Saturday 3 September 2016

European Youth Climbing Championships (Lead) Mitterdorf 2016

I flew out to Vienna with the GB climbing team for the European Climbing Championships. We arrived late at Vienna airport due to delays and then we spent one and a half hours in the airport waiting for car hire. By the time we left to drive to the hotel it was almost midnight.

Finally after getting lost in the woods and around the small town we got to the hotel. It was a really big apartment and it had a microwave! Pippa, Kitty and I shared a room, but Kitty had already arrived earlier.

The following day we got up late and caught up with Kitty and had breakfast in the hotel. The town we were staying in was very small, but there was a small shop nearby which we walked to and got snacks and a meal for that night. As usual I bought popcorn (my favourite competition snack)!

Later on we took some lunch down to a water park because it was such a hot day. The park was amazing, it had 3 massive pools, one with a twisty slide and another had 4 diving boards - 1m, 3m, 5m and 10m! Although the 10m wasn't accessible.

Pippa and I jumped off the 1m and 3m. She did the 5m but it took me a while to make myself jump! It felt so good one I did it. We spent a lot of the afternoon there and had a lot of fun. It was a very relaxed day. I cooked my own dinner and went to bed soon after the order was announced. I  was 11th on the running order, this is a pretty good position.


The format of the day was both qualifying routes running at the same time. One half climbing Q1 and the other Q2. I was on Q1 first. We left the hotel early and were there just before the centre opened. Ian registered us and then we walked through the centre to the outdoor competition wall. All the routes were ready, but the demos didn't start for another hour. I was really excited for my first qualifier because it was on a slab and I had no idea if I would be any good on it.

I watched Pippa climb just before me which gave me some good beta for when I went on. I was very unhappy with the way I climbed because I felt I could have got a few moved further. I climbed very rushed and nervously and I also over gripped on most holds. I got one hold under the average which meant to get a high up qualifying position I needed to climb better on my second qualifier.

I did quite a lot of route reading and I watched Kitty climb really well on it. Finally after a brush break it was my turn to climb. It wasn't any better than my first climb. I messed up 3 clips and didn't climb that well on the top section. However, the first part was really good. I pumped out at the top but managed to get through to the semi finals in 15th. This is not where I wanted to be, but all that mattered was that I was through.

By the time I had seen the results the boys had arrived and were warming up for their qualifying. We spent the afternoon watching them and cheering them on. Later on in the evening we went out to an Italian restaurant for a nice meal before semi-finals the following day.


It was another early start for semi-finals which I prefer. It was a finals format meaning we had to go straight into isolation before seeing the wall. We had a set 6 minutes for route reading after isolation closed. We were in isolation soon after it opened and spent a while in there relaxing and warming up.

Eventually, it came time to go out for observation and I went over to the door and watched as 26 people for all categories crowded around. I was a little bit nervous at this point. Our route as the black route through the middle of the wall. It looked top-able which wasn't good as I knew it was possible people might draw and that I needed to get higher than average to make it to the finals.

I carried on with my warm up in isolation before tying in next to the door leading out to the wall. Once tied in I walked out behind my belayer and started one last quick route read before pulling on. I thought carefully about my plan and was confident and excited.

I was reasonably happy with my result, but annoyed because I got to the same place as a lot of people. I was very pleased that I climbed a lot smoother than the qualifiers and it was a truer reflection of my training and strength. I still think I could have done a few things better which would maybe have got me a place in the final - but I guess everyone thinks that after a climb.

As the results came in I could see myself dropping further and further down the ranking. The top 8 went through and I came 10th on countback. I had put the qualifiers behind me when I went out for the semis, but now my poor climbing in the semis cost me a place in the finals because of count back! I was really disappointed for a while and I still get annoyed thinking about it because I never climb like I did in qualifiers. But I learnt so much from my experiences there and also a lot of stuff to take back to training.

Overall, the comp was fun and I enjoyed 2 out of the 3 routes. It was also great fun going swimming. Well done to Molly our only finalist!

For the last part of the day we got to cheer Molly on and watch the other finals!|

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