At the start of 2014 my sponsorship with Beta Climbing Designs really got started. I was really pleased to be representing such a well known and established company.
The first few comps of the year were the regional BMC YCS rounds, there were 3 rounds in total across the South West region. I was very pleased to win every round and qualify for the national finals at Edinburgh International Climbing Arena.
In February Ellis and I headed to El Chorro in Spain for half term. It was a great experience and I was really happy to get my second 7c route. All of the routes there really suited me as they were all very long with good holds. The 7c I did called Talibania was quite steep and juggy, however the jugs were really hidden as the rock was very 3 dimensional. The clips were also very spread out so the route was more of a head game than anything else.
In the summer period, after my GCSE exams were complete, Ellis and I headed to Rodellar in Spain (again) for a month. This was another great experience and I was surprised I actually managed to live for that amount of time in a tent. In Rodellar I managed to do my first 8a, it was such a cool line between 2 tufas with crimps hidden in the back of them- it’s called Pinza time. In Rodellar I also did some of the mentally hardest climbing that I’ve ever done- the route was given 7a+ and is a 40m slab! The holds were tiny and few and far between, but I was determined to get to the top. Clipping the chains was the best feeling ever!
In October, I headed to Fontainebleau with a few people, I had heard rumours about the forest but never imagined it would be as amazing as it was. Every area we went too the bouldering got better and better… I climbed so many cool problems, all of a quite low grade, but nevertheless the best bouldering I’ve ever done.
Up until Christmas I have been participating in many comps, local and nationally. Locally I have won some great prizes and nationally I have gained a lot of experience:) I really enjoy competing as I feel it makes me climb at my best.
Overall, this year has been a year full of experiences and achievements. I have been to some amazing places and achieved some things in my climbing that I never thought I could! Thank you to Beta Climbing Designs for all of your support 🙂 It’s been a great year!
This half term it was time to focus my attention to bouldering; having never been on a bouldering trip before I was really excited to see what they entail. The obvious choice was Fontainebleau and what a good choice it was! Every day we went to a new crag, and every day I was impressed by the climbing. The forests of Font are beautiful and everywhere you look is a boulder with chalk marks on it somewhere!
Some of the highlights of my trip were:
Climbing the highball la dolle polly (the cheesegrater) Fb5C was amazing! It is an 8m boulder problem with massive pockets as holds everywhere- usually in lead climbing I am apprehensive about falling even though I am usually just above the bolt but on this I was fine for some reason! Apparently I climbed the problem like a route though, shaking out and chalking up every move.
Another highlight was watching Ellis do his hardest boulder grade to date- Fb8B! The determination and skill it took was inspiring to see:-)
I also climbed my hardest boulder problem to date with an ascent of ‘Golden Feet Gauche’ Fb7C+! This was a slabby problem on really bad feet, but with my Tenaya Oasi’s I really trust my feet even on polished rock now. The handholds on the problem were sparse but most of my weight was through my legs.
My final highlight is the day I tried ‘graviton’ Fb7A, this problem was awesome and although I didn’t get the tick I had great fun trying it. On the same day I also tried a funky 7C on an arête which was really crimpy but didn’t manage the tick. But the real highlight of that day was meeting Jan Hojer at Cul De Chien and watching him send some super hard problems!
Font was a great trip and a perfect destination. I would recommend it to any keen boulderers! Thanks for reading and thanks to Beta Climbing Designs for all the support!:-)
When I turned up I was surprised at how long the lead walls were, I didn’t worry too much though as I know endurance is my strength. The hard looking boulder problems were worrying me as only this week had I started training strength and power!
Girls were up first on the routes, I topped all 3, as did another competitor. I was frustrated about this as I know routes are my strong point and in a way I wished they were harder. It was now all down to the boulder problems.
I was up first on my first problem; a tricky slab with tiny hands and feet. I started up it and used my legs as much as I could, I just flashed it.. After my hamstrings were so painful!
My second problem was set by Alex Waterhouse and everyone in our category pretty much got to the same place; unable to roll over to a sloper- it was so powerful! However, Alex was telling us we’d got the beta all wrong but he wouldn’t tell us the right beta. After we all had our attempts alex showed us all how to do it with a heel hook around the arête.
The third problem was good, I just couldn’t stick a move to a slopey pinch.However I’m glad with how I performed in the boulders because I know they are my weakness and I am going to start training power and strength more in the near future!
When I arrived in El Chorro I was excited to get out and climb, the scenery was amazing and so inspirational.
On the first day we headed to Poema de Roca and I tried the classic 7a of El Chorro which the sector is also named after. This didn’t go too well and making the transition between plastic and rock was more difficult than I had first expected. I stuck at it and kept trying the crux but my head was holding me back, the fear of taking big falls and potentially landing on some big tufa’s was quite frightening which prevented me from making much progress on this route. Ellis onsighted this (just!) and we then headed up to try an 8b which Ellis wanted to do.
Poema de Roca!
The following day we spent the morning at Las Encantadas and I onsighted a nice 6c called Promgrama Genocida, which was cool. Ellis finished off Trango 8b and we then headed back to Poema de Roca later in the afternoon where I got to work on trying one of my goals for this trip which was to climb another 7c. I chose to try Talbania which is a long steep juggy route which is just what I was training for. This was a great 7c to try as it also had an 8a extension which Ellis had almost onsighted, so would be perfect for me to have a go at. I went up Talbania and figured all the moves out quickly and then I left the draws in to finish it off on another day.
Proud to represent Tenaya in El Chorro!
The next was freezing cold and it was so windy so I didn’t climb but I did sit in a hanging belay position whilst Ellis made a quick ascent of Padre Orillos 8a+ which was super inspiring to watch!
The next climbing day I warmed up on a couple of 6b’s and then got back on Talbania… I was feeling good and felt strong the whole way up the route; I had done it! I had completed my goal of the trip which was do my second 7c! Ellis then onsighted El Ave Fenix, which his first 8a onsight!
The rest of the trip I was quite tired but I did manage a few 6b’s and 6c’s.
Neon bloc is a competition at the barn in Tavistock where you compete on the boulder with strobe and neon lights in the dark! It was weird climbing to start with as you could hardly see the holds and the loud music was making the boulder vibrate! But soon I got used to to it and the blocs were great fun; there was a swinging rope, holds hidden by toilet seats and a spinning wheel that you had to move off of! I topped some of the problems, my favorite was one with a suspended ball. Shortly after the qualifiers I found out that I had qualified for the finals in second, I felt excited but nervous as I saw a trapeze hanging near the final problems!
Up first were the over 40’s, they had to use the trapeze and made it look quite hard! I had to climb third as I qualified in second and four girls got to the finals. Our first problem was juggy and we all topped it! The second problem involved the trapeze, you had to do half a bloc ish and then swing to another bloc… I didn’t quite get that far, I was stuck swinging in mid air confused about what to do! Fortunately, on my next attempt I managed to hold the undercut on the other wall after swinging and I climbed and managed to equal the high point.
The final problem was crimpy but with long moves, the other girls greased off of the bonus hold- a crimp- on most attempts. It was my last go. I switched my hands on the crimp, palmed on a sloper and dynoed for the last hold! I’d topped it! I was really happy and excied to have won as bouldering isn’t my strong point. I am looking forward to next years comp! Neon bloc is definitely one of the best competitions i’ve ever been too!
Since the start of 2014 all my climbing has been focused around indoor training getting ready for future competitions and my upcoming trip to El Chorro! I have been outside once so far to Portland where I topped a few classics but nothing hard.
Yesterday was the first round of the bmc ycs at the quay climbing centre. I woke up nervous but excited at the same time! When I arrived at the centre I started to warm up and read my routes, not looking at the boulder problems yet as I know they’re my weakness!
Once the day got started and the competitors were briefed my category were told that we were bouldering first, I know bouldering is my weakness but I was keen to start and was hoping to stay in the running for a podium position.
I easily topped my first boulder problem, as did every competitor. I reached a hard crux which was a pressy move that i couldn’t stick, luckily I quickly found out that neither could any one else in my group and that the crux seemed impassable to every girl in my category. A very similar story happened for the third problem, many girls, including myself reached the same spot, unable to hang on to the tiniest slopey pinch!
As for the routes, nearly every competitor topped the first and second route, everyone was in the running for the podium; it was all down to the last route, which Ellis was demoing and I had the beta pretty sorted. I was up forth on the last route, so climbed on the auto belays to warm up whilst watching three girls fail on the same move near the third clip. I was up; I easily reached the move I had seen others fail on but used different beta for my feet, I stuck the hold and kept climbing. The route was sustained and the moves were all very similar. Unfortunately I fell from the third to last move because of a wrong hand sequence, but with 40ish points over the other competitors I hoped I’d done enough.
As the rest of my group climbed I soon discovered that no one else had reached where I fell off and I had reached the high point! I’d won! I had a great day and i hope I can keep my title in the next round!