Wednesday, 28 December 2011

New Blog and GB Team!

Hi everyone,

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!!!

Happy Climbing,

Alex :)              

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