Wednesday 23 March 2016

Demoing at YCS Grand Final 2016

On Saturday 23 April 2016 we were in Edinburgh, Scotland for the grand final of the Youth Climbing Series 2016. After breakfast at McDonalds we went to EICA Ratho to register my brother for the comp. I wasn't competing as I am on the GB climbing team, I was demoing instead.

I was demoing for girls D and I had to do 6 demos all together. My first one was at 10:00 girls D route 1. When I started I tried to climb it well and I was concentrating to hard because I slipped off half way up! I got back on quickly and finished the route. It was quite embarrassing considering it was the first route as well.

Shortly after this I had to do the same demo again for the other half of girls D. This time I just climbed normally and topped it easily!

By this time my brother (Oscar) had flashed all his boulders and his first route.

I had lunch after watching him. There was a long wait before I had to do anymore demoing.

Eventually I demoed the 2nd route. I wasn't nervous and found it very fun to climb. I hope it looked ok. It was the blue route by the Sardinian Piller. The crux was towards the top because it had some bad slopers and lots of the B girls came off it.

Next I got on the yellow (girls D route 3), it had a very sketchy finish and I was worried I might fall off again. I had practiced this route the day before so I knew what to do, I just didn't like it! I found the start fine and I enjoyed it. At the slopers section I went slow and managed to top it. I don’t think I made it look very easy though.

I had another long break next so I played football outside with my brothers and some other kids. Which was fun because I didn't have to worry about route reading or doing well because I wasn't competing. Although I would have much preferred to competing. Sometimes I quite like the pressure because it makes me climb better and I can climb harder grades.

Just as Oscar was getting on his 3rd route I had to go and do a demo but it was directly opposite his climb so I watch him while tying in. He held the top with one hand and then swung off! But still currently second. I did the demo of the yellow again. This time I wasn't as worried. I went up quite quickly because the other half of group D were waiting for me to demo the blue again for them. I topped the yellow and ran over to the other side of the arena and got on the blue route again. It was much easier this time and I felt a lot more confident. My friend Gwen was climbing next so I stayed and watched her. She topped it and looked very confident.

This ended my day of demoing so I went to cheer my brother on his last climb. If he topped it he would be joint first. He got to a reachy move and slipped off it. This ended his competition and put him back five places into 6th. He was very disappointed.

We stayed to watch the presentations and then went back to the hotel to eat as it was quite late.
Overall I enjoyed demoing and I now know how boring it can get for parents. I definitely prefer competing!

Friday 11 March 2016

New GB team kit!

At the competition last weekend I picked up my bag of new GB climbing team kit. This year the kit was sponsored by Berghaus! It looks very smart and is really nice to wear.

I got a really cool bag with my name on, with the kit inside! Here are some photos of the kit we got:

  • x2 comp vests 
  • x1 t-shirt 
  • x1 soft shell jacket 
  • x1 warm puffy jacket 
  • x1 bobble hat 
  • x1 rucksack 

Photo from GB team website 

Monday 7 March 2016

Open Youth Bouldering March 2016 - The Depot Manchester

Another early start and a drive over to Manchester from Liverpool. The bouldering competition was in my new favourite centre The Depot. It is a really nice centre, very new. It has every type of angle and it looks really professional. When we arrived I registered and went straight to look at he blocs.

There were 8 qualifying routes and only a few looked really horrible. Climbing started at 9am so I warmed up as soon as I had looked at all the routes. The centre wasn't too cold which was nice and made warming up a lot easier. I warmed up next to my categories blocs so I could read them at the same time.

Bloc number one. I tried this one after I had topped a few as it looked quite hard. I watched a few people on it first. The start move was way harder than I expected but I used momentum to get to the next hold which was an undercut. I then threw my plan out of the window and I jumped for a slopey hold which I almost stuck but not quite. On my second attempt I followed my  plan and managed to top it.

Bloc two was the first one I tried. It had lots of nice crimps and my style so I managed to top it.

Bloc three was a slab and looked harder than it was. I saw one of the other competitors complete it and this gave me the beta I needed to top it first go.

Bloc four required a lot of pushing strength which is not something I am usually good at. My first attempt I got passed the first hard pushing move but I failed the second. I had another go and matched a sloppy crimp on the left wall and got a high foot on the ridged sloper. I twisted into the wall and pushed really hard standing up onto the top of the two holds. At this point the judge stopped me to confirm something with the chief judge. Luckily I was in a bridge position and could easily hang around. I then continued with the climb and topped it.

Bloc five was the red next to number four. This was one of the first bloc’s that I tried as it was one of the easier ones. It was quite straight forward with one move which required a lot of pushing but I managed to finish it on my first attempt.

Bloc six was around the corner from this and the last bloc I tried. In my opinion it was the hardest of all. On all my attempts, I failed to get the bonus.

Bloc seven was the slab and really balancey. I watched a lot of people try it and everyone was doing the same thing. First I tried getting my foot up high and swapping feet but couldn't swap them without pinging off. I went back down to the start holds and put my other foot up so I wouldn't have to swap. I then moved my foot onto a small foot hold out wide and falling into an undercut at the same time. The rest of the route was easy with a nice pocket and a good finish hold.

The eighth bloc I named ‘disks’. Three of the holds were in disk shapes. It looked like my type of route because it was mostly about strength. On my first attempt I got to the last hold but couldn't quite match it. On my second attempt I slipped off low down because my heel slipped off a chalky hold. My last go I managed to grab the top hold for a second but it wasn't long enough for a top.

As soon as I finished I handed my score card in and some time after the results came out. I had qualified in third place for the finals behind Holly and Kitty.

It was soon time for isolation but were weren’t in there for long before we came out for observation. Our three blocs looked ok. Our first one looked really easy, the second one looked harder but doable and the third looked hard and was all about balance.

When I came out for my first route, I was nervous but confident I could do it. Before I got on I was a bit confused how to start it. Before I went on I made sure I knew what to do. I worked out that you need to put your face against the wall so you can’t see anything and then turn around to grab the hold. Apart from this move the route was ok and I manage to top it quite easily.

The second climb looked a bit harder but more my style. When I went out I had a quick read before getting on. I climbed carefully making sure not to go for anything too quickly. I got the bonus and liked the crimps at the top. The pocket was also good and the top was a good jug.

The last climb was really hard. I found one of the hardest parts was actually getting ono the wall and then after that bridging across the wall required a lot of tension. On my first go I slipped off after the bonus but on my second I got past the bonus and up to the second last hold. I then threw for the top hold grabbing it but not quite holding it. I was really disappointed. I had a few more goes after this but didn't get the top hold.

I was really disappointed as I knew the only way I could win was by topping the route. In the end I finished third the same as qualifying.

Thanks to the BMC for another great comp.

Open Youth Lead March 2016 - Awesome Walls Liverpool

We drove over to Awesome Walls Liverpool and registered at the desk. I got number 33, my lucky number! The comp started at 10 so I went to warm up and look at the routes.

My first route was the grey. It was on the vertical wall and had some long moves. I watched some of the other girls in my category climb it. Some of the short people did really well. This gave me some confidence for my turn. We shared the grey as our first qualifier with Boys B. I was up 21st as we alternated boy/girl to try out the route. The first two clips were easy and after the third it started to get a little reach and the holds were smaller. I climber quite quickly and got to the roof. It got harder again in the roof but I found it really fun. I was getting a little bit pumped at this point so I clipped quickly and carried on over the lip. The next two moves were really big and the holds were not good. I made the first one and clipped before popping to the second last hold. I did an inside flag and went for the top. I was pleased to top it.

There was a short break before we moved on to our second route. It was the green on the right of the main over hang. I was up third. I watched the first two climbers whilst tying into the rope, I felt confident as a lot of the holds looked really good. The start move was like a small section of a bouldering problem, and I thought this was really cool. I started the climb well, climbing fast but carefully. The steepest part of the barrel was really fun but then I had to slow down at the top because the holds got worse. I didn’t want to pop off so I used the side wall to bridge. At one point my feet were almost at the same point as my head. I was soon over the most overhanging part of the climb and onto the more vertical part. At this point there were lots of crimps which I liked. When I was near the top I had a quick rest on a jug and then climbed to the second last hold then jumped for the last hold. I was really happy to have assured myself a place in the final. 

We decided to go out for lunch as there was a lot of time before the final. We went to a pub and I had gravy and chips. When we got back to the centre I hung around and waited for isolation to close. In the last five minutes I went to the basement of the centre, which was a bouldering room. We didn’t have long in isolation so I started warming up straight away. There wasn’t much space to do this but it was good enough. After about half an hour we went out for observation. We had the white route on the barrel wall which I was excited about. When I was reading it, it looked ok I read it with Rebecca from Group A. Her route reading skills gave me the confidence I needed.

We went back to isolation and the first climber went out straight away. I was second to last to go out so I carried on warming up. After Izzy had gone to climb, I was called to tie in. I was nervous but excited to try the route.

The first part of the route was fine and I found it quite easy. The roof section was a bit harder as there were a few big moves. When I got around to the more vertical part of the climb I wasn’t very pumped. I went round to some good crimps and clipped the third to top clip. For this next move I got a high foot and threw for a good crimp. I touched the hold but couldn’t grab it and I fell off. I didn’t know what I had done wrong until I watched the video again. I saw that my foot was way too high and there was a better foot hold that I could have used. I was really annoyed as this put in me in sixth place overall and could lose me a place going to Imst for the European Cup as only the top three were guaranteed a place. I felt sad.

Thanks to everyone who helped cheer me up especially to all my friends who supported me. Overall I had a fun day climbing. It is just a shame that I messed up my final climb.

Update: I received an email from Jack (a GB team coach) congratulating me on being selected to go to the EYC in IMST! I am very lucky to get a place.