Wednesday, 2 January 2013

2012 Highlights

2012 has been an amazing year for me, I have made huge leaps in my climbing ability, gained a place on the Great British climbing team, travelled Europe and pushed my limits. I went on four trips to Europe for outdoor climbing. The first was to Costa Blanca in the south of Spain. I loved the climbing here and it was great to get some sunshine and warmth in February. My aims for this trip was to climb another 8a and onsight 7b. I achieved this on the same day when we went to Wildside at Sella. I started by onsighting Oceanio, a steep 7b, then I climbed Erogometria 8a third go and to top the day off I did Nameless 7b. I thought my trip couldn't get any better but when we went to Gandia I flashed Enya 7b+. This trip was really good because we had so much fun together even when we weren't climbing. Waking my mate up to go for a pre-breakfast run was defiantly good fun!

Erogometria 8a
The next big part of my year was the Lakeland team assessment day. This was when I had the chance to get into the GB team. I trained harder than I had ever done before to make sure I could do it. To my surprise the routes were quite easy and I topped 4 out of 5 which easily got me into the team. I was also selected for the competitions in Voiron, Imst and Linz.

Clipping the Chains to get into the GB team!

At Easter I went to the south of France to climb at Saint Leger. St Leger is an amazing crag which is mostly all overhanging! In this holiday I had a massive surprise when I onsighted FFM Meuh which is a 7c+! The over highlight of this trip was climbing Slip Bouse 8a which was in my opinion the hardest climb I had done.

EYC Ratho
My first European was EYC in Ratho. It was really good to watch some amazing climbers in action. I came 13th place which I was really surprised about seeing as it was my first European. The next one was Voiron. This was one of my favourites because I did really well on the first route but I'd never been so pumped! The second route I slipped off quite early but I still ended up in 15th place!

Fliegender Grafix
Bourinator 8a
Soon it was time for the summer holidays first we would go to the Frankejura then Imst and finally Ceuse! I loved the Frankejura more than I expected. The climbing was a really fun powerful style and it suited me quite well. The best route I climbed in Frankejura was defiantly Fliegender Grafix 8a. It was a really hard boulder problem but you had to keep some strength for the top section. After a long car journey we arrived at Imst. I spent two days with the team and then it was time to compete. My first route went really well but I did awfully on the second and finished in 23rd place which was my worst result of the year. But this low was soon forgotten about as I travelled to Ceuse which is the best cliff in the world. It was brilliant the climbing was amazing and I climbed well. I flashed Mirage 7c+ and redpointed Bourinator 8a and these are two of the best routes I've ever done.

Climbing at Imst
After a couple months of hard training I had my next trip which was back to the South of France to Russan. It was here that I had my best day of the year! I warmed up on a couple of lovely climbs and then started to try Pipeline 8a. It was really hard and I did it in about 7 goes. I think this is the hardest climb I have done. Next up was Quart de si├Ęcle another 8a this one was much easier and I did it second go. I left the crag completely spent. After Russan we travelled to Gemozac for the European Championships. This was my biggest competition of the year and I climbed okay on both routes and finished in 13th place again.

Pipeline 8A



Rattlesnake 8a

The final big competition of the year was Kranj and I really wanted to do well in it. I started the first route and came down totally pumped. I couldn't have done anything more. The second route I also come down really pumped. To my disappointment I finished in 11th place which was my best result but still not quite good enough for the final.

My aims for 2013 are to make a European final, climb 8a+ and onsight 8a. I can't wait for another year of climbing with new people and with old friends! I wish everyone a Happy New Year!!

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