Sunday 24 August 2014

Outdoor Bouldering at Ogmore

Yesterday, my coach Simon invited Boulders Academy on a trip to Ogmore beach to do some outdoor bouldering. I was really excited and looking forward to having my first experience bouldering outside on real rock!

We met up in the car park at Ogmore beach. My whole family came along, even my little brother Silas. When we all arrived Simon walked us around to the first bouldering area and gave us a tour.

The bouldering area was bigger than I thought. It had loads of different types of problems. It had a roof, a traverse and a tube.

When Simon had shown us around, Oscar and I got our shoes on, grabbed a mat (we borrowed this because we don't have one yet) and paired up with Gwen and Fin to spot each other. The first problem we tried was the one closest to our stuff. It was an easy problem but it was our first time outdoor bouldering so we didn't mind what the grades were.

After this easy problem we moved on to the tube. This looked really fun as we had seen from Simon's tour. The first thing we had to do was grab a load of big rocks to put under the mats as the bottom of the tube was a rock pool. Once the mats were down we chalked up an each had a go on the tube. I accidentally did it the hard way because I didn't know which was the easy way and which was the hard way.

Next I tried a traverse - this was probably the coolest traverse I have ever done in my life! I found it hard to find the different holds because I couldn't keep my feet on. I slipped of on my first go but I remembered where not to go on my second attempt and topped it.

Another fun problem was the roof. I tried this problem next because it was just to the left of the tube. We took the mats and put them on the rocks and then moved all the big stones into the rock pool underneath the roof - otherwise we would have been shallow water soloing!

After a couple of goes I managed to top the roof - it was awesome!

Simon had just taught me how to use heel hooks properly a few weeks ago and I put them to good use on this problem - they really helped.

Just before we had lunch we found a narrow walkway with problems on either side. I got a little bit scared on this one because the walls were a little bit close together and I didn't want to whack myself on the other side. When I reached the top I jumped between the two walls because it was fun!

It was lunch time and we found a cave and we climbed through it with our lunch and climbed out the other side on top of the rocks. We climbed down a little to a ledge where Oscar, Gwen, Fin and me sat and ate our lunch.

After lunch we tried some problems on the other side. I tried the problem on the corner of the other side. It was really cool and you could see where you needed to go because of all the chalk marks.

On my first go I used my heel and failed but on my second go I used both my toes and topped it!

It was time to pack up and move on to the next bouldering area. I packed up my stuff but saw this problem and had to try it before we left. It took a couple of goes but I managed to top it - it was a cool problem.

Simon took us further along the beach to another bouldering area. We sat down by a cave entrance. Simon told us that this would lead out to the beach. It was fun going through the tunnel and we met up with Ollie and the other Boulders team on the beach. Simon threw all the mats down and came down to the beach.

We unclipped the mats and placed them under two slabs. I tried the easy one first and climbed over the top and came back down through the tunnel.. I rested for a bit then tried the harder slab. I slipped off in the middle of this climb on my first attempt but on my second I managed to top it.

I next tried a problem on the opposite side of the beach with Ben and Rebecca but it was really, really hard and none of us managed to top it. This problem hurt our hands a lot because it was covered in barnacles. After a while I moved on to climb next to me that my brother Oscar was trying. This was his favourite problem and he had done it about a hundred times already! It wasn't difficult but it was fun and interesting. When I reached the top I climbed over the edge and had to walk all the way around the cliff dodging gaps that you could fall through.

For my final climb I tried a tall hard climb really close to the shore and the tide was coming in fast! By the time I was half way the tide had almost covered my landing spot - so the mats had been moved. I managed to do it - only just. I climbed over the edge and stayed there as this was my final problem.

My dad was still down in the bouldering area and threw up our bags and I caught them from the top and put them on the rocks.

Ollie and the Boulders team lit the BBQ but unfortunately my Mum had disappeared off to the car and wanted to head back : (

I was disappointed we couldn't stay but we had loads of fun bouldering. Thanks to Simon for taking us out and showing us some cool blocs.

We will definitely visit this area again to try out all the problems we didn't get around to doing.

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