Wednesday, 5 May 2010


Saturday the 1st of May saw the final round of the Youth Climbing Series.  Bekah and another girl have been neck and neck on points, and ranking scores, with the other girl just slightly ahead due to completing her boulder problems with less goes than RB.  So, this last round was going to be the decider as to who came in 1st and 2nd.
We arrived at AVW around 9.30am to register and the kids went for a warm up around 10am, then the comp kicked off.  The boulder problems this year looked really, really hard, the 1st 2 routes not too bad and the final route looked pretty evil.  It went over the roofs on the Rocket Wall, but had massive reaches right down at the start.  I felt really bad for RB and wished that route setters would set routes that were more technical as opposed to having big reaches in them. 
The 14-16yr olds started on their boulder problems 1st.  The 1st problem was a tan one, going up the 35degree overhang.  Normally the 1st boulder problem is pretty easy, to give everybody a chance, but this time, the 1st one looked pretty hard!  It took RB her 3rd go to complete it, and RB's main competition getting it first go.  The 2nd problem went underneath the arch on crimps, with a balancy move to gain holds on the upper slab, then some overhanging heel hooking and a slap for the final hold.  RB got this one 1st go.
They did their 1st 2 routes next, with no problems.  Then it was time for the final boulder problem.  This was on the 45degree overhang and looked really difficult!  Each time RB tried it, I thought she was going to come off on the 1st move, which was a really balancy move using a big sloper.  Nobody in the age group managed to complete the problem and RB and her main competition both got to the same point. 
Still neck and neck, with Bekah's friend slightly ahead, still on less goes to complete her boulder problems, it was time for the final route.  The girls that went before RB and her friend really gave it their all and I felt really bad for them as they just couldn't make that 1st reach move.  2 boys managed the reaches and held holds over the 1st big roof, slapping for the hold under the 2nd roof.  The rest of the boys fell off at the initial reachy move.  Then it was RB's go.  I'd been so sure that the route would be too reachy for her.  I'd forgotten that she really enjoys corner routes and this route started up an overhanging corner, to reach underneath the roofs. 
Well, RB managed to match her foot onto a handhold that she was using at shoulder height!  Wow, super flexible!  She then palmed up slowly for the next handhold, moved her right foot up again, then did another high match on the left handhold.   Then it was a case of balancing to make a clip.  Grabbing the big sloping undercling underneath the big roof, clipping again, holding a tiny crimp above the roof and onto another crimp.  RB then completely cut loose with her feet and swung under the roof for a foothold out left!  She then dynoed for the crimp above the other small holds, catching it with 3 fingers to the amazement of the cheering crowds, then dynoed again for the hold underneath the 2nd roof.  Unfortunately she didn't catch that one, but she did touch it, putting her well into the lead, and equal with the older boys on that route.
That was it in the bag for RB.  She had stormed ahead into the lead and gained 1st place overall for the Scotland South region of the YCS.  I was so over the moon for her.  She loves doing these comps and the competition has been fierce over the years with many of the girls in her age group, so skillful that they've been chosen to be part of the British Team.  She'll more than likely have to compete against these girls, and girls a couple of years older than her in the British finals at Ratho, but it will be a really good experience for her.

So that's the climbing champs day out the way and as for me, I wasn't doing so well.  I'd originally thought to go to Aberdour for the day, followed by Limekilns if we had time.  But I'd not been feeling too great the past couple of days.  I'd been really hormonal and probably pretty anaemic, felt flat, lacking in energy and generally pretty unmotivated.  We decided to go to Kirrie, to play it safe as it's so familiar there and I was interested in checking out the new routes that have been put up.
Well, the new easier routes are all minging.  One of the 4's has a bolt missing, the 3+ has got to be the most dull, pointless route ever and the other 4 goes up a really dirty  and loose corner.   That routes needs ALOT more trundling and cleaning and I ended up climbing down as there was no way I was climbing it with all the big, loose blocks around.
Jonathon warmed up on one of the new 5's and didn't find it that inspiring.  It was too reachy for me and I couldn't even get off the ground on it!  I was feeling really stiff and inflexible however and simply unable to lock off on a layaway to get more reach as my wrists were feeling really painful being bent at an angle.
Jonathon then tried a new 6a, but found the roof really difficult and got annoyed at it.
We scampered off to the Mound area, to get on routes more familiar, and more clean and enjoyable!  I led the easy 4 and Jon did a 6a+ but it was so cold and showery that neither of us was enjoying it that much, so we sacked it and went home.
It's not been a great start to the rock season so far!

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