Tuesday, 27 September 2016

A very busy July!

Following on from my last post, I did manage to compete at the BBCs and have a good time. However I was still feeling pretty weak from the blood poisoning, so my climbing and result were not  what I had hoped for. I finished in 7th place, just missing out on the final on countback.
Straight after the comp I headed to Raven Tor for an hour before headed back home. This was the first time that I have actually climbed at Raven Tor, I have to say it's not the best looking crag in the country but the climbing was very cool.  

Having a good look at Hubble.

One week later I found myself on a flight to Paris on my first trip headed to Font. I had planned this trip as a mid season training break and a holiday with friends. Which is why I wasn't too bothered about going in the middle of summer. Font is a absolutely amazing place, with some of the best boulder problems in the world. Unfortunately, it was far too hot for any major sends but I did tick a lot of the classics. The hardest problem I sent during the trip was Mongolite 8A, photo of me on it below.

I did miss training during my trip and came back very psyched, but it was nice to be able to relax. Also just going climbing everyday to new areas and not projecting one single climb was really nice.

One of the sunsets at Font 

Monday, 4 July 2016

Visit to Slovenia, followed by some blood poisoning!

I've just returned from a fantastic trip to Slovenia, where I stayed with my girlfriend Ajda. During my stay I was able to train really well at some amazing walls, which are set up incredibly well for hard training. I was blown away by the high standards of all the Slovenian walls I visited. I also enjoyed some outdoor climbing, paddle boarding and hiking at some beautiful locations. The weather was very hot, so climbing outdoors was hard work. However, the crags I visited were amazing and the routes I climbed really enjoyable.

I climbed at Osp and at Misja Pec. I concentrated on trying many routes and practising my onsighting. The routes are long and many are overhanging, as parts of the crags are caves. One of the classic routes I onsighted was Active Discharge 8a, which goes through the steepest part of Osp's huge cave on tufas and cool features. However, I was robbed of a 40m 8a+ flash of Samsara Extension, at Misja Pec, when I was forced to jump off the route at the last move, as the finishing jug had a wasp nest in it and a lot of angry wasps buzzing around! Between the birds at Malham and the wasps in Slovenia I am getting fed up of wildlife!
I am definitely psyched to return to these crags to try some of the harder routes.

The cave at Osp

I returned to Scotland last week. On Friday evening I became aware of a strange, hot and painful red streak spreading up my left arm from a very angry, red spot on my elbow. After phoning NHS 24, I ended up at our local hospital where I was prescribed antibiotics. Since then my arm has been very painful, and the Doctor recommended not doing anything too strenuous, so I have been forced to have some rest days from climbing and training. My arm is on the mend so hopefully, I will be able to compete at the British Bouldering Championship this weekend, in Sheffield.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Update - 14th June 2016

Life has been very busy. This year I have been sitting my Higher exams and I have now left school :) I have a conditional offer for Edinburgh college to study HND Civil Engineering, so fingers crossed for good exam results. I am also learning to drive and have just passed my Theory test, so there has been lots going on. I am really looking forward to being able to drive as I will be able to get to my training and to crags without relying on anyone else.

I have also been very busy with my climbing. This year I wanted to climb Rainshadow, 9a at Malham, and so I had been training very hard for this over the winter. I am psyched that I was able to achieve this goal on the 2nd May.

UKClimbing report

Climbing this route has been the biggest buzz of my climbing so far, as this route has been a dream of mine since my first visit to Malham aged 12. Also, I feel that this is a major stepping stone in my climbing and I am psyched for the future.

I have also still been competing, over the winter at the Youth Opens, CWIF, local bouldering comps and more recently at a Lead EYC in Imst, Austria and at the Junior British Bouldering Championship. These competitions have been successful for me and I am pleased with how I have performed.

At the EYC in Imst, I was very tired as I had my Computing exam the day before the competition and had, therefore, arrived at the hotel at 2am. Despite this I managed to climb well enough to make the final, in a large and strong field. The final route was tricky for me as it was set in very much a World Cup Boulder style using very few holds and lots of volumes, which is not a style I am used to. I fought my way up the route and finished the comp in 10th. I was happy with how I climbed, given the poor preparation due to exams.

This past week, to celebrate leaving school, I headed down to Malham with fellow climbers Ajda Remskar and Jim Pope. We spent a really fun few days camping and climbing. Unfortunately, conditions were not good as birds were nesting on some routes and the sun was out. However, Jim and I managed to send some classic routes, including Unjustified 8b+ and Austrian Oak 8b. I also did a little work on Total Eclipse and I am psyched to return to this route when conditions improve.

Austrian Oak 8b

After our week in Malham we headed to Manchester for the JBBCs. I was happy to climb well at this comp and finish in 1st place :)

Junior Boys Podium JBBC 2016

I am now psyched to visit Ajda in Slovenia, for a few weeks, where I plan to train really hard at their brilliant training walls. Not having to return to school is great!