I traveled up to Leeds by car with my parents on Friday. On Saturday I competed in the lead open youth event and on Sunday I competed in the boulder open youth event. It was a long drive to the Premier Inn and Leeds was freezing.
Saturday – Open Youth Climbing – Lead
I got up early and went to the Leeds Wall for an 8:00 – 8:30 registration. When we arrived we had to wait for a bit for the centre to open. It was freezing outside and when we got inside it wasn’t much warmer unless you stood under the small heater.
The number I got when I registered was 37. Also, I got the table closest to the heater which was nice. I then went over to read my qualifiers:
All the climbs in the centre have little grey screw-on foot holds (features) which are allowed to be used unless specified on the route card.
Qualifier 1 – a green route to the left of the main comp wall. All features were in for hands. This made the climb look a lot easier. It looked technical and a little bit reachy. The holds looked good and I thought I had a good chance of topping it.
Qualifier 2 – a blue route to the right of the main comp wall (on the very end). It had a proper crack which looked horrible but do-able and the rest on the route had good holds and some very long last moves. For this route the features were not in so this made the crack look really hard.
We had a briefing at 9:30 and climbing started at 10:00. The youth C boys were climbing on our route before us so we had to wait about an hour before we could climb. I was up 5th last so I watched some of the boys but mainly waited for the girls to start.
I watched Pippa and Abbie climb as they were one on the first few people to go and then started to warm up. I stopped when Kitty started climbing as she was one person away from me. I was a bit nervous before I started but I was happy that I had Lydia’s (one of my fellow competitors) dad as my belayer. He is a great belayer and I trust him. I had one last read as I tied in. I then walked over to the route and started. The first few clips were ok, all the holds were good and I felt good. As I thought, I got to the lip before it started to get harder. The move over the lip was really long so I tried to get into a more comfortable position but I couldn’t so I just went for it. I got it just with two fingers and pulled myself back into the wall. I was very relieved to get this move. I knew the next few moves would be OK because they were crimpy and my style. I got to the second last clip and wrapped the side of my hands around a small button hold and rolled over the top to a rubbish slopey-crimp. I held it as best I could and then pushed over to another slopey-crimp which was pretty much the same as the other hold. I then get a high foot and went for the top hold and got it.
I felt much less nervous after this and went over to read my second qualifier. It was difficult to read the crack so I watched as many of the boys as I could and got lots of tips from Jim in particular. I was fifth up for this route but it took twice as long as boys C were doing an overlapping route. I was again lucky to have Lydia’s dad as my belayer. The start of the route had a good position for a double clip which I used and a nice undercut to clip the clip on the crack so I wouldn’t have to hold the crack while clipping it.
I had three clips in before I made my first move onto the crack. It was a nice hole, but it was hard to move off it without barn dooring. I had to move my feet around a lot and I used a lot of my energy moving up the crack as most people did. The big crossover to the top of the crack was the hardest move but I made it and felt relieved to have conquered the crack. There was a triangular crimp that was really nice and a few more nice crimps before a big sloper. I was expecting the worst but the hold had some good parts on it. I held it and moved up to some more crimps and then to a big triangular volume which had a small bulge on it which I held to clip. I then spent a bit of time recovering as I was quite pumped. Once I was ready, I did a large move out left to a triangular hold and then straight to the two holds on the volume. I shook out again on this, made sure my foot was right and bounced for the second top hold which was a very small crimp with a very small edge. I kind of caught it for a second, but then pinged off and almost re-caught it but not quite so I was gutted because I was so close to the top. I was very happy to get the high point on the route and was guaranteed a final place.I felt very excited for the finals and was one step closer to getting my team place back!
As there wasn’t enough time to go out for lunch before finals I went out for a walk with my Dad. We went to the Bentley’s car shop and had a look around. The cars looked amazing and one of the had a control panel in the back!
We got back in time for isolation and I found out I had qualified 1st. This made me feel a lot less nervous.
There were two sections to the finals, final 1 and final 2. My category was in final 2. Most of the categories shared routes so not everyone could climb at the same time. We had a hour in Isolation before we were told what we were climbing. I was on the green route that girls A had. I was happy about this because the route looked so fun.
When we went out to route read I was very excited. It looked ok at the start and then the holds got worse on the top section. I thought I had a good chance on this route so I was psyched to get started.I was last to climb so I spent a lot of time warming up. I was getting more and more nervous. As Izzy went out to climb I tied in. My shoes were on ready and I was feeling confident. It felt really good to go out to climb at the same time as Molly and Jim!
I went out slowly and used my 40 seconds to read the route. I walked over to the start and got on. The first 3 clips I climbed really well and conserved lots of energy. I then came to a big cross over move. I made a quick decision and matched instead of crossing. This wasted a bit of energy but I wanted to make sure I didn’t fall off. I got over the lip by holding what I thought was a bad sloper but was actually pretty good. I clipped and got the green volume I climbed onto the good hold and clipped again. I was quite pumped at this point so I went for the one around the corner and got it. I then went straight for the next hold and was too pumped to stick it.
I was disappointed when I came down as I didn’t climb as well as I had hoped. I then found out I had won and was pleased. This meant I had a good chance of being back on the team!The presentations followed shortly after climbing had finished. I won a blue DMM harness. The day was very fun and I enjoyed all the routes although I thought the crack was a bit mean! It ran pretty smoothly despite the overlapping routes. I enjoyed it.
Sunday – Open Youth Climbing – Boulder
After a good performance on Saturday I got up early again and drove over to the climbing works. When we arrived inside it was freezing. I didn’t think I would be able to climb at all. I put six jumpers on and I was still cold.
I went over to register and I was number 52. There were as usual 8 qualifying blocs all in pink. This round they all looked hard. I went round to have a look and make a plan. I had in mind a good bloc to start with. I warmed up by doing lots of running and playing tag with Pippa. I did all my usual stuff but had to do a lot more climbing as my fingers were freezing.
We next had a briefing which was announced by Rob. All of category C & B would be qualifying from 9 – 11am. So I carried on my warm up so I could start on time. I wore gloves while warming for a while. It wasn’t warming up at all.
At 9 I started climbing. The first bloc I tried was on a black slab it had lots of ridged holds and long moves. I did the start easy but, then came to a long move. The volume was out and we had one shiny foot hold. I put my foot on it and then rocked over but my foot slipped and I fell. Not a great start.
The next bloc I tried was the one that most people topped. But I slipped off on the last move because I didn’t put my foot on the hold properly.
I decided to go around the corner to the other side of the wall and try something else. I attempted the bloc on the 90 degree side of the overhang. It had a long move but I felt confident. I made the first move and did a big rock over to the bonus which I caught. I moved to the second last hold and chalked up quickly before I pushed up to get the last hold. I felt much better after topping one problem!
I tried the overhang and the other 3 blocs and got a flash! I went around again and had my last 2 goes on one bloc almost topping it. I then got a mini dyno problem on my third attempt. This made me feel a lot better. I had my last go on the roof next and was hoping to get it. I made it through the upside down part and of the slight overhang to the last two crimps. I put my foot on and went for it. I didn’t quite hold it but I was reasonably close.
I only had 2 blocs left that I could do so I went to the long traversing bloc first. I had one last go left so I really wanted the bonus. I went across the traverse and got to the mini jug and put a heel by my face and swung up to the bonus catching the screw hole. I bumped around to hold and pulled up to stand. I then grabbed the undercut crimp and jumped for the top catching it! I then had 5 tops.
For my last bloc I had 2 attempts. It was definitely the hardest bloc of the round. This was the bloc I tried first. I tried not using the shiny foot hold and just jumping but that didn’t work so for my final go I tried to rock over using the foot again but I just slipped off. This was disappointing. My qualifying was over and so we went out for lunch in the weather spoons while the other categories were qualifying.
For lunch I had gravy and chips, and a hot chocolate.
After lunch we walked back to the centre and brought some gloves on our way. I put my bag straight into isolation and waited until the last second before it closed to go in. I saw I had qualified second and I was a little disappointed but thought I could bump up to first in the final.
We had to wait an hour for the routes to be re-set. This was a little boring but we did play lots of games. I was very excited to read the routes. Our first bloc was an overhang and looked ok. The holds looked good but a bit hard to work out. The second bloc looked really easy and I was looking forward to it. The third was very balancey and the holds were small but decent. It looked top-able.
The first climber went out to climb straight away and the time went really quickly. Only one person had flashed the bloc so far so I was determined to be the second. I went out and had one quick route read before getting on. As planned I skipped the nasty sloper and held the nice pinch and moved slowly up to the next hold. It was good so I managed to get the triangle and twist into the side pull. I move out to a big jug and put my feet onto a volume next to my hand. This allowed me to push up to the pinch which was slopy and horrible before going into and nice crimp. I got the last longish move to the jug!
I went back into isolation for a while before coming out again for my second final bloc. It still looked ok and everyone said they had flashed it. I was nervous as I really wanted to get it. The start was interesting all four points of contact on the volume and then up to another pinch volume which was really nice. I pulled up to the bonus and went across to the crimp. The last 2 moves were fine, left hand sloper with nice crimp on top match and left hand finish.
I was psyched for the last bloc but a little nervous. I packed my stuff up and on my way to the climb dumped it on the side of the wall outside isolation. I carried on walking down towards the end of the bouldering area. I saw my bloc it only had 6 holds on it. I had a quick read and pulled on. The first move to the volume was fine but I struggled to move up from there to the big volume. I tried a few ways until I go it. I got a high right foot and palmed off the volume. I started edging up the volume but I slipped and couldn’t save myself from coming off. I was so angry and annoyed at this as any other day I would have done it. So I got straight back on and breezed the move holding the volume and topping it. Not feeling at all satisfied!
I knew Holly would flash it or top it second go so I was pretty sure I would end up second. I was right! She got it second go so I lost to count back! I felt so annoyed that I slipped off and I will never let myself forget it.
We went out to the same place as we went at lunch and had dinner before coming back to the centre to watch the rest of the finals.
For the presentations I won a grey DMM bouldering bag. Overall the comp was very very cold, however the routes were very interesting but I would have preferred some harder routes in the final maybe the same as Girls A. The comp was also run quite smoothly and I really enjoyed it.
Thanks to Rob and The BMC for a great weekend I have had a lot of fun.