Scottish Youth Lead and Speed Championship 2014

Scottish Youth Lead and Speed Championship 2014



I managed to win both the speed and the lead Scottish Championships. This is how I did it!

On Thursday I travelled up to Edinburgh for the Scottish lead climbing championships. It was a long drive but we eventually made it. We stayed in the Premier Inn and went to the centre on Friday for a light session before the comp.

I got up early on Saturday and went down the hall to breakfast. I had a hash-brown a piece of bacon and a sausage. After this I went back to the room and grabbed my kit. We got our food as well before jumping into the car and going to EICA, Ratho.

We found a good parking space right outside the centre so we could come back for stuff if we needed it. In Ratho the registration table was next to the reception. I signed myself in and went down into the arena.

I walked straight over to the comp routes and saw that my first route was the black (6c) on the Sardinian pillar. It didn’t look hard and it didn’t go right to the very top of the pillar. I walked around the wall but I couldn’t find the tag with my second route on. There were barriers all around the wall so I couldn’t stick  the labels back on that had fallen on the floor. I had to ask the staff to do it. They told me that it was the yellow (7a+) on the tallest section of the wall. At first it looked really hard but after reading it it looked pretty straight forward. I started to warm up so I would be ready for the briefing.

At the briefing they told me how the day would run and the GB team members did a warm up with us. 
I looked at the running order and I was 3rd last to climb so I stopped getting ready and watched Oscar, Gwen and Harry climb. Most of my category topped the first route so I really wanted to as well. 

When it was my turn to climb I wasn’t very nervous I think this was because I was confident about the climb, much more than usual. I looked at my dad and the camera before starting the route and found that it was easy up until the top. It was hard to see the hold from around all the features but I managed to get my feet high and reach round to get the hold and move off it to the top. I hadn’t clipped the second last clip but I had planned to clip then both from the top hold anyway. I felt pleased after this climb, it made me feel much more confident for the final qualifier!
I had then a half an hour break for lunch. I used this time for reading the route as I had snacked on stuff all day. I saw lots of details on the holds and worked out how to hold all the holds I had second thoughts on earlier.
I was fifth to climb on this route and I was a little bit nervous. I chalked up and started the climb, it wasn’t as bad as I had thought like my dad had told me. I got to the bit I thought looked the most hard and I didn’t have any trouble with it. I climbed past it and knew the rest was jugs so I took my time and made it to the top – I wasn’t that pumped either. All that training paid off! I was so pleased that I had topped the 2nd qualifier. 

We had a long break until the final so I went over to the speed registration and had my practise attempt. I had practised the speed the day before for the first time, I had a good time but I couldn’t hit the buzzer. The same happened in my practice. I was determined to register a time this attempt so I gave the jump at the top everything and I missed it. I was gutted and I only had one more chance to register a time. The speed climbing coaches gave me some advice on how to hit the pad so I could register a time. This time I was on the right hand side. I got to the top, jumped and hit the bottom of the pad. I thought I hadn’t stopped the timer and so did my dad but I had managed to and it was 25.08 seconds. Not bad.
By this time my friend Pippa had also topped the yellow. I had to wait a while but eventually my category finished and the results were posted for speed and lead. I had qualified 1st in the speed and joint 1st in the lead. My brother had also qualified 1st in both top rope and speed. 
I called my mum and told her the news. She was really pleased. I had a very long wait until the final. 
Isolation opened at 2:45 and closed at 3:00. It was my brother Oscar’s first time in isolation so I had to explain to him how it works. I didn’t bother warming up at first because I knew the observation period would start soon and I was last to climb.

When we went out to look at our route, we found out out that it was the pink (7b+) on route 27. It looked crimpy but not as quite long as my second qualifier. I started reading it and it seemed to look better and better each time. By the time we had to go back to isolation I was really happy because I thought that I could top the route.

When my brother Oscar was called to climb I wished him good luck and sat back down. I was bored for a long time and I eventually thought that I would be called soon so I started warming up – then I stopped because I found out that no-one from my category had actually climbed yet and weren’t going to climb for 5 minutes. So, I sat back down and had something to drink.

Before Pippa was called I did some warm up. When she was called I had to tie in to a rope in isolation. I was so excited about this climb as it looked really fun. It was a while before I could climb so I assumed Pippa had got quite far.

When it was my turn to climb I was a little more nervous. I made a good start to the climb by managing the first half. The second half however was harder and on top of that I was more tired. I got past the next clip where the holds were much worse that I had thought but they were better after that clip, but they still weren’t great. As all of the holds were crimps I got more pumped quicker and the route seemed to harder and harder to finish. I had second thoughts before using the arret but there was nothing telling me not to use it so I did. I had now reached the second top holds. I was so pumped by this time I had to get chalk and shake out. I rocked over and touched the top hold and fell. I was gutted that I didn’t manage that last move but really happy to have got so far.

When I got to the floor my dad didn’t tell me if I had done enough to make the podium, he said that there had been some confusion whether I was allowed to have used the arret or not. I was a bit scared but I knew that I hadn’t been told other wise that I couldn’t use it. I asked the judge if the arret was in and he said it was so I was really relieved.

Pippa then came over to me and told me I had won and that she was second by two holds. I was so pleased, everything I had worked for had paid off.

After calling my Mum to tell her about the final I went over to the mini speed wall that was specially set for category E and D because they are a lot younger and shorter and can’t reach the holds on the IFSC speed wall.

Oscar had his speed final first so I watched him. It was so exciting. He got through to the head to head final, and he won! He was so pleased. He had won both of his events!

My Dad and Oscar came over to the IFSC speed wall to watch me. As I had qualified first it was:

Me Vs Kirsten (4th qualifier)
We both went up, I was faster but neither of us hit the buzzer so our times didn’t qualify.

Then:
Pippa (3rd qualifier) Vs Emma (2nd qualifier)
Emma was faster climber in that race but again neither of them hit the timer.

This meant it was back to qualifiers: 
Pippa Vs Kirsten  — Racing for 3rd place 

And
Me Vs Emma for 1st.

In Pippa and Kirsten race Pippa won being faster climber and that Kirsten didn’t hit the timer so she didn’t register a time.

In my race we were called off the wall twice because the timer didn’t start but on the third attempt the timer started I sprinted up the wall, hit the timer and won by 2 seconds with a time of 22.87 sec. I was so pleased to have won both comps and proud of my bro Oscar for winning his comps too. We packed up our stuff while we were waiting for the presentations to start.



I was really looking forward to seeing the trophies/medals because the trophies I previously had in Scotland are awesome. I was an awesome competition with interesting routes. I am definitely coming back next year!

I enjoyed the routes so much we came back on Sunday to try the other ones. I tried the Girls A+B routes and they were just as good.

MCofS report and results are here.

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