Sunday 25 January 2015

Climb-in wardrobe

When my home climbing wall was built we had to move my wardrobe out of my room because there wasn't enough space for it. My dad ordered some scaffolding poles to fix inside of my climbing wall as a rail for my clothes. We spent some time this afternoon fixing these on and I now have a climb-in wardrobe! The pole is so strong that I can campus along it to get my clothes!

BMC Youth Climbing Series 2015 Round 1 - Dynamic Rock

As usual for a competition day I woke up early on Saturday to travel to Swansea with my mum and my brother for the first round of the youth climbing series. We stopped off in McDonalds for some hash browns before heading off to the centre.

Once we arrived at the centre we went straight to look at the routes and boulders. We really liked the look of some of out climbs and couldn't wait until the competition started. This round we remembered to fill in the consent form before getting to the competition which made registration a lot easier.

I started to warm up with my brother until Joe (from Boulders) lead a competition warm up which we joined instead. Climbing started straight away after the warm up was finished.

The girls were climbing first and I was in the middle of the line up for the first climb. I am not really bothered when I climb but, if I had the choice, I would be toward the beginning. When it was my turn everyone before me had topped the route. It looked really easy and I topped it without any problems. After this I went to watch my brother on his first bouldering problem which he also topped easily.

The second climb was a bit harder than the first but I topped it fairly easily. I really enjoyed climbing this route because it was well set and interesting. I was hungry after this so I had a blackcurrant fruit smoothie to give me energy for the final route.

I watched my brother do his last two bouldering problems. He climbed really well and was in joint first place after the bouldering.

My last climb looked quite a bit harder than the other two. It looked reachy and it took me a while to figure out how best to climb it.

I was fourth up on this climb and no one had topped it yet. I started the climb and did the first five clips easily and then the climb got difficult. The move to the Saturn hold was quite far, but it was an amazing hold and I stuck it. The next two moves were harder because the holds weren't as good and they were spread apart. Once I had made these two moves it was just the move to the top left. At the time the move looked quite far so I clipped the lower off from the second top hold to be safe. I then jumped for the top anyway and it wasn't as bad as I thought.

After lunch, around 1 o'clock, we started bouldering. But first we had to wait for category B to do their first problem before we could start ours. Our first problem was really easy and almost everyone topped it.

We had a long wait for the next problems so I went to watch Osc. climb his second route which he topped easily. By this time it was my turn on the second problem. After the first person it was my turn and I was really psyched! The first bit of the problem was pretty easy and there lots of heel hooks - although it was hard to figure out when I first looked at the problem. The second part of the problem was to move out of the roof and up towards the top. I got off the roof and made it to the second top hold, but I thought that I could make this move staticly so I climbed down to shake out, but when I went back up to try again I was too tired so I failed my first attempt. On second attempt I went for the hold and made it fairly easily. I was really annoyed that I hadn't done this first time around.

The final bouldering problem I thought was the same grade as the second. It was on a overhanging wall with a flat bit at the top. I was first up on this problem, and I wanted to complete it quickly so that I could watch my brother on his final route. I had read the problem really well and managed to top it first attempt.

The competition was great fun. The routes and blocs were really good fun to climb and Oscar and I really enjoyed the day.

Boulder Academy members dominated the podium by getting 7 out of the 9 top spots and 16 podium places altogether. This is thanks to our amazing coach Simon.

See the results here:

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Blokfest - TCA Bristol

On Saturday morning we drove across the Severn Bridge again, but this time to go to Blokfest at TCA bouldering centre in Bristol. When we arrived in Bristol, I had some hash browns for breakfast  before driving on to the centre.

We arrived early and we went around to look at all of the blocs and decided which ones to climb first. By the time we had finished looking at the problems we had half an hour to warm up so my brother Oscar and I started to warm up.

The briefing started at five to 10 and it wasn't long before we were able to start the problems. I started on easy ones but underestimated one of the climbs and fell off it. It was on a flat wall and there was a square volume in the middle - the only good hold on the climb. After failing this I was annoyed because it looked easier than it was. I failed it because I wasn't facing the right way on the volume as I found out later.

I was sad after this so I took a break and then went back to try some more of the easy climbs then attempted some more of the difficult ones. Some of these really annoyed me but I managed to do a few. The cave was one of the ones that annoyed me because I couldn't stick the third move for long enough which meant I couldn't get my heel on to do the next move.

I had lunch with my brother (we had mini eggs) and then went back in to try some of the problems that I had failed earlier. I was really happy because I managed to top the problem with the square volume which I failed before. The other one I topped was one which started with two really bad holds that I could only just pull off. The next two moves were easy but then the last move was reachy (for me).

I thought that Saturday was the worst Blokfest I have done because I seemed to be irritable for most of the morning.

One of the things that annoyed me was that one of the volumes wasn't taped up and I didn't know whether I could use it or not because in the briefing they said that the only volume that was in was on another climb and that all the rest would be taped up. I saw some people using it and some people not so I didn't know what to do when I was on the climb - but I didn't use it just in case.

This Blokfest seemed to harder than the others but I don't know if this was because the problems were harder or because I was tired and irritable.

Wednesday 14 January 2015

National Bouldering Academy - Bloc Climbing Bristol

I woke up early on Saturday and my family and I went across the Severn bridge to Bristol to Bloc Climbing for the National Bouldering Academy day.

We had breakfast in McDonalds on the way and the journey only took 40 min.

When we arrived my brothers and I put our shoes on and went straight to the roof because you can climb on top of it and jump off. This was one of the things we really enjoyed on our last visit to Bloc.

At ten all the climbers sat on the sofas and Ben, Lucinda, Tom and Hamish (who coach the
national bouldering academy) took us through a power point giving us lots of useful information.

After this we went bouldering and rated each other on some different topics (some of which I didn't quite understand). This was my favourite part of the session. We did this for an hour and a half, climbing different blocs to demonstrate the techniques.

Next we listened to some more ideas that the GB team had for training that we could use. We also watched a video showing the difference between first place and second place in the World Cup.

The second place climber used strength and wasn't very efficient but the winner was efficient and balanced this was why she won.
Following that we had a half an hour break for lunch. Lunch was over quickly so we all sat down and Tom told us about massaging our muscles with a tennis ball. We went upstairs to the training room to try out the massaging technique. This was fun.

We went down stairs after this and Tom took us into the bouldering area so that we could try and make up a bloc that we would find more often in comps. I was in a group with Izzy, Fin and Oscar. We made a bloc where you run jump off a foot hold and catch a volume, you then push out to the side wall and grab a pretty bad hold before getting a high foot on the volume and pushing up to reach the top hold. It took us a few goes but we managed to do it eventually.

Once all of the groups made there bloc everyone went around trying each others blocs I managed to do them all first go accept one which was really hard. By this time it was 16:30 so we finished with a group photo.