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.

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