Sunday 30 November 2014

Stanage Edge Bouldering

Today Simon and Liam took me and Oscar bouldering in Stanage. This was a short drive out of Sheffield and a muddy walk up to the rocks. The shoes I had to choose from for the walk up were crocs or heelies. I chose the crocs because I thought the wheel would get clogged up with mud.

The first rock we went to was an easy slab called the bull or something like that. We laid our mats out and gave it a go. Me and Oscar both managed to do it first go. So we decided to take our pads and moved onto another boulder. It was slightly wet but dry enough to have a go. It took a lot of attempts to compete this climb because it was really hard and I had to figure out the best way of doing it. Once we had topped it a couple of times we went around the back of the boulder and tried a slab. We made up some routes, found some cool holds and climbed on top of the boulder. When we jumped off the top of the boulder my snap pad gave us a really soft landing.

It was getting late and we only had time to try one more problem. We walked over to the green traverse and joined some people who were already climbing there. I had a few goes but I kept getting stuck on the crimps because I couldn't find anywhere to put my feet.

It was getting late so we made our way back to the car and drove home.

This was only my third time bouldering outside and I really enjoyed it. Even though Stanage was crowded there were so many problems to try. It would be awesome to go again.

Saturday 29 November 2014

BMC Junior Lead Cup 2015 - Round 1

On the morning of the competition we got up early and went to the Premier Inn restaurant for breakfast. After breakfast we rushed all our bags into the car because my dad forgot to book the room for the Saturday night so we had to checkout early.

We got to Awesome Walls later than I wanted to but were still in time for registration. I found out after registration that I was number 1. I thought it was impossible to get number 1 because my dad always registers me late for the competitions. Being number 1 meant that I was climbing first so I quickly took a look at my qualifying routes. I had a quick look at the second but focused on the first.

My first qualifier looked OK. There was a couple of hard moves and reaches but I thought that I could do them. I spent half an hour reading the route and the rest of the time warming up. The route wasn't too bad but I hadn't read it enough or warmed up enough. I managed to top the route but I wasn't as satisfied as I normally am when I top a climb.

I knew it would be a long time until our next route because there were 23 in our category! So when my coach arrived he read the second qualifier with me. At first I thought it was really hard, but when my coach read it with me and we watched the boys climb it seemed to get easier. While I was waiting for everyone to finish the first route and for my turn on the second I scooted around the centre on my new heelies!

About half an hour before it was my turn to climb I started to warm up in the bouldering area and using the auto-belays. I felt better before this route than before the last one because I had more time to read the route and warm up.

I started the route and climbed well until I got over the lip. When I got over the lip I clipped the clip but found it really hard to pull to the next hold which was an undercut. I pinched the undercut because I as struggling to pull up.

Eventually, I managed to pull up and clip and I wasted a lot of energy doing this but still had plenty left. Once I had got past this bit the rest was fairly straight forward and I topped the route.
I went to see my coach Simon after this and I told him that I hadn't climbed as well as I normally do and he told me that there was a foot hold under the lip that I couldn't see as I was climbing. Using this would have made the route much easier.

We went out for lunch to a pub called the Harlequin where I had a chip butty with cheese the size of my face which I couldn't finish! Once we got back from the pub, I found out that I had qualified first which meant I would be last to climb in the final. I did a couple of laps on the auto belay before going into isolation.

In isolation I thought about what routes I could have and hoped it would the yellow on the left side that Cat B,A and Junior all did in qualifying. I want to compare how well I would do with the higher categories as I had been competing against a lot of the girls before they moved categories.

When Rob called us out for observation he told us that the girls C final was the yellow on the left - exactly the one I had hoped it would be. It looked hard in some parts and OK in other parts. The bit I was worried about was where you had to climb down one move and reach across. There were also reaches around this part. The top of the route looked quite but I focused my route read on the middle.

There was a long until I came out to climb because there were 8 finalists in my category. When I eventually did come out I walked over to the route and looked at it one last time before attempting it. When I started the route I was bit nervous but I knew this was a GB team selection event so I was determined to do well. The first bit was all jugs until the bit where you had to climb down. This was hard but I got past it OK. To the next clip was all mini jugs and was quite easy. After this clip there was a couple of good holds which I clipped off before going to the sloper. I slapped the sloper, pushed it and stuck it. I was really pumped but managed to get two holds higher and then my arms gave up and I fell off.

When I came down my belayer told me that I had won and I was really happy. When I compared the scores for this route across the categories, only Catrin did better than me in category B and there were three girls in category A who got further.

Just before the presentations Rob announced that the GB team selection would be on the BMC website on Monday. I really hope I have done enough to make it onto the team.

I really enjoyed the competition. It was a really well organsied and the route setting was perfect. The top climbers were split really well.

Sunday 16 November 2014

Junior Irish Lead Climbing Championships (ILCC)

After a McDonald's breakfast we went to Awesome walls to register for the Junior Irish Lead Climbing Championships. We were nice and early so we had lots of time to see the routes. At first glance the routes look OK. Upstairs in registration I got a goody bag. In the goody bag there was a green competition t-shirt, a number (18) and leaflets about nutrition, hydration and some other useful training topics.
When I read the routes a bit more they looked harder than I had initially thought. But after reading them properly I thought that I could top them.

At 10:30 the demo started for the first qualifier. They made it look easy which made me feel even better about it.

I was 6th to climb. I got to the last part easily but then the judge shouted at me for moving my leg past the black tape. I though I had been disqualified even though I hadn't touched the arret. I didn't hear what the judge said but I carried on climbing anyway. It put me off but I still managed to top it. I asked if it had counted and it had so I was relived.
I waited until 12:00 for the next demos to start.I watched them and they gave me more confidence. I was up first so after the demos I went down stairs to get tied in.

I was a bit nervous but that soon went away after I started the climb. All the holds were positive on the climb so it was pretty easy I topped it even though I had thought that some of the holds might be bad. I was so pleased that I topped both routes and got to the final.

I watched the rest of my category climb and then went to a restaurant to get some food before the final.

We came back at 14:30 and the qualifying scores were up I was joint first with Pippa and was second last to attempt the final route.

We waited until  15:25 and then ran upstairs to isolation. I then waited even longer to go out for observation. At 16:00 we went down for observation. I had the green route on my qualifying wall. At first it looked hard but seemed to get easier the more I read it. We only had 6 mins to view the route so I soon had to go back up stairs to wait until it was my turn.

I got tied in as soon as Kirsten went out to climb. I was really excited and really wanted to top the climb. When I walked downstairs to climb I put my stuff under the scoreboard. I was already tied in and had my shoes so I got on after a 3 second refresh of the route.

The first three clips were easy, the fourth was a bit harder. In between the fourth and fifth clips I did a mini jump and got the hold. The next few moves were OK - my favourite one was where I rolled out from a side pull and grabbed the next hold because I don't usually do things like that and it was something new. I was nervous as I got closer to the top because I knew I would be gutted if I fell off at that point. The last two moves were difficult and I was really happy to have done them. 

This meant that I had topped the route. I thought that I had done it quite quickly and hoped it was enough to win even if it went back to time and countbacks.

Once everyone had finished climbing I was told that I had won and I was really happy. We watched the other categories' finals. Whilst we were watching Damien came up to us and told us the first prize was a sixty euro voucher for the shop and that we should start having a look because we were flying back early Sunday morning. I looked in the shop and decided to put my voucher towards a GRIGRI as I didn't have one.

It was awesome to be on the podium again and I really enjoyed the competition. I am definitely going again next year. Thanks to all the route setters as the routes were fantastic and set just at the right level to split the categories. Also, the competition ran exactly to time which proved the organisers were very good.

The results can be found here: Results
Report from Mountaineering Ireland here; Report

Friday 14 November 2014

Awesome Walls - Dublin

On our first day in Dublin we got up late and went to check out Awesome Wall which was the venue for the Junior Irish Lead Climbing Championships on the weekend. 

The centre was awesome because there was 2 floors of bouldering as well as a massive overhanging lead wall. I climbed a few routes and did a bit of bouldering. I also made this video:

Sunday 9 November 2014

Welsh Climbing Championship 2014

First place

Yesterday I got up and went to Boulders for the Welsh Climbing Championships. The car park was almost full when we got there, but we managed to find a space around the back. It was pouring with rain and there was a massive queue to get into Boulders but I passed the queue and found out it was only for registration so I decided to register later.

We went into Pebbles, the Boulders play area, to dump our stuff off. After this I went to look at the routes. My routes looked awesome and it was great to have so many new routes in Boulders. Once I had finished reading the routes I registered for the competition and got my t-shirt.

Warm Up

It took a while for the competition to get start so I warmed up in the bouldering area with my brother Oscar. There were 14 girls in my category (C) and I was climbing first on the first route. I was really happy about this because I don't like to wait around and get nervous.

When it was my turn I was really excited to be the first person to try the route. It was quite easy and I got to the top no trouble.

Route 2
The second route was a little harder but still OK and I got to the top.

After the second I knew there was going to be a long time to wait before we would start the third route. I spent some time reading the third route and then played around in the bouldering area with Sophie and Oscar.

Boulders was as busy as I have ever seen it yesterday. Over 160 competitors turned up each bringing some family members. The atmosphere was awesome and it was really nice to have so many people cheering me on.
The Crowd

My third route (yellow) was probably the most difficult route out of all those I attempted because it had loads of slopers which were really hard to grip.

I managed to get to the first four clips easily. From clip four to five was harder because there was a banana hold in the middle. I moved off the it and climbed to the next to the bananana hold witch was horizontal and slopery. I matched it and shuffled across it to the next sloper/pinch. It was ok and I had come across it before so I managed to move off it to another rubbish sloper but I held it and the rest of the holds were crimps so I topped it!

3rd Route
We next had a lunch break and Joby interviewed me for Boulders. After this we meet with my godparents for lunch at T.G.I Fridays. We always go out in the middle of competitions to relax.

When we came back  I went straight into isolation for the semi finals. We had 8 minutes to read the route. It was the orange opposite the logo wall. I thought it looked OK and was looking forward to it. I was last out as I had qualified in first place.

When I came out I was quite nervous as 9 people had climbed before me and I had been waiting for ages. The first part of the route was OK and then in the  middle there was one small reach but I managed to get past it. The rest of the route was really reachy. I got through all of the reaches except for the last one which I had to go for slower so I didn't slip. I got the hold and went for the top one and was very happy to have done it.

There was a small wait before our judge told us to meet next to the TV. We were shown the route. It was a yellow opposite the roof. We then we found out that other groups were climbing it and we would have to wait some time before we could read it and go into isolation. We had half an hour wait. After two minutes we were called back and Simon told us that our climb had been changed to the yellow next to the roof so we wouldn't have to wait.

We went to read the route and had eight minutes again before going into isolation. I was last up again as I had qualified first. When I went out I was really excited. I got past the first four clips and up to the roof. I stood up on my leg around the corner and felt the mini jug. Once I had this hold it took me a while to figure out how to reach the next hold as my first attempt at going for it didn't work. I finally got it and clipped. I was now on a flat wall. I bridged across the two holds and grabbed the third last hold. It was rubbish and so was the next one but I managed to pop for the top one and hold it. It was awesome to have topped every route in the comp.

I knew I had won because I topped the climb and countbacks were in my favour. I was really happy and spent the time waiting for presentations in the bouldering area with my friends.

In the presentations I got an epic trophy which was made from climbing holds, some offset nuts and a Mad Rock chalk bag. See pictures.

It was a great competition with an amazing turnout. The routes were fun to climb, they had lots of volumes and large holds which I am rubbish at so it gave me a good challenge.

Thanks to Simon and all the route setters for setting such great routes and to Boulders for hosting the competition.

You can find the results here: Results

Sunday 2 November 2014

More new kit!

On Friday I went to Boulders for a training session with my coach Simon. We had a really good session on the finger boards. I got two huge blisters on my fingers though. After the session Joby Boulders shop manager gave me some Boulders jumpers, a chalk bag and a SNAP bouldering mat as they are now sponsoring me! 

Here are some pictures of my new kit: