Wednesday 14 June 2017

European Youth Cup (EYC) Imst June 2017

This European Youth Cup (EYC) has pretty much become our annual holiday. Every year Imst Climbing Centre holds an IFSC EYC and the following weekend holds their own competition, the Youth Color Climbing Festival for kids too young to compete in EYCs. The week in between these two comps has always fallen on the UK half term holiday, which meant we could stay out and train on Austria's incredible walls!

The competition wall in Imst opened at 7:30 but I wasn't climbing until 11:00 (35th). My first route was an orange on the right side of the wall. It was very short compared to the full height of the wall which I was pleased about as Boulders (my home wall) is only 10-12 metres high.

I was very nervous and expected a lot of myself because I was younger last year and I had made the final so I really felt the pressure to get through. I didn't realise how it had effected me until I had already come off. It happened again! Old habits creeping back in. I thought I had enough left to finish the route so I didn't bother taking the obvious rest spot. Instead, I carried on climbing and fell off a few holds below all the best climbers.

I wouldn't have been so disappointed if it had been a new mistake. It was the fact that this had happened before in other competitions that made me feel so stupid. After a long while I did get over it and I started to focus on the next route.

My second qualifier was a blue climb right next to our first qualifier. It was good to be climbing quite early because the sun was moving around and going to be warming/greesing up the already awful slopers.

I am still really happy with my performance on this route as I climbed as well as I could. I moved through the sloper section and got into the roof steadily. After the first clip in the roof I was really pumped so I carried on climbing because I thought I was going to fall off. 3 holds later I realised I wasn't, and it was too late to clip so I skipped that clip and clipped the next one meaning if I climbed any further it wouldn't count. I knew this but I wanted to see how far I could really get. I climbed on and got to the first hold in the next roof section. I could hear the judges shooting for me to come down but I wanted to carry on. They pulled on the rope until I fell off. I was so annoyed they pulled me off and I think if they had allowed me I would have topped it.

I waited a long time for the final results to come in. But I knew that my chances of making finals were slim and even if I did it would be very close.

Eventually, I was disappointed to find that I wasn't through and I had achieved my worse ever European position, 12th.

Despite the bad result Imst was a very valuable experience for me, and I am almost glad it happened now so I can learn from it and make sure it doesn't happen again. I tried my first qualifier again the following day and I got to the 2nd to top hold. So I know I have the physical ability to make finals I just need to get the mental side back. But putting everything else aside it was a fun trip and I enjoyed climbing the routes.

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