summer clothing.

Soon the taxi arrived and we were in the centre by 7:45. When we got out the taxi it was freezing and windy so we put all our jackets on and thought that the weather forecast had been right. As I forgot my passport for registration the day before I had to show it today to get my number for the competition. It was a good thing that I remembered it!

Once I had got my number, I went down to the indoor arena to warm up. Ian so I joined in their warm up. It was great to warm up with the GB team! After some mobility we went inside for some easy climbing. I did laps of the bouldering wall. This was much more that I do on my usual warm up before competitions.

Down at the wall it was time for the demos (called forerunners in Austria). As usual the demo people were way too tall - not the size of most group C girls.

I was 17th in line for my first climb which was the yellow route. It looked hard at the bottom, but got easier towards the top. I watched the other climbers attempt the route and borrowed my Dads camera to zoom in and get a better look at some of the holds.

Finally it was my turn to climb. From the floor to the start of the overhang I managed to climb. It was quite hard and made me quite tired. Once I got onto the overhang I manage to do the next two clips, but I was too tired to go on. Even though I tried to move to the next hold, the belayer had taken in the slack too tight so I couldn't move and fell off. I was sad when I came down because I thought that I was going to do it.

My next climb was a blue. It looked easier than the yellow, but not that easy. I was really looking forward to doing this climb because it was my chance to do better than I did on the yellow. I enjoyed the blue climb because I tried my best and got to 4 holds from the top. I think I could have got to the top if I didn't get so tired.

The last climb of the morning was a green and in my opinion the hardest climb of the three. At this time my Dads friends Neil and Daniella arrived to watch the climbing. They just missed the blue climb, but were in time for the green. When I was watching the other climbers everyone seemed to fall off at one hold close to the top. I managed to reach this bit, but it was really bad so I know why a lot of people fell off at that point. I managed to get the hold and move off to the next hold which was a big pocket. Once I got the hold I went to clip and managed to get it in but fell off afterwards because I was tired. This was the end of the morning, we went to have a drink and a snack in the cafe because it was so hot.

Once we finished lunch it was time for the demos for the next three climbs. I wasn't please to find out that the routes the boys did in the morning were my next routes.

The first route I had in the afternoon was the yellow - the other side of the blue I did in the morning. This one didn't look too bad - the easiest so far. When it was my turn I managed to top the route, my first top of the comp. I was really pleased after this climb because it was one of the climbs I thought I would get to the top of an actually did.

My next route was the blue - it looked very crimpy and was one of the tallest of the routes so far. I read it with my Dad using the camera to zoom into the hold as we didn't have any binoculars. Once I had finished reading the route it didn't look as bad as I thought it was. I began the climb and thought I was going to fall off the first move because it was really hard. I didn't fall and managed to get to the start of the overhand. I clipped the clip and then tried to go for one of the minature crimps in the volume, but I couldn't get my fingers in in time so I fell off. I think I did OK on this climb, but maybe could have done a bit better if I wasn't so pumped.

The black was my last of the day and also looked the hardest. It looked doable after I read it with my dad using the camera. When I started the climb the first move was very difficult and I thought I was going to come straight off. Luckily I managed to hold on and clip the first clip. I then carried on with the climb until I got to the volume, I clipped the clip next to it but the move was really hard and the hold was awful and I wasn't sure if I was going to make it, but I just managed it. Once I had done this move I was pretty pumped but managed two more clips and then fell off. I was disappointed with myself because I thought I could have got past that move if I wasn't so tired. I have done moves like that before.

We went back to the apartment and then met up with Neil and Daniella in their hotel. The meal we had in the hotel was really good. Once we had eaten we went back for a reasonably early night.

Friday 6 June 2014

Registration for Youth Color Climbing Festival 2014

After training we sat in the cafe at the climbing centre for a long time - cooling down as we were all really hot. My dad ordered pizza just as Ian, the GB team coach arrived and came over to talk to us. He gave me some useful tactics for the comp and asked me if I wanted to warm up with the GB team. I really wanted to be part of the GB team so it would be great to climb with them and get to know everyone. At 5.00 I went to register. I got my T-shirt and Imst sweat band but didn't know you had to bring your passport so I didn't get my number. I would have to remember my passport on Saturday - oops.

Thursday 5 June 2014

Training at Kletterhalle Imst

The centre didn't open until 2pm. I also noticed that all the shops in Austria had weird opening and closing times. I was really excited to see the wall.

When we arrived we asked if we could climb on the outside walls but we couldn't because the route setting was still going on for the competition.

Outdoor competition wall

The first thing I did was find all the different walls, rooms and facilities. I really liked the inside of the centre, especially the big overhangs and the different shaped holds! It had a balcony area for spectators and a wide range of climbs! I did some of the tall climbs first in preparation for the competition climbs because from what I could see the comp wall routes would be very long.

I attempted an Orange 7a and got really pumped on the top so I chickened out! I was pretty disappointed in myself as I had been practicing falling for weeks before the competition. I had a break before trying it again. This time I managed to get to the second top. The last hold was a long jump but I was happy that I went for it with no fear.

This happened a lot during the session. I kept giving up because I was afraid of falling. However, I am glad it happened in the training session instead of on the competition day.

After I completed a hard red climb that I had got anxious on we decided to finish the session.

I noticed that they name all of their routes. I thought this was a good idea because then when you want to talk about a route with another climbers they know exactly which one your on about.

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Imst - Arrival

It was dark when we got to Imst, Austria, but I really wanted to see the centre so we did a quick drive by. We couldn't see much of the outside wall where the competition was going to be held, but the inside wall looked awesome!

Kletterhalle Imst

It had been a long day of driving so we headed over to our apartment in Tarrenz - Salvesenheim.

The apartment had a huge amount of space even with 6 of us and overlooked the Salvesen river.


Gaswerk Climbing Centre Zurich

When we were driving into Zurich we thought it would be a good opportunity to try out the biggest climbing centre in Europe as we were passing through on the way to Austria. We picked up a hire car and used Google Maps on my Dad's phone to navigate there. We didn't realise that data roaming cost so much in Switzerland and my Dad ran up a bill of 39 pounds in 20 minutes!

We got to the centre and saw a van for the Slovenia climbing team in the car park!

Inside the centre was amazing. There were lots of different rooms with many  of different angles of wall and training equipment.

We were really impressed at how different the walls were to the other centres we have been to. Some were extremely overhanging and some were mega slabs! I could almost walk up the slab without my hands!

As well as the many rooms there was a balcony with a large lead wall and a boulder wall. It was a hot day and the mats had a shiny plastic cover which burned my skin when I sat down!

I started with a couple of leads on the outdoor walls. It was really fun to climb outdoors as it was such a nice day and I had never done it before. It was good experience for the competition as we expected it would also be on outside walls.

Next we went inside to try some of the mega tall overhangs and this was the wall the Slovenia Climbing team were training on.

On this climb to make sure I wasn't scared of falling I took a whipper from the top of the climb. Another reason I did this was because I didn't know how to clip the lower-offs in this centre - see picture!

After doing a few more climbs we decided that we ought to head off for Austria before it got too dark!

Sunday 1 June 2014

One of my best climbs

The new pink one
Today I went to Boulders in the morning to have a session to do some falling practice. This is to make sure I am ready for the colour climbing festival competition I am going to in Austria. I did the orange 6b on the roof to make sure I was fully warm. I needed to be well warmed up today because I really wanted to flash this ungraded pink route next to the roof. Once I had read this route carefully I attempted it.

The first moves up until the sloper were fine. But the sloper was awful so I had to move off it quickly. The next move I held and I clipped the third quick draw. From the ground the next move didn't look as reachy as it actually was. It was massive, I moved my feet in all different ways and tried my best to reach it but it was no use. So I jumped for it. I wasn't expecting to hold it but I managed to.

My arms were getting pumped so with out any thought I clipped. I had made a prediction at the start saying if I can get to the fourth clip I could finish it. I was determined to do it so I pushed on.

The next moves to clip number 5 were hard with pumped arms but I was only one clip away from the top. I had to do it. I shook my hands to de-pump my arms a little as the hold I was holding was good. The next hold was ok, and good enough to clip from. I managed the clip and quickly and grab the mini jug/crimp with one hand and the long sloper with the other. I tried to push over and grab it but it was to far and there was no foot holds on my right hand side to stand on. So I put my foot on the other wall and bridged between the foot hold and the wall. I couldn't quite reach the hold so I pull up the rope and clipped the top first which I was only just tall enough to do. I was at my full stretch.

When I came down I was so pleased. My Dad was pleased as well. After a long rest I decided to do the purple 7a on the roof. I try this every session because I always get to the second from the top hold and I really wanted to complete it. I saved my energy all the way up the wall until the final move. I tried rocking up but I couldn't because my hand hold was a under cut so I jumped and only just missed it. It was a bit disappointing but I was happy that I gave it my best shot.

I had another break before trying an orange route that started on a flat wall, and then went on to two hanging volumes that hung from a steel beam at the top of Boulders. The climb finishes with one hold on the slightly overhanging wall opposite the vert wall. I tried this climb and managed to get all the way to second from top with out any problems. Once I clipped the last overhanging clip I did a powerful move to the final hold and missed it but didn't fall off. The same happened the next time and the next. I was really tired by this time and thought I was going to fall off but I gave it one last go, which was definitely worth it because I got it! I was really happy with that. I decided to swing rather than clipping the top for fun!

I thought today was one of my best sessions I tried 3 climbs that were hard and I managed 2.