Tuesday 31 March 2015

BMC Youth Climbing Series Welsh Final 2015 - Time-lapse

At the youth climbing series welsh final event this year, held in the Beacon Centre, my Dad and I set up a time-lapse video. It has got almost all the top-rope and lead routes in it plus podiums. I have posted it on youtube.

Here is a link to the video:


Sunday 22 March 2015

BMC Youth Climbing Series 2015 - Welsh Final Route Grades

We went back to the centre on Sunday to try out different routes and here are the grades for the competition climbs:
  1. purple 5c
  2. green 5c
  3. orange 6a+
  4. red 6b 
  5. purple ? (around 6b+)
  6. black 6b+ 
  7. orange 6c+
  8. wood 7a+
  9. yellow 7a+
  10. green 7b+
  11. wood 8a+

BMC Youth Climbing Series 2015 - Welsh Final

On Friday afternoon my parents, my brother and I drove to Caernarfon for the BMC youth climbing series welsh final. It was a long drive and we arrived around half past six. We went straight to the Beacon centre to have a quick look at all the routes. We made an estimate of which ones we would have in the comp before going to the Premier Inn to have some food. It was getting late so we went straight to bed after eating.

On the morning of the competition, I woke up early, had breakfast and drove to the Beacon centre. My brother Oscar and I had a look at the routes and bouldering problems as the route cards were up. I thought that the bouldering problems looked pretty easy (Girls C's problems problems were the same and Boys D). The first two routes looked OK, but the final route looked harder. I didn't like it because it had wooden holds and I am not used to climbing them.

I started to warm up after this to make sure I was ready by the time the competition climbs started. When Chris gave the briefing he let us know that girls were climbing routes first and boys were bouldering. I was happy about this because I like climbing routes first.

We were warmed up and ready by the time we were put into our groups. Our first route was really short and easy. It was also right next to the bouldering area where my brother was bouldering. I was 4th up on the first climb and as I expected everyone topped this climb including me.

There was a half an hour before I climbed the second route so I supported my brother Oscar in the bouldering. The purple was the second route and I was third up. This was a much longer route and was about double the length of first one. When it was my turn I was keen to get started because it was a long wait between the first and second climbs. The start of the climb was really simple and everyone got past it. The second half of the climb was where it got harder because the holds got worse but I managed to top it.

There was a even longer break between the second and third climb and I couldn't wait to get started.  I warmed up while the demoer was demoing. I watched the first climber then tied in straight away so that I could get on the wall quickly.When I started I was a bit nervous but I got less nervous as I climbed higher. There were quite a few jugs but lots of crimps and slopers. Clipping was quite easy because there were obvious clipping positions, it was just a long route and a bit pumpy at the top. The top move was quite big but I managed to do it. I was really happy that I managed to top all the routes in the competition.

Earlier in the day S4C had come up to me and asked if they could do an interview. I said I couldn't speak fluent Welsh so I didn't do it. However, my Welsh teacher from school happened to be at the competition with her daughter Shani who was also competing. Behind my back, my mum spoke to her about helping me out with a few welsh phrases. In the end I did do the interview as they thought it would be a good idea to have a Welsh learner on the programme

It was almost 2 hrs until we started the bouldering.

My first bouldering problem was easy. I had to go first on the problem but I was not nervous at all and I did it. Because I was first I had to wait for everyone else to finish the first climb and then went to the back of the queue for the second problem. So I had to wait for everyone else to climb again. This meant I had time to help Oscar read his routes.

My next problem was yellow and a bit harder than the first. My brother Oscar had topped this and the first one in the morning so I really wanted to top it. I wasn't nervous for this climb either. There was a big move off the volume which I managed okay and made it to the top.

After this problem we went straight upstairs to do the final boulder. The climb looked harder than the second one because it had a big, shouldery, move. The first part was easy and I held the undercut underneath the wall just for the extra points in case I slipped. I then jumped for the afro-hair hold and caught it. I was then able to complete the rest of the climb.

I was really pleased to have topped all routes and boulders in the final and I really enjoyed the day.

We were told we would receive our trophies in Ratho in April because the BMC hadn't send them to the Beacon centre. I got a belay, some stickers and a DMM mug as a prize.

South Wales did really well and we beat North Wales again. Afterwards we (Boulders academy) celebrated our success in the Anglesea Arms.

Monday 9 March 2015

GB Team Assessment Weekend - Day 2

I woke up really late on Sunday so I had to rush to get my bags packed so that we could get to the centre by 10:00. I went downstairs for breakfast and had the full English breakfast - it was really nice. We got to the centre at 10:00 and the whole team went upstairs for a talk with Sue, Ian, John and Molly about our goals. My goals are:

1.  To onsight an 8a this year
2.  To win a European competition.
3.  To win the world championship.

After the talk we when downstairs to do a team warm up, Molly and Alex led it. We ran down the road and played tag in a garden which was really fun. We then jogged back in to the centre to stretch and do mobility before we started climbing.

Kirsten and I decided to climb together and we did an easy pink to warm up which we both topped easily. We then tried the Orange 7c from the assessment. After two attempts I got past the point where I fell of and went on to get to two clips from the top.

I then tried the green 7c+ and got to the crimp before the triangular undercut and tried to jump for the side of it but it was sloping and useless!

After this I tried the yellow 7b+ again - this was the one I messed up in the assessment. This time I got passed the fourth clip and well past half way. I felt much better about this as I knew I could get further than I got on Saturday.

At 1 o'clock my family and I had to leave to get lunch before going to the Diamond Gymnasium in Halifax where Ian had organised a session with a gymnastics coach.

The team was split into two groups depending on how far away they lived from Halifax. I was in the first group so I could get off early and not get back home too late. When we got there we had to take off all jewellery and shoes before starting the session.

First of all we did a group warm up and then got into pairs and played a game where we had to do various exercises as fast as possible and sit back to back to win. I was with Izzy and the game was great fun.

For the second game we got into two groups Girls+Kieran vs Boys. We did three games, in one of them, we had to stand in a line. Then the last person in the line would crawl through everyone else's legs and the next person would then follow. This would continue until everyone had gone through everyones legs twice. I was the smallest and there wasn't much room for taller team members to get through my legs.

We did loads of different activities such as jumping over foam blocks, climbing ropes, swinging on bars and rings. We also got into lines and ran and jumped on springboards to do front somersaults onto matts. This was really good fun because the springboard made everyone jump really high.

When we were finished all the activities we were allowed to explore the other apparatus and the other section of the gym. There was a big foam pit next to the trampolines and we did front somersaults into it. Angus was really good at this and was jumping really high. He tried too hard on one of them and whacked his knee into his face and was out for the rest of the session!

At the end we did two races, one was who could climb the rope the fastest William won with a time of 3.95 sec. The other race was who can sprint to the end of the track and jump into the pit the fastest. The was fun, but I didn't really know who won.

Overall the gym session was really good and I had a lot of fun. The coaches in Diamonds made it a really enjoyable session.

Sunday 8 March 2015

GB Team Assessment Weekend - Day 1

On Friday evening my family and I travelled up to Leeds for my GB team assessment weekend. We stayed overnight in the Premier Inn and had a meal there when we arrived.

I got up at 8 on Saturday and had a Premier Inn breakfast before driving to the Leeds wall. The centre was very close to the hotel and we found it easily. The walls in the centre were so long and all the routes were really hard. My easiest climb was 7b! 

A few minutes after we arrived Ian called the Team over for a briefing about how the day would work. We had 5 routes to try mine ranged from 7b to 7c. We had until 6:00pm to complete them, and we could climb them in any order.

Route 1
I warmed up as soon as the briefing was over and decided to climb the easiest pink first. I read it well before I started. I got half way and had a bit of trouble reaching a hold but I managed it even though I was pumped at the top.

Route 2
I had an hour rest and I spent the time reading my next route the Orange 7b. It looked as hard as the pink but it was a different style. The style was better for me because I am good at holding crimps and not so good at long routes with pinches. I started watching all the other climbers try this route so that I could get beta from them. It really helped watching Hamish and Alex. I spent about 15 min warming up and putting my kit on. Just before I started the climb I felt nervous because I really wanted to get at least two tops and I thought this was my best chance. 

The start of the climb was quite easy and I did it without any problems. Once I got to the middle section it started getting tricky and the moves were getting longer. I got to the second last clip even though the moves were hard and then reach the part where a lot of other people fell off. In my plan I said I wouldn't cross my hands over for this move, but I did. I was still able to shuffle my hand to the top of the hold while rocking over. The second top hold was really minging but I managed to get my foot up on the volume and jump for the top and I got it! I was really happy that I got two tops and I planned to attempt one more before lunch.

Route 3
I had an hour break and read the yellow 7b+ route. I was a little bit nervous about all the slug holds on the climb because I am not very good at holding them. Once I finished reading the route I went outside to do my running warm up. Once I had finished my warm up inside I got ready to climb the route. I was unsure that this climb was going to suit me and hesitant to start. I finally got on the route and the start was a bit awkward but I did it OK. I got to the fourth clip and then jumped for a slug and fell.

I was annoyed and upset because I fell off and I thought I would at least get half way up the climb.  I spoke to John and he helped me read the harder pink route. I was happier after speaking to John and I went out with my family for lunch.

We went to the Dragon Hotel and we were surprised to find that they had a hog roast in the beer garden. I had a pork roll with stuffing which was delicious.

Route 4
As soon as we got back to the centre I started warming up and reading the next route. This was the Pink 7b+. Reading it with John helped me work out the sequence but I still hated it as it was not my kind of route because it had too many pinches. The climb didn't go very well because I couldn't hold the pinches so I couldn't clip easily. It took a long time to get a proper grip on the holds which made me pumped. I clipped the 7th clip and fell off because I was too pumped. I was disappointed when I fell off, but not as disappointed as I was when I failed the yellow.

Route 5
Before attempting my last climb I had another hours break. I had a chat with Sue and she helped me focus on my next climb. I did my usual warm up and when I read the route it felt as though it would suit me because it was crimpy like the other orange. When I started the climb I felt ok although it had a lot of awkward clipping positions. I got the big sloper and I tried to reach around the corner but I could not reach the hold. I tried a couple of times but got too pumped and fell off.

Overall I felt pleased with my 2 tops, but I was really disappointed with my performance on the other 3 climbs because I didn't feel that I had focussed my training enough on those type of moves.

After this climb we went to a pub that my dad used to go to when he was a student in Leeds. We then met up with the team later for a meal. I sat on a table with Kirsten, Caitlin and Abi.