Thursday 16 April 2015

GB Team Training Week in Austria and Italy

Day 1

My luggage
On Sunday morning my family and I drove to Burnley as I was going away for a week in Austria with the GB team the following day. We were flying from Manchester which is only an hour away from Burnley. We stayed with some of our friends overnight so that I wouldn't have to wake up so early. 

When we arrived at Manchester Airport we found terminal one and then found a car park. The car park was really expensive as usual. After finally finding a space in the car park we made our way down to departures, to meet the rest of the team.

Our Hotel
The queue was really long and it took a while before we got to the end. I put my suitcase on the scales and it weighed 16.2kg so it wasn't too heavy. Once everyone's bags were through we made our way down to security. As usual my bag was taken to the side and this time it was my lip salve! I might just leave everything in next time because they always seem to have to go through my bag anyway!

Packed car

We flew with EasyJet and I watched films on my iPad for the whole journey. The flight was two hours long but it felt shorter. 

After we arrived in Munich we walked through the tunnel and collected our bags from the conveyer belt. We then went down to the car park and collected the hire cars. We were the last to get our car because we were the slowest walkers!

The drive was about an hour and a half and it was snowing quite heavily so the mountains were white, I tried to take a good photo. I hadn't seen snow for ages!

We were the second car to arrive at the hotel so me and Kirsten got our room really quickly. We had a small room with 2 single beds and a wet room shower.

When everyone had unpacked we walked down the road together to an Austrian restaurant. The choices for food was wiener schnitzel or veggie pasta. I had the schnitzel and chips. While we were eating it had been snowing heavily so when we went outside. The snow was deeper than my trainers and everything was white. We had great fun throwing snow balls.

Day 2

Orange juice machine 
Breakfast was a buffet. I had freshly squeezed orange juice which was squeezed by a small machine. I put my cup under it but nothing happened It took me a while to realise that I hadn't put any oranges in the top of the squeezer. . 

We all met downstairs at 10:00 with some money. I followed the team to the supermarket where we were put into groups with older team members so that we would have someone more experienced help us choose food for the week. I was with Hannah and Alex Norton. We each got a cardboard crate and started shopping. I started by getting three bananas and just put them in a bag as I no idea how the machine                                                   worked in German.
 Soon after shopping we left for Imst... 

We were one of the first cars to arrive at the Imst wall. First we walked through to the climbing shop desk and paid our 5 euros entry fee.

I walked down the stairs to the climbing arena. Ian (one of the GB coaches) did a warm up with us (category C) as we are the smallest and have the least experience. We ran outside and did laps of the skate park until our heart rate was high and we were breathing heavily. The next part of the warm up was mobility and stretching which we did inside the arena. 

I carried on my warm up in the bouldering room with Kirsten and Abi. We started off traversing but had to move walls after our first lap because of another group of tourists came and invaded it.

I climbed with Abi and Kirsten and we got a lot of climbing done in the morning. My favourite route was a pink that Ian pointed out to all the group C's as it might be a good one to try. It started off with big holds and a couple of big moves but nothing too hard. In the middle it had a dyno which Angus (an older team member) had managed to reach. I was determined to reach as I don't like jumping because I don't have very good coordination. I tried this move so many different ways and spent way too long on it. When I found the guts I reached for it and cut loose! I was quite pumped at this point but all the holds were good so I got a lot further than I expected after I struggled with the dyno. I shook out a lot when I found a good hold and eventually I topped it. I felt really pleased that I got this but if it was a comp I would have been timed out so it wouldn't have counted. I took around 8mins and the limit was 4.

Imst outdoor wall
I decided to pack up and head down to the outside wall to climb on the outdoor wall which is what I climbed on at the youth colours competition. 

I had a quick lunch because we didn't have much time to climb outside. Again I climbed with Kirsten and Abi and we got lots of routes done, I even completed an easy one all the way to the top!

I loved the routes at Imst and it was a shame we couldn't stay for longer, but it was going to get really cold really quickly as we could already see the snow from the previous night.

Day 3

Multi-coloured eggs
I was woken up by my alarm at 7:30 and tried to turn it off as I thought it was in my hand, but I only found it wasn't when Kirsten came and did it for me! 

Breakfast was much the same except for these weird boiled eggs which had been dyed different colours.

For training on day 3, we walked down the road to Tivoli climbing centre. The centre was connected to Tivoli stadium. At the desk we had to pay 6 euros for entry to the centre. It was a very tall centre but not very wide. 

Ian talked to everyone when we got in, and he picked a route for each category so that we could practice our route reading skills. C and B had a 7c red route which looked hard. Everyone got a piece of paper to draw our routes so that he could follow our plans as we were climbing.

To improve we got back into our shopping groups Hannah helped me with my plan by pointing out clipping points and shake spots. 

Izzy gave me a belay. I started the climb well, but at this reachy move I wasted too much time figuring out the best way to do it when eventually I did it the way I planned. I passed the move and got to the overhang I was then too pumped to hold one of the crimps and I fell off. I was very disappointed in myself.

I had a break after this so I could think about how to improve as I knew I could climb better. While I was looking at the route Molly came over to give everyone some feedback. She gave me a lot of helpful tips that I would try to use next attempt. I had some more of my lunch before trying the red again so that I would have a good mindset for it.

Kirsten belayed me for my second attempt. I got to the big move fine and tried to do it a different way but I messed around too long trying to do it so I ended up doing the move by jumping. I was even more pumped than on my first go so the next clips were really hard. I fell off one hold higher than my first go because I had found a good shake spot. Again I was disappointed because I thought I was going to get much higher. But I had only done two routes in two hours so I left that route and decided to try some other stuff.

Kirsten, Abi and I took it in turns to belay each other up different routes. At the end of the session we had done about 6 routes.

Day 4 

I turned my alarm off at 7:00 and then went back to sleep, until I heard the fire alarm go off! This got me out of bed! I slipped my shoes on and grabbed my phone. I met about 9 other team members outside, everyone else stayed in bed! After about 30 seconds the alarm stopped and we all went back to our rooms. I didn't go back to bed as I knew I would never get back up again.

When we were in Arco and very close to the wall we got lost and had to stop a few times to re-route. While we were doing this Abi spotted a lizard and we took a photo.

When we arrived and saw the wall it looked amazing! It was all outdoors and in quite a small space, but the walls were so high and overhanging it didn't matter. There was two bouldering walls and 6 lead walls. Also it had a zipline that ended by smashing into a tree so I decided not to have a go.

By the time we arrived everybody had started climbing so there wasn't much space for us to go on the overhanging walls. We stared round the back of the overhang and climbed on the featured wall.

After this we went and did the yellow on the overhang wall that went right to the top! It was quite easy up until the roof where it got a bit pumpy and there were a few spiner footholds, but it was really fun.

It was so sunny and it was really nice to be outside. 

The first climb I did after lunch was the green through the roof. I had wanted to do this all day and I was really looking forward to it. The start of the climb was the hardest part because it had a couple of bad holds but the roof was fine - all the holds were good and there were so many good clipping positions. I managed to top it - I was really happy. The green was graded harder than the yellow I climbed earlier but I thought it was easier as the yellow was harder to read whereas the green had a more simple sequence. This was my 6th route and I only got two more routes in before we had to leave.

Ian walked us over to a big building. We then went off in groups to shop. The little town was amazing. It was a tight cobble street only big enough for one car. But the best part was it had loads of ice cream shops and loads of climbing shops! I wish Cardiff was that sunny and warm and sold climbing gear! I brought a wooden hold for my wall and some headbands. We also looked in a few other shops before going to dinner. 

 Ian showed us to the Italian restaurant and after that to the best ice cream parlor on the street. We also had a photo with Mario who works at the parlor, so our team photo could go on the wall. Many famous the world climbing champions had their photo on the wall with him too because world cups and big competitions are often held there.

Day 5

At breakfast I had a massive mug of orange juice because it was the last day. 

We put our stuff in the cars and walked to Tivoli and climbed there for two hours. I did some hard boulders in the session. Jon set them for us. We also made some up ourselves.  

I walked back with the rest of the team after the session and put my climbing kit into my suitcase. I climbed into the back of the car and Sue drove us back to the airport.

At the airport we checked in our car and waited for the rest of the team. After the second car arrived we all went to the bag check-in place and waited there for the other cars. They took a while but when they came we didn't have to queue for long because most people had already checked-in.

We then went to buy some dinner. After the rest of the group got their food we went through security.

The trip was really good fun and it was amazing to climb on the world cup wall in Arco. Arco has got to be one of my favourite walls!

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