Tag Archive for BMC Competitions

When the final isn’t THE final

Snow is threatened!!!

Just what you need to hear when you have a journey to Newcastle to make for the final round of the BmC Paraclimbing comps for 2017.

So, to cover all eventualities a pup sitter was sourced for both Vicky and Fizz (us humans getting stranded in the snow is one thing, but not at all suitable for a dog; extra layers and clothes packed; along with extra car supplies SHOULD we end up stuck.

Driving up wasn’t an issue, apart from the odd icy patch, we managed to make good time.

Saturday morning we awoke to frost, but thankfully NO SNOW.

But the temperature was too cold.  It would actually have to warm up to snow.  And I am sure I have mentioned before how cold weather and climbing centres don’t really mix?

Especially when said climbing centre is inside an old church….

So, base layers, t-shirts, jumpers, coats AND hats at the ready I was warm. (But totally unable to climb with all these layers.

Newcastle Climbing Centre had restricted entry, it was only available for the competition, which made for a much quieter and less stressful day, but it was really REALLY really COLD.

The first top rope route was long, it wasn’t technically difficult, but such a high route in a cold setting and about 2/3rds of the way up I found myself having to move quickly from each hold, while at the same time unable to move quickly because of the temperature.

This very problem caused me to come off rope rope two at a move that I should have had no trouble with.

Top rope three was quirky, it saw me challenging my climbing style and making moves that I wouldn’t normally do, but these moves saw me reach higher than I ever expected.  I was proud of this route, even though I didn’t too it.

The bouldering problems were much easier to warm up for.  Boulder problems are set on lower walls, with bigger crash mats underneath and as such, this area of the centre appeared warmer.

Route one on the boulder saw me miss out the top hold for fear of sitting down and pulling up.  Route two was more of a traverse around a corner and then up on a diagonal, a route where I managed to get the start of on my final try, but then slipped further on on it.

Route three was a pig!  I am being kind here because it would be rude to swear.  It was a route that started in an almost horizontal laid back position and then you were to climb backwards before moving upto a standing position of height.  I was put off this route by watching some of the climbers I would count as ‘elite’ not managing to get past the backwards climb section of the problem.  Not surprisingly I got to the starting golds of this route (where all my body was off the floor) but only managed to move one hand before coming off.

My efforts were not in vien, these little ‘extra point’ moves saw me gain silver for this round of the competition.

And accumulatively see me awarded with Silver for the series.

………

However, the results of these competitions is not how the 2018 Paraclimbing team will be selected.  This time around there will be a selection day in February in Sheffield.

So watch this space …. My climbing has changed dramatically in the last year, but will it be enough?


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Silvers nice ….. Yet Bronze is prettier

This weekend saw the 3rd round of the BMC Paraclimbing series.

Manchester Climbing Centre was the venue – A beautiful former church, which has kept many of its original features, not to mention the lack of heating!! (Which was clearly felt this weekend ‘tup-north)

The routes were set, the atmosphere was buzzing and the turn out was phenomenal.

Selfie of me with Guide Dog Fizz with the Climbing Centre behind us and showing a large round stain glass window at the top Centre of the photograph

 

There were six competitors in female VI (according to the entry list anyway)  and Abi a fellow vi Climber who often ‘flashed’ all her routes and boulders was here.  So barring a natural disaster I set myself up for the best I could achieve would be a silver.

….. So what is a FLASH I hear you ask …..

To ‘Flash’ all routes and boulders is to get to the top hold on the first attempt.  With the top rope climbing routes you only had one go to get the best score or to ‘flash’ the route, but with the boulder problems you are given 3 opportunities.  Scoring a bonus 2 points if you succeed on the first go.

Anyway, I set myself the personal challenge to beat my scores from the same competition last year.  Knowing that the climbs had been set harder, this was my way of judging how I had improved in the past year.

This is the same challenge I have set myself for each of the rounds.  However one that, despite topping more routes and reaching higher in the routes I didn’t top, I didn’t actually achieve this in Edinburgh.  But as we don’t climb the EXACT same routes each year this isn’t always a clear sign of improvement, they may have changed the scoring against how everyone performed last year.

This was certainly the case for the 2nd round this year; after 3 of the 4 Male VI climbers scored maximum points, the route setters upped the challange for London.  Given that the 3rd top rope in Manchester was graded as a 7a (2a grades above my comfort zone) the Competition was seen to be set for a much higher status.

Usually as the routes go, boulder 1 and top rope 1 are lower grades, I flashed boulder 1, yet took a silly slip on top rope 1, costing me 26 points.

Photo shows me on toprope 1, just before I slipped. This is about 2/3rds up the route.

I got further on top rope 2 and just under the first ledge on top rope 3 (where I hadn’t expected to get too far from the ground!)

Photograph of me on top rope 3, my right hand is up on an underhand hold, my right leg is bent and the move I need to make is to stand up on my right to reach over the red ledge with my left hand.... I didn’t reach it!

The second boulder was a challange and one I had hoped to return to after a break (but time ran away from me) while boulder 3 was set as a challange to most.  I was happy to get the minimum points of 47 on this as it was such a hard set.  47 Out of 60 meant I got both my feet off of the ground, which given there was only one foot hold and the hand holds had an interesting placement was quite an achievement and similar to many of my fellow competitors.

This photograph is of boulder 2, I managed to get one hand hold higher having moved my right foot to a higher hold.    

Had time allowed I think a 3rd attempt on this route would have seen me complete it.

But time didn’t allow.

The sheer volume of competitors and lack of volunteers who could belay meant that the competition ran over by 35 minutes as it was.  In which time I competed in the 3rd top rope, where I found myself scoring much higher than I expected.

Once the competition was over it was time to calm down, take off my climbing shoes (hello feet) and harness and await the results.

There were no podium blocks, but an innovative use of the stone steps that led upto the bouldering area and my catagory was read out.

As expected, 1st place went to Abi (which I congratulated her on) then 2nd place …….. Me!

I took my podium; accepted my medal and had my picture taken.

There had been no 3rd place on the podium which I had felt was odd, but had honestly thought the person named as 3rd had left.

It was only after all the podiums were announced that the organiser explained that the medals that hadn’t been handed out in London were ready for collection.  It was at this point I discovered that a fellow female VI had been mis-catagoried and was in fact 2nd.  So back went my shiny silver medal and out came the beautiful bronze!

Sadly it was too late to re-take the podium photographs. So the only one I have is of me with my silver.  So here is my ‘incorrect’ Podium photo showing me beside the beautiful Abi.

Photograph of me stood on the left hand side of stone steps with a silver medal and certificate with Fizz stood beside me and fellow climber and gold medal winner Abi on the right


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