This is my first blog post, so it may all go horribly wrong!!
I’ll start off by introducing myself, my name is Alex, I’m 14 and have been climbing for 3 years. At the moment I am on-sighting 7c and redpointing 8a indoors, and haven’t been climbing outdoors much!
My main interest is comp climbing, and I have recently been selected into the GB youth climbing team in my category. This followed a very successful competition at
Sunderland wall, a HUGE wall that just goes on and on. The qualifiers were relatively easy, but pumpy for me, and I topped both, along with 6 others!
Isolation was interesting to say the least, a blue tarp tent covering a slab and a single fingerboard, and was really quite difficult to warm up on! When the first of our finalists went out I was really psyched, and it sounded like he didn’t top it, but the second and the third went out and by the cheers I could tell they’d topped the route. At least I knew what I needed to do…
The final route was a long undercut infested orange that was relatively juggy until the final headwall, where you had to dyno off 2 tiny crimps, really off balance to a rubbish hold. I stuck the move, but only just, a flag below my foot was the only thing that kept me on, and to the top. Good thing too, as 5 of the 7 of us topped it, meaning a big superfinal!
Our superfinal was the Junior male route, a 8a/+ red horror! In observation I really could have done with some binoculars, as you can’t see the top holds from the ground! Looking at the first move, I was a bit worried I’d drop that because it was quite a big move but in reality it was ok. You then turned a small lip into a slight slab, which was balancey but reasonable. Then the hard bit started, a big move off two rubbish crimps, then a move or two until a big reach from an undercut. I got all this, and then a long move out right to a sloper. I needed to clip but I just flash pumped on my right arm! I looked down at the draw, then up at the hold, and again, before dynoing for the next undercut over the top, hoping there’d be something there, there wasn’t, and I fell. I was annoyed about flash pumping, but when I came down and someone told me I was winning so far, I was so happy! There were only two left to come and that meant I was guaranteed a podium! The next climber out put in a good effort but came off just a few moves below, but the final climber, an Irish team member, clipped the draw and stuck the move, and beat me by just 2 holds. Frustrating, but I still had second, my first national podium!
It was on the Monday that I was selected to the 2012 GB youth team, PSYCHED!!!