Sunday, 26 April 2009

RB One, Mum nil, take two! - Sat/Sun 25th/26th April '09

A great weekend for Rebekah saw us drive through to Alien Rock in Edinburgh for the 3rd and final round of this year's Youth Climbing Series. RB was determined to do well and had been training hard on the overhanging lead walls and bouldering walls at AVW.
It was a great final round and the boulder problems in particular looked well 'ard! So hard (and reachy!) in fact, that nobody whatsoever managed to touch the final hold on the 2nd problem and nobody whatsoever managed to touch the 4th hold on the last problem.
By the time it came to the last and hardest route Eleanor, Rachael, Sophie, Bekah and Lyndsey were all tying for 1st place. But an overhanging 7a on tiny holds was sure to sort them out! RB did fantastically! This is just the sort of route that really suits her and the kind she trains on quite regularly and she won her very 1st placing at the YCS of 3rd place, I was so happy for her as she's put in a lot of hard work and it's been really hard to get her to the wall to train with it being so far away and with her being at her Dad's most weekends so unable to train then.
We had one quite disappointing moment however. We hadn't been aware of how the scoring was done over the 3 rounds and just assumed that they would take the scores from all the boulder problems and all of the routes over the 3rounds and add them all up to get the best 3 scores for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. So, with RB doing so well on that last route and being in 3rd position as regards points we thought that meant she would be going down to London for the finals. But it wasn't to be :o(
Had I payed closer attention to the scoring system, I would have realised that they get ranking points, so 1st place gets 100points, 2nd place gets 80 points, 3rd place gets 65 points and 4th place gets 55 points, etc etc etc. So, because RB got 4th place on the previous rounds she had a lower overall ranking score even though her final route/boulder score was really high. It was really close though with her being about 5 points in to 3rd place, but 10 ranking points lower for 3rd place. So, when the awards took place and someone told us how it all worked, RB was quite gutted after being so sure she was in 3rd place and I felt awful for not realising and paying attention to how it all worked! But she's still got her place for the Scottish Championships so she's looking forward to that.
Andy came round on Saturday evening once we were home from the comp and boy I just wasn't in the mood for climbing. Hell knows why as I've been dying to get out, but I was utterly knackered. I've been up late at night studying for a Maths exam and getting stressed about it, one minute thinking it's all going fine, then getting worried I'm going to mess it up. Add to that, getting up really early to be in Edinburgh for 9am, then volunteering to judge for the comp and having to look up nearly all day and concentrate, I was pretty gubbed. Slept like a log on Saturday night though, but was still feeling pretty flat on Sunday morning but dragged myself out as Andy had made the effort to come down for the day and was eager to climb Wandered at Clova and RB wanted to have her 1st rock session of the year too.
It was pretty cold up there and threatening rain all morning, with a little drizzle here and there. We warmed up on Parapet Route, a Severe I hadn't done (and wish I hadn't bothered!) Didn't enjoy the 1st pitch at all (that's all the routes on that wall I haven't liked the 1st pitches of!) The start was ok, until you got to an awkward and steep chimney, which I figured eventually but the next bit was a really undefined line with a few awkward moves. RB figured things out though and climbing with a minimum amount of fuss, unlike her mum who really struggled up the chimney! The top pitch looked nicer though, straight up arete/rib with nice big holds. I decided it looked easy enough to lead, a bit bold near the top but huge holds so I never once felt wibbly.
Andy was keen to get straight on Wandered, I wasn't as keen, not being warmed up enough to jump on HVS but couldn't be bothered 'discussing' it! It was starting to rain just a little as Andy was gearing up, but he decided to go for it anyway, saying he could lower RB off if it got too slippy and then ab for the gear. RB was keen to try it and Andy was going to belay up on the ledge of Beanstalk to keep an eye on her. As it turns out RB flew up the route like a wee rocket! The steep and strenuous nature of the crux posed not a single problem for her at all and she looked really cool headed up there, not like a wall rat at all but like a proper wee climber!
Not so for me though. It was stupid of me to jump on something strenuous like that without being warmed up as when it got to the steep ground my shoulders were killing me. That's the most painful they've ever been when climbing, I was nearly crying at one point from the pain, but refused to give up! Every time there was a rest point I had to let go and just let my arm hang down to release the pain. Pulling up over the crux wasn't too bad as it seemed to stretch them out, but I was bent right over with one leg flagging out into space and couldn't seem to make contact with the rock at all and flailed up a bit ungracefully!
Up on to the belay ledge and the rain started proper. Andy wasn't sure about the proper finish, thinking it might be best to go up Beanstalk finish at 4b seen as the rock was going to be soaked. I persuaded him that the holds were juggy on the 4c arete so he changed his mind and went up that way. But, he didn't go out onto the arete and climbed up the corner and crack above, before going round the arete, placing a bit of gear high up, which meant that I then had to go up that way too! And the way he went was far, far harder than going round the arete! You just need to take one step up, reach around and it's off balance, but there's a massive jug and big ledges for your feet! I ended having to try and climb up for this damn bit of gear, hold on to a high up finger jam to move up higher, but my arms were having none of it and I had to sit on the rope to get the gear out. The rest was easy enough, just needing to stop and hang my arms again to relieve my shoulders and then I was up.
On the way down, I noticed a jammed nut in Witches Tooth and I could see Andy eyeing it up. He didn't say anything as it was raining again but I said he should ab down and get it, if he wanted it. So, RB and I went and got ourselves sorted whilst he went for the booty.
So, I didn't lead much exciting this weekend, but still want to lead Alder and Proud Corner and I think Monster Crack looks really nice too. RB loved the look of Witches Tooth so Andy might give it a bash next time and see if RB can't climb her 1st E1.
A wee looky at the howf then back home for my home made pizza :o)

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