Monday 5 October 2015

British Lead Climbing Championships / Cup Round 3 & British Speed Climbing Championships

Friday - Travelling 

After school on Friday 2nd October my parents and I drove up to Sheffield for the last round of the Junior Lead Cup / British Lead Climbing Championship and the British Speed Climbing Championships. It took about 4 hours to get to the Premier Inn which wasn't bad, and we arrived at eight to watch the rugby and have a quick look at the routes in Awesome Walls.

Saturday - British Lead Climbing Championships / Cup Round 3

My Dad set his alarm too late so we had rush a bit! We had breakfast in the Premier Inn as usual before going to Awesome Walls. Registration was at 8:00am and we arrived at 8:10am so I registered straight away getting Number 16 and a vest. I picked the smallest one which was too big but I couldn't tie it up because the straps were to small so I got the biggest vest and tied it up which worked very well although it looked a bit weird!

I then went over to read my first route. It hadn't changed from last night. It was the fluorescent yellow on the more vertical wall. At first it looked really hard but through my binoculars most of the holds looked ok. I was up sixteenth to climb so I watched the first few people climbing. Most of them topped it which made me a little less nervous.

It felt like forever waiting to climb but when the 10th person was climbing I decided to warm up. I did all my climbing in the bouldering area as I don't like to lead for warming up. I went to sit in the chair while Kirsten (number 15) was climbing and I tied in and put my shoes on. My shoes at the moment have holes in and I was hoping they would last for one last comp!

I was feeling confident before I started as half the people who had climbed had topped it so I had a good chance. As I had thought the start of the climb was easy with lots of positive crimps. It started to get harder when I got to the black strip. There was a bigger move to an ok hold on the volume which I managed to clip off. There was then a couple of easy moves before a move which I found quite awkward. There was an undercut which I had to turn around on but I didn't think I would make it so I spent a bit of time sorting myself out so I could make it. After this I was relieved and found the rest of the route ok except for the last move. I had to clip the chains before I went for the top move as I was doubting myself too much to go for it. Once the clip was in I made the move anyway! It felt great to top my first qualifier and it made me more confident for the next.

Later on I found out that my second qualifier had changed from Category B's first qualifier to Category A's first qualifier the red next to the massive overhang. First off it again looked really hard and only Molly from Group A/Junior had topped it!  I read it with my Dad and some of the girls which made me
feel more confident.

As I was near the bottom of the running order last time I was 6th up this time which meant I could get  it done quickly but also there wasn't much time left to warm up. I went straight to the bouldering room to warm up. I was feeling good. My Dad got my shoes and told me when to come out from the room to climb.
I sat in the chair again and watched Kirsten climbing while I tied in and put my shoes on! At this point I was getting nervous. I walked up and had one last read of the route before I pulled on. All the competitors before me made the start look easy and I felt the same it wasn't too bad. On the roof I got both clips clipped and managed to do the big move over the lip and clip off that hold. I then moved over to the crimps which I held ok. Then I went to an undercut and tried to move down onto the other foot hold but I couldn't so I had to fuss around to find the best way of doing it. I eventually stepped down using another hold and clipped. This was the hardest move done. I then used a few crimps to get to a ribbed sloper which I clipped off. I then moved to the slot and jumped for a big sloper which made me really pumped. But I only had three more moves so I pushed on to the last crimps and through for the top hold and caught it! I was so happy and got the clip in easily!

I knew I had qualified! So I had couple of hours to relax before the finals. We went out of the centre and to a Pub called The Harlequin where we ate lunch until 2:15pm and then drove back to the centre for half past so I had half an hour before isolation opened at 3:00pm.

As usual the comp was running late so isolation didn't open until 4:00pm! At 3:55 I went into isolation and put all my stuff in a pile. We had a briefing and then Rob told us observation would start at 4:30pm and it would start with Veterans then C then B then A then Junior.

At 4:30 Rob came and told us it would be another half an hour. Finally we were allowed to go out. So I made sure I had my binoculars ready. I was pretty sure I was on the Black so when Rob told us to go out I went straight to it and I was right. We had 6 minutes to read it and I think I had the sequence right when I had finished. It looked hard but do-able and most of the holds looked ok so I was less nervous.

Back in isolation I was warming up and getting ready to climb. After all the Veterans I was getting nervous. As I had qualified first I was out last so I watched each person walk out and listened to them climb knowing none of them had topped it.

When I went to tie in I was psyched to climb. I put my shoes on and covers over them and then walked out. I felt confident. The first part of the route just passed the lip was fine. After this it got quite reachy and I had to bridge a lot. The holds were pretty positive but the moves were so long.

I found the mini slopers hard to hold. I had to cut loose on them to bring my foot up. I didn't get too pumped until the very top about 3 clips away. Here the moves got easier but the holds weren't amazing. I managed to pull through and get to the last quickdraw and keep going to the last move where I had to shake out before going to the sloppy sloper and clipping. I knew even if someone else topped it I would win on count back. So I was really happy.

I watched the rest of the competitors before the presentations.

At the presentations I won a medal and a plate and a DMM flight bag - something I have been wanting for a while!

Sunday - British Speed Climbing Champs

I had a lie in and had breakfast again in the hotel before getting to the centre by 1:30pm so I had time to watch some of the Seniors and the Para-climbers. I registered for the speed at 2:00pm and I was the first to register. At first not many people signed up but by the end of registration there were five in my category.

At 4:00pm I was warmed up and ready for my trial run. As we are the youngest we went first we all went in pairs but I was the odd one out as so I went on my own! I didn't go a fast as I could I just tried to go smoothly.

On my first real run I was against Pippa and I managed to beat her which made me feel a lot more confident. It was not a knock out at this point it was just on time. I next raced Abbie and I was looking forward to it as even if this run was bad they use your best time so I would be ok. I still went my fastest and won. I was happy to make the semi's. Because there was five of us only one was knocked out so we didn't need quarter finals.

I had a long wait after this as all the other groups had quarter finals to run so I had a break to warm up a little more.

The semi finals were knock out so I was a bit less confident. I was against Kathrine just after Pippa beat Abbie. I climbed this round quite well and didn't slip at all so I got to the top first beating Katherine meaning I was at least second! As Pippa won her race I was racing her in the final.

I then had another long wait for the rest of the semi's to finish and then for the 3rd place races for each group the finish before the finals started.

I was psyched for the finals and really wanted to win. I stood clipped in and waited for the
on-your-marks. I felt fast going up the route and tried to keep going as smooth as possible. I was that little bit faster half the way up the wall and I managed to keep my lead and win the final! It felt so good. I was very happy to win both comps over the weekend.

I watched the other group finals and got my prize and medal at the presentations as a prize I won a DMM Zenith bag (red)!

In conclusion I loved the comp and it ran pretty smoothly. The best part of the comp was the setting, it was awesome, and I really enjoyed climbing the routes. Maybe a bit harder next time though! Thanks to DMM for the amazing bags - they are great! Finally, thanks to the BMC, Rob Adie and all the volunteers for a fun comp!

I have uploaded videos of my climbs to my YouTube channel here,
You can see the results here