The wall holding the competition was in a big arena but was quite short. My first qualifier was a red climb which looked reasonably simple. Although, in past competitions when I thought I could top a route I have messed it up so I tried to concentrate on climbing my best.
In the running order I have generally been quite close to the end. However this time I was up 9th which was nice as I wanted to try climbing near the beginning. My red climb was slightly overhanging with mostly good holds. I didn’t notice a single crux, just small hard moves here and there. The first half was a slab and the second half was overhanging.
On the route I tried to not let my mind drift off as it usually does. I remember half way through the slab looking down and smiling at Hannah. This reminded me that I was actually climbing and I could focus back on the climb. I got to the transition between slab and overhang. These were the 2 worst holds on the route. First was a slopey gaston that I clipped off and then an undercut that was so flat it might as well not have been there, the volume it was on would have been better on its own. Finally, after this there were some crimps in a line on an overhang – perfect. My pace changed quite a lot from here. Very slow and sketchy to quick and comfortable. All the holds were good and I was able to make it all the way to the last clip. At this point I was really nervous because I was so close to topping my first ever route at an EYC. There was one more hard section to go. Lots of people fell off at the last move so I got a really high foot and put all my effort into holding the last jug! I caught it and clipped the chains. I struggled a bit putting the rope in because they were a weird type of chains.
It felt so good to top my first route as for the last few comps in lead I haven’t had a good first qualifier.
I had 5 hours in between qualification route 1 and 2 and I found it hard to keep focused. I was a lot more nervous for this climb because it was not my style. It had a slab section at the bottom that a lot of people slipped off.
When I was climbing it I had to concentrate on my feet and not slipping off the massive sloper volumes. I usually climb quite fast but this route forced me to slow down. I got pretty high on the climb but clipped in a bad position near the top which I think stopped me making the next move. I fell a few holds before the spot I would have been happy with. At first I wasn’t sure if I had made the final but the results soon came out and I was joint 5th but then pushed down to 6th after the last climber had climbed.
Making finals had boosted my confidence a lot as my leading hadn’t been going as well as bouldering recently so it felt amazing to see some improvements in results.
Compared with other finals in EYC’s this one was a later start. I was 2nd to climb on the start order so I went out to climb at 10:15. Our route look interesting! Slightly overhanging with flat round holds all the way. The top was more crimps and volume though.
On the route I felt quite relaxed and was already happy with my climbing from the qualification so I just enjoyed the route. The start holds were better than expected so I thought they were going to be like this all the way. Definitely Not! Suddenly the holds got slopey and I had to skip out a few as there were some holds which were almost impossible to use. I got to the angle change in the wall and carried on for a few moves before falling off. I was quite happy with my performance but before I climbed onto the steeper part of the route I should have shaken out for longer.
My final result was 6th which was a little disappointing because if I had got the next move I think I could have gone a lot further.