Tuesday, 25 October 2011

BLCC/BSCC and half-term visit to Kendal Wall

Angus and I at BLCC
On Saturday 15th October I competed in the BLCC at EICA, Ratho. This was my last time competing in Youth C category. The two qualifiers were ok and both Angus and I topped out. Then it was into isolation and the final. The final route was F7c+ on the comp wall. There were four climbers in the final and I had to climb third. I was nervous coming out of isolation but climbed really well up to the last moves. Unfortunately, I misread the route at the top and tried to toe hook round the edge of the wall. I touched the 2nd last hold but came off. Then Angus came out to climb - he climbed really well and topped out to big cheers from everyone. I was a bit disappointed but pleased for my friend, Angus. I finished in second place - next time .....!

Final Route

On the Podium
Then on the Sunday I competed in the BSCC. This was the first time the BMC had held a speed competition and not many climbers had entered - so it was a Junior under 16 category. This meant I would be competing against lots of older climbers and my brother, Alexander, who is really good at speed. We did our two qualifying times and I was surprised but delighted to get through to the quarter finals. In the quarter finals I fell low down, but then so did the climber I was racing against so it was a re-run. I managed to win this and get through to the semis. Unfortunately, I had to race Alexander in the semi-final and he was climbing really well. Alexander won and went through to the final. I was up against Buster Martin in the small final for 3rd place. I tried my best but slipped near the top and so finished in 4th place overall. The final was really exciting and Alexander won with a personal best of 14.5seconds to become British junior Speed Champion 2011. Well done Alexander!
Alexander on podium
The next day we went on holiday to Centerparcs at Penrith for our half-term. We visited Kendal Wall on the Thursday and Sunday. John Ellison drove up and met us on the Thursday and we had dinner at an Italian restaurant. I was working on a blue 8a and was delighted to redpoint it on the Sunday. This is my first 8a climb!
On blue 8a

White 7b at Kendal

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Power Cut!

I was doing my core exercises tonight and we had a power cut.
Here I am doing my crunches by candle light!

Arco Rock Junior 2011

On the weekend of 1st/2nd October I competed at Rock Junior in Arco, Italy. I was the only GB climber there - which was a bit lonely (only my Dad for company!) It was very hot in Arco, which was hard as I am used to climbing at Ratho in the cold!

Rock Junior 2011
I competed in the Under 14 Cup. There were 41 competitors from 11 countries in my category.
The competition includes 5 boulders, a speed climb and 2 lead climbs.

The boulders were very hard. There was an hour and 15 minutes to complete them - so you had to make sure that you kept your place in the queue. I finished in 23rd place and was a bit disappointed.

On one of the Boulder problems
Next came the Speed climb. This was quite difficult as it was a random route so I couldn't practise for it. I finished in 20th place in this event.

The first lead climb was the final event of the first day. I was really psyched for this and climbed well to finish in 5th equal. I was glad to finish the first day well.

On the Sunday we had the 2nd lead trial. We climbed in reverse order so I was one of the last to climb. It was another really hot day so I tried to keep in the shade. I was very nervous as I wanted to do well. It was a tricky route and I gave it my best and managed to finish in 4th place.
After the 2 lead climbs I was in 4th equal place and was delighted with this result.

2nd Lead Climb
Overall I finished in 13th place.

It was hard to avoid the Arco mascot (a fox) as he dived into all the photos at the presentations!
I had a great trip and would love to visit Arco again.  

Monday, 26 September 2011

Success at SYBC 2011

On Saturday I travelled to Transition Extreme in Aberdeen to compete at the Scottish Youth Bouldering Championships.

I was in Boys 11-13 years category. We had to climb 15 boulders in the qualifier. I topped them all first attempt and so did Angus Davidson and his brother Robert.
One of the qualifiers
Chilling out before isolation - we are better at climbing!
Four climbers went through to the final. We were in isolation for the final and there were two problems to climb. We had 4 minutes to complete each problem. I topped both and so did Angus.

In the Finals - a tricky green
Angus and I then had to have a super final on a very difficult, reachy and powerful problem. I had to climb first and came off quite low down on a dynamic move. Then Angus came out of isolation to climb. He tried a different way from me but slipped off. I had won!

It was a fun day and I was really pleased to have won. Angus was 2nd and Robert 3rd.
Hanging out with Angus!
I am now looking forward to competing in Arco, at Rock Junior 2011, at the weekend.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Letter from the Scottish Government

I got a letter today from the Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport,
Shona Robison MSP.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Malham Trip

At the weekend I headed down to Malham Cove with my Mum and Dad and Angus Davidson for some outdoor climbing. It was great fun to be back climbing there and with Angus. Our coaches for the weekend were Robbie Phillips, Natalie Berry and Ross Kirkland.

Us at Malham

I redpointed some great routes including "Something Stupid" (7b) and "Space Race" (7b+) and flashed "Free and even easier" (7a+) "Space Race" was my first 7b+ outdoors - I battled my way to the top.
It was an awesome weekend!

My coach, Robbie Phillips, gives me some beta

Angus climbing "Something Stupid" (7b)
me on "Space Race" (7b+)

We drove back to Edinburgh on the Sunday afternoon as we had been invited to the Virgin Money Fireworks concert at the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens. The fireworks and party were fantastic (free coca cola!) - but I would still have preferred to stay longer in Malham!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Trad Climbing at Bowden Doors, Northumberland

Today I went Trad climbing with Ross and my Dad at Bowden Doors. Big improvement on the weather since last visit. I climbed 4 routes and placed gear on 2 of them.

Getting organised - note Ross's spanish walking stick!

First climb of the day - Deception Crack -VD.

Adding lots of weight with the gear!

At one point a couple of low flying Tornadoes deafened us. It was a fly past!
The climbs we did were Deception Crack; Black and Tan; Eliminate and I tried Stretcher Wall but it was very reachy! It was cool.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Bouldering with Ross

Today I had a session with my mentor Ross Kirkland at Ratho. Alexander was climbing too and we did lots of hard boulders. Last week, when I was climbing with my coach Robbie, I did my first V7 (orange, in the boulder room) - so I was really pleased to show this to Ross!

checking out the problem

In the boulder room
Alexander wanted to try the speed wall so we finished our session with this. Alexander was delighted to break his 20 second barrier with an 18.5 second climb. I had a turn next and managed to knock 1 second off my personal best with a 22.9 second climb. It was a great session and it was good fun to be back climbing again with Ross.  

Monday, 8 August 2011

British Summer!

On Saturday I enjoyed a day of "realrocks" bouldering in Northumberland with Buz. The other climbers were my brother Alexander and Keira, Sam and Kirsten. It was pouring with rain and I was soaking wet. After wading through a bog my trainers were full of dirty water! We bouldered in the cave at Back Bowden to give us some dry, sheltered rock. I really enjoyed the climbing.    
Sheltering from the rain

7a+ traverse