Thursday, 12 September 2013

EYC Stavanger - 7th/ 8th September

On Wednesday 4th September my Dad drove me to Aberdeen where I stayed overnight at Rebecca Kinghorn's house. Rebecca is also on the GB Climbing Team and the following morning, with her Mum chaperoning, we flew from Aberdeen airport to Stavanger, Norway. The rest of the team would join us later as they were flying out from London.

On Friday we drove to the wall to check out its location, shopped for some food and had fun! Later Ian (Team Manager) attended registration and the Technical meeting.

Climbing started at 9.30am on the Saturday morning. I was climbing 13th just after Peter Dawson (GB Team.) I sat on the chair watching him climb and cheering him on as he made it all the way to the top but, unfortunately, dropped the last move. Then it was my turn to climb. The route was crimpy with some big moves so suited my style quite well. I felt really relaxed until about 3/4 way up when I became flash pumped. However, I managed to pull through a couple more moves to reach a rest point then I battled it out to the top - which I was very happy with.

Our second qualifier was not until the afternoon. Three GB Climbers, Peter, me and Jim Pope were up 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively so we made sure we were warmed up well before climbing started and with two Italian climbers route read together. Pete climbed very well and managed to top the route, which guaranteed him a place in the final. I was next to climb, the route had a hard start and then lots of traverses and stand-ups into undercuts in a groove. This allowed you to take good rests before the hard slopery top section, and I again managed to top. This also guaranteed my place in the final. Next up was Jim "pope on a rope" and he had an awesome climb, jumping between slopers at the top - it was insane! Jim also topped, which secured him a place in the final too!

As the second routes were completed it became clear that the GB Team had all performed well and all 12 team members had qualified for the finals - a record! This was a fantastic result for the team, and I was delighted to have qualified for the final in joint 1st.
GB Team
The Youth B Finals started very early on the Sunday morning at 8.30am, so we arrived early, as soon as isolation opened, at 7am to warm up. When we came out to observe the route we were expecting a standard overhanging, horrible route but were surprised and excited to find that the route included a double hand dyno, so everyone had a smile on their face when they returned to isolation. Everyone was super-psyched for the route. Whilst I was in isolation I could hear and work out from the cheers of the crowd how the other climbers were doing. I could guess at when the dyno was caught and I suspected that both Stefano Carnati, from Italy, and Sascha Lehmann, from Switzerland, had topped. I also thought Hugo, from France, and Nicolas, from Belgium, would have topped. Therefore, I knew that I had to top out if I wanted to be on the podium. I was last out to climb and I stayed relaxed through the first section of the route up to the dyno. At the dyno I was about to go for it when I paused for a second and realised "hang on I could static this" and was able to go to the hold with my right hand. This turned out to be a good hold so I was able to get a good rest here. After that I continued into the upper section which was much harder than the rest of the route. Even though I was pumped I managed to get to the last hold but almost fell off putting in the clip. I had to re-adjust my position in order to clip - so I was relieved to top out. When the rope was taken tight I was overwhelmed with happiness!

Once the results were confirmed,  I was in 2nd place to Sascha on Time. However, I was not too disappointed as I had topped all my routes and I was happy for Sascha too.

I was also 2nd in the overall EYC rankings for 2013 and received a cool medal.
The overall EYC Podium - me, Stefano Carnati, Sacha Lehmann
For Girls Youth A, Molly Thompson-Smith was 3rd in the overall rankings - here we are on the podium together.
With Molly

Monday, 9 September 2013

Summer 2013

It has been a very busy time over the summer and so I must apologise for not keeping this blog up to date.

At the start of the summer I travelled to Ceuse with Robbie Phillips for a four week climbing holiday.
It was a long journey there and back crammed into the back of Robbie's Jimmy.
I had a great trip and got some good ticks, including Slow Food, my first outdoor 8b+, which I really enjoyed as it was crimps in a roof, and my second 8B, L'ami de tout le monde, which I think is the most fun route I have ever done.

My tick list included - 3x 8a (2nd go) - Carte Blanche, Bourinator, la couleur du vent;
8a+ Rat Man, which unfortunately was a one move wonder but apart from that was good climbing;
and lots of easier onsight practice.

At the Campsite - Photo: Robbie Phillips
My brother, Alexander, joined us for 2 weeks and I also met up with fellow GB team member Alex Waterhouse and another friend Billy Ridal. It was really good fun to be outdoor climbing with friends, but I think 4 weeks away from indoor training is too long for competition climbers (at least for me!)

On my return from Ceuse, I had a day to sort out my kit before I flew out to Imst, Austria with the GB Climbing Team for the European Youth Championships. This was not the best competition preparation and I have learnt from this for the future. I had a good first qualifier finishing this route in 3rd place, but made a mistake while clipping on the second route and slipped off quite low down. However, luckily, I had done enough to qualify for the final in 10th place. In the final I managed to improve on my qualifying position and finished in 7th place.
In Imst 
The following weekend I travelled down to Leeds to compete at the BMC Open Youth Lead and Boulder Competitions. I climbed really well on the Saturday to win the boulder comp and the series, so I am now the British Boulder Champion for Youth B boys. On the Sunday the Lead comp took place. I climbed well in the qualifiers topping both routes, but I misread the last move of the final route and finished in 2nd place to Pete Dawson, fellow team member. Well done Pete!

Next came the World Youth Climbing Championship in Canada, during August. I was really happy with my performance in the qualifiers and topped my 2nd route. I qualified for the semi-final in 4th place and was psyched to do well.
2nd Qualifier - Photo: Nick pope
Then it all went pear-shaped, as my heel slipped in the semi and I ended up finishing in 12th place overall and not making the final. I was really upset and disappointed, but I picked myself up and then refocused for the final EYC of the year in Stavanger, Norway.

It was a great result for the team in Canada as all 6 GB climbers made the semi-finals!

The GB Team - Photo: Nick Pope
This summer has been a great learning curve and I have learned from both my successes and failures.