Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Siurana Round-up 23rd April 2011

Back from Spain after spending two weeks in Siurana. I think I did quite well for my first real international outdoor trip. The first week I just did mileage (ticked 23 routes 5+ to 7a+) and managed to onsight a 7a and a 7a+. Then in the second week I choose a project route. I had to choose between 4 routes, 2 7cs, a 7a onto a 7c, or a 7b+/7c. I choose the 7b+/7c called Papagora; it was graded 7b+ in the newer guide book, but in 2 other guide books it said 7c and Toni, the guy that bolted it, said it was 7c so I decided to take it as a 7c. I had 1 go working the start, another trying to get up to the crux in one (which I did easily) and one go on top rope on the crux with the help of Neil McGeachy shouting directions and advice. After the top rope I then went for the whole route Lead and managed it. I was really pleased because I had previously fallen off the route to the right called Mandargora (7b+) and injured my ankle. It took me a while after that to get past the fear of the run outs and falling and I was really happy when I managed to get past and power through on Papagora.

This was the first time I’ve really projected a route and it showed me that if you break things down, and keep at it, you can do things you’d never have thought possible before. I'd like to say a big thanks to Neil McGeachy for organising the trip and MCofS for supporting it and giving me the opportunity to experience such an amazing location.

Anyway back to EICA:Ratho tomorrow to help 6 little kids at our Club with their skills and then onto plastic for my own session; after Siurana its gonna be an interesting day :/

Friday, 22 April 2011

GB Winter Activities

Finally the clocks have changed the days are sunny and we begin to feel the beauty of peak performance. During the dark months when the competition season is out, short days and poor weather prevent much if not all outdoor climbing and training is the main focus. Boulder competitions and local boulder leagues are often the only things that keep the juices flowing and provide a break from dark circuit boards and gruelling regimes. Here are some updates on what we have been getting our teeth stuck into over the winter.

British Bouldering Championships

This is one of the only times in the year that we get the chance to get together with our team mates for a day of bouldering. It is always great fun with lots of familiar faces and is interestingly different from the competitions we are so used to. However even though we jauntily say that we are route climbers and not that interested in bouldering deep down we are all there to prove to ourselves, and the climbing community how good we are and where we stand against those folk who call themselves boulderers.

There were some fantastic performances from the team particularly in Junior Females, 4 out of the top 5 places being held by us route climbers. Tara won, Rachel and Molly followed and Sarah came 5th. The junior males was easily won by our new team member Sam Brannigan. In seniors males Adam did very well qualifying for the finals and finished 5th Ed came 11th and I came 15th. Kitty just missed the finals by 3 points in her first year as a senior which is a fantastic result! All round brilliant performance by everyone well done!

Tara Hayes in the finals

'Winning the BBC's does mean a lot to me personally because it's nice to get something back from all the hard work you put in - but don't get me wrong, I love the training! As for the training, I enjoy every second of it but you do have to really push it if you want to achieve your goal. I find the competitions really motivate me for the training because if you put in everything you've got, the results will come in the end. I thought the competition ran smoothly even though it was in a tight time schedule; so I'd like to thank everyone who helped to organise the comp.' – Tara Hayes

Climbing Works International Festival

This is the boulder event I most look forward to, the atmosphere is always great and the standard inspirational. With 30 problems in qualification this really is a test of your bouldering ability. The competition was held over 2 days this year and attracted an incredible, 300 competitors from the UK and abroad. Adam Watson put in an outstanding performance making it through to semis and on into the finals finishing a very impressive 3rd overall. Ed was incredibly close to qualifying for the semis coming 17th with 16 climbers going through. I came 52nd / 2nd in the under 18

Adam Watson in the finals,

Luke Tilley flashing a qualifyer, Photo: Kenny Stocker

Southern Indoor Bouldering League

The capital city, as one would hope has a big boulder league, SIBL is held at 6 different climbing centres and once again we have had a brilliant representation from our team. In the junior girls (Under 16s) Molly battled it out and achieved top place, a note worthy achievement at 13! Kitty was also well on track to completely dominated the senior women category. Unfortunately missing two rounds for other climbing commitments, amazingly still coming 4th with a round less than taken for the final score.

SIBL Junior female podium, Photo: Sam Johnson

“This year was my most successful, coming 2nd twice and 1st three times. The best five scores out of six determine your final position for the series. I really enjoyed competing in the series, with my favourite rounds being The Castle and Craggy Island.” – Molly Thompson-Smith

Nottingham Boulder league

The winter boulder series held every year is always an exciting event with a strong turn out of local boulderers. Team members competing this year were Tom Bonnet, Sarah Pashley, and myself. There were excellent results from everyone, Sarah came 2nd in the senior females, Tom joint 2nd in senior Males just a few points behind me. Tom has done a summary of the series

“My main focus in climbing is lead climbing but I do enjoy the laid back atmosphere of bouldering. Even in the bouldering comps, there is still the friendly aspect of climbing where you all end up helping each other out and offering advice.

I recently competed in the Nottingham winter bouldering league. It consists of five rounds where the best three are averaged into one final score. Luke Tilley and Sarah Pashley were also in this competition.

The first round was in November. I was feeling really psyched for this competition and I was also feeling pretty strong after quite a lot of training I had recently done. I was climbing well and I did well in the first competition. I topped fifteen out of a possible twenty problems but not topping them on my first go meant that my score was 129 out of a possible 200. I was pleased with this score and it was quite high in relation to the rest of the field.

The second round was December. Again I was feeling pretty strong and I felt good for this competition. I was climbing well in the competition. Being dynamic where required but not out of control. The competition went really well and I finished with a really good score of 180 out of 200. I flashed all of the problems that I managed to top in the comp giving me a 1st in this round.

The next round that I did was February as I missed the January competition. This round looked really good and the problems looked really different. It was a really good round and it differed a lot in problem styles from the previous rounds and it threw me on a few problems. I still managed to come out with a strong score of 161. I was pleased this score and it put me in a good position overall.

The overall standing was all down to the last round between me and three other people. Ben Meakin, John Nightingale and of course Luke Tilley… I climbed well but made a few little mistakes meaning that I dropped some points. Finished with a score of 158.

Overall I managed to finish joint 2nd with Ben, Luke Tilley coming out on top in 1st place. I was really pleased with this result as I was not expecting such a good finish. Great competition this year and I look forward to next years winter league.” - Tom Bonert

Luke Tilley on the final problem of the final round, Photo: Paul Philips

It is great to see such good results in the major and regional bouldering competitions from the lead team and I think this bodes really well for the summer lead competitions if this boulder strength can be applied to routes. The season is about to begin, with the leading ladder final and the Edinburgh EYC, good luck everyone!

Written by Luke Tilley, Sponsored by Evolv, Metolius, Prana, Alpkit and Pulsin

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Spain – 13th April

Spain – 13th April I’ve been in Siurana for 5 days now. Climbed 1 5+ 2 6a+’s and a 7a+ on my first atempt. First route I fell off outdoors was a 7b+, fell once at the start of the crux and then again just at the end. Unfortunately the way I fell the second time damage my ankle by falling straight in and causing my toe to almost touch my shin, which wasn’t too fun. I had to hop all the way back to the road over rocks and through thin paths that felt harder than the climb. That put me out for 2 days. The first day back I tried a 6c+ which was mental and basically a v7 boulder problem from my point of view, it also didn’t help that I was terrified of falling from the injury but also because it wasn’t that long a climb. Then my coach Neil McGeachy decided to put me on a 8b+ top rope at about 8:00 at night (basically during sunset). I managed quite well on it after falling off a 6c+. Managed the first technical bit and then fell off at one of the hardest moves on the climb. After a lot of bumping up the rope and swinging by 2 fingers from a quick draw I pulled back on and jumped to a decent jug to move on to the second hardest move on the route. I couldn’t quite make that insane move and didn’t want to take up anymore of Calum’s time by forcing him to belay me, so I just pulled past it and onto the juggy section. This was my favourite part of the route. It was big moves and jugs all the way. Pulling up past this bit was amazing. But unfortunately all good things come to an end; I reached the crux at the end of the jugs and fell off jumping for a small crimp which maybe wasn’t the best idea. By this time it was seconds away from darkness so Calum let me down by having the end of the rope chucked at my head, wasn’t to enjoyable. Over all good trip so far. Psyched for some more hard core 8’s.

Friday, 8 April 2011

YCS round 2

Saturday 2nd April

Fellow GB team member Angus Davidson had a sore elbow at the second round of the South Scotland Youth Climbing Series. That meant I had to demonstrate 18 routes ranging from grade 4+ for the first 8-10 route to 7a+ for the 14-16 boys final route. In addition as we were using the same routes for top rope and lead there were 5 ropes to set. When I wasn’t roped in I was trying to study for a Chemistry exam that I had on Monday. Multi tasking indeed.

This event was being held in the Pleasance Tower and Rock rooms, part of Edinburgh University’s Centre for Sport and Excellence. When the Quickdraw Climbing Club had organised a special pre-comp visit for its members a couple of weeks ago (no under 16s are allowed in unless it is an organised group) it seemed really small so we were worried a) about how all the climbers and spectators would fit in and b) how the route setters would be able to sort out the pack. We needn’t have worried. Alan Cassidy and Mike Jeans did a brilliant job and the separate rooms for the boulders and routes meant everyone had plenty space. We still needed super finals for the boys and girls 8-10s and I heard that North Scotland needed the same. This means we are going to have some brilliant action at the Scottish Finals in May in this age group. I wonder how I would have done if I had started climbing at that age?

Next week I’ll be climbing in Spain with the ‘McGeek Squad’ at an MCofS supported training camp. So looking forward to seeing the guys again.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Campus Advice

The BMC has just published some brief advice on campusing. This is worth Team members taking note of. I believe a more detailed announcement will follow soon.

More detail is now available: