Friday, 26 October 2012

BLCCs 2012

Another long journey to Edinburgh last weekend almost ended in disaster when we very nearly missed the Edinburgh stop. I’m not sure how it happened considering we were both awake but we packed up and made it off just in time!

We were in Edinburgh for the British Lead Climbing Championship, a competition that I’ve always enjoyed, as the routes are always fun and the wall is as always incredible. This year was no exception, and with the Hangar wall at its steepest our first route climbed its left arête. It looked fine until the edge of the roof, where there was a long powerful slap around the arête, to a good hold. I was up 3rd, and with one person getting to the slap I set off. I felt fine, had a quick shake on a good hold, and then moved into the roof section. The holds were good but the slap looked long, so I put a heel underneath an undercut spike. I was slapping reasonably statically around the lip, but when I went for a tick mark on the lip there was no hold, just more wall! I was stretched out and committed by that point, and without a left hand to fall back on my heel popped and I was off!

Turned out the tick mark I slapped for was above the hold, a sequencing error! It was frustrating to fall off barely pumped, especially since new beta found only a few after me rendered the move pretty easy! I was annoyed but it was on to the next route, a slabby, balancey, horror fest, perfect!

I was on late, and by me only one had topped the route. I moved through the first section well, a small mistake with a clip but I was soon nearing the final key rockover. I love any slab route in a competition, and this was no exception, I made the rockover stick and was soon on a slopey crimp and a small but positive feature. I felt in balance and control, and made the final move stick. I clipped the chains and lowered to the ground. I was in the final, qualifying in 4th place.

After checking the time of isolation, I headed to the café for a snack before the wait, and came down just before 2.30. I was packing up my stuff and people kept asking me if I was meant to be in isolation. Confused and worried, I jogged to the isolation area and made it in just in time! I had been told isolation closed at 3, but it had in fact closed at 2.30. I was relieved I mad it in only just in time, but this also added to the stress of the day!

My warm up was good, and I was soon walking down the tunnel to the final waiting area. I was 3rd out, but had no idea where the others had got to, bar a slowly swinging clip at around half height. Walking out I got a cold feeling in my hands, like they were about to go numb on the route. My warm up had been good, and I pushed it out of my mind, but I was slightly distracted.

I read the route and set off. It was quite powerful, but I felt fine moving through a big pinch to a sloper and an undercut. The move looked long so I put a heel on the sloper, in the process dropping my foot off the other foothold. This put me too low on the holds, meaning only a dynamic move would allow me to reach the pinch target. I came back down, had a quick shake, as by this point I was very pumped, and tried again. The same thing happened once again. I was very pumped by this point, and had to go for the move. I went, grabbed the hold and very nearly stuck it, but I was off all the same.

Everyone else had used a low foot, but Billy and had opted for the high heel, and it spat us both off. It was irritating to come off two routes due to sequencing errors, but it was a learning curve. I will defiantly look at having multiple sequences for all crux moves, and hopefully this won’t happen again. I am also working on my power, as for the first time I was failing not because of pump, but the moves themselves. I have been working endurance almost exclusively since Imst, and while this has offered good progress, my power has been letting me down lately.

I placed 5th overall, but despite this I was selected for the final EYC in Kranj, Slovenia. Next comp is the European Championships in Gemozac, France! The event may be being webcast, but I’ll let you know nearer the time!

Happy climbing!