Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Winter BMC Youth Open

The last big comp of the year was the BMC youth open in Liverpool and the following day was the first BMC bouldering open. Both of these were used for the selection of the GB teams so there was lots of pressure to perform. After driving six hours in a uncomfortable mini bus we arrived at our luxury accommodation, a premier inn, like normal. After having a fun meal and playing lots of hands of very competitive card games it was time to get some sleep.

The next morning I was woken up by Luke's ridiculously loud alarm clock but I didn't care because I was so excited. After a few short cuts we arrived at the wall but we were too early and had to stay in the minibus this just made me really impatient and listening to Eye of the Tiger didn't make it any better. Finally we went in, quickly I found my qualifier routes and was pleased to see that they didn't look too hard!

After saying hi to everyone I went to check the starting lists. Maybe the qualifiers wasn't going to be such a breeze I was up first! After watching the demo carefully and making sure I knew how to do top which looked like the crux it was my turn to climb. Hearing my name shouted several times I rushed to the staring point carrying all my gear, so much for being prepared! Once I was ready and chalked up I set off. The first part of the route was a slightly overhanging wall with small holds but straight forward moves. I climb this slowly because I didn't want to make a costly mistake. To my relief I made the bottom of the overhang. I shook out for a bit, then left the rest and focused on the next moves. A tenuous move with high feet then a big lock to a good crimp. This was were I had guess the crux would be. I did the next move, clipped and climbed along the slopers and got my toe onto the first sloper. I pulled up and reach for the next hold, to my disgust it was really bad! Fearing the worsted I cautiously lifted my leg up onto next hold and pulled a bit. To my great relief I felt my body go back into balance and I was able to do the last two moves easily. Topped!

For the second qualifier I was on about half way through the group. I watched lots of people top it without much problem and was starting to feel the nerves. Soon I was sitting getting ready for the route and watching another climber top it. He lowered of and it was my turn to do it. I pulled on and climbed the first steep section of the wall with confidence. Suddenly after the angle change I had to pull on small holds and keep my balance. After climbing past a tricky crimp section I only had a few hold to go to the top. Keeping focused I climbed the last bit and clipped the chains. Brilliant I had made the final in joint first place (not sixth for once!).

Our group finished quite early so I had lots of time to get some food and relax before I entered isolation. But that time didn't last forever and I soon had to enter the Crypt which was a low ceilinged bouldering room. Crypt by name crypt by nature, it was cold, dark and impossible to warm up in. All I managed for a warm up was easy traversing, a couple of roof problems and deadhangs on the finger board. Overall not the best! But I didn't have to wait very long because I was soon let out and told to go to the waiting room. Here I focused myself for the hard route I was about to face. I ran through the route in my head. It started with a technical overhang with sequencey moves, then a steep roof but it was on jugs so didn't look hard; after that the hard climbing came with hard moves of tufa features and terrible slopers at the top! I was my time to go out and try my hardest. This was the last chance this year to win a national competition and I had to keep my place in the team! I walked out totally focused and got straight on the wall. After the first couple of clips I got to weird move which I hung about on trying to work out what to do. I quickly found the solution of swinging my feet onto the side wall and crossing through. The steepest bit of the roof was relatively easy and I made it to the start of the tufas barely pumped. After a big move to the top of the first tufa it got hard and I had to pull hard to get the next move. I climbed up the next tufa and clipped. I was quite pumped now and I reached  for the first sloper. It was terrible, totally crap. I quickly placed my heal onto the tufa and started to pull for the next hold. I just about touched it before my heel popped and my fingers uncurled! I fell feeling happy with my effort but new that the climbers after me would be capable of topping it!

I wasn't wrong William and Angus both topped the route that left me in third place. After a super final William beat Angus. I was happy with third place but not over the moon because I really wanted a win but it just wasn't the right time. Hopefully next year I'll have a win!!

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