Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Munchen Housen - EYS

Yo Guys

I have just returned from yet another trip with the British Team. This time we where away in Munich (Munchen to the Germans). We where competing in another round of the European Youth Series at the wall there

It was a pretty amazing wall. There was three sections that were outstanding, massive overhanging towers with roofs and steep angled boards to as much as 60 degrees when not a roof. The routes where set brilliantly as well. The head route-setter i believe was Christian Bindhammer the famous German climber (he's climbed 9a+!). All the team climbed well and we all had a really fun time. At the end of the day, these events are an enjoyable experience and we are not only heading out there to beat other comp climbers, we are going out there to meet up with friends and have a good time climbing, just the same as if we where going to the crags.

I headed out to Munich with Ross "The Human Stick" Kirkland and Jonathan "Outstanding in his" Field... hahahaha, man i'm soooo funny! We left from Edinburgh but unfortunately our plane was delayed by a meager 4 hours, so we spent this precious time playing games on me and Jonny's ipods and watching Dragonball The Movie on mine (Such a good movie - Only me and Ross could really appreciate it for what a movie-making success this film actually is). Anyway, we left for Stanstead and spent the night in the holiday Inn down there with Natalie "Blue" Berry and Jonathan "Christmas" Stocking. Your probably wondering why i'm writing these stupid middle name things... Just go with it!

Anyhoo, the next day we met up with the rest of the team in Stanstead airport. This comprised of:

Lukas "Justice Chilli Con Carne" Tilley
Suzie "Dances with kebab chefs" Zitter
"Hello" Kitty Wallace (That one got you didnt it, the speech marks are at the front!)

And also including the two chaperons:

Tony Powell (team manager)
Lorraine Stocking... (Jonny's mum)(Area Youth Coordinator for scotland south i think too?)

After a long and arduous journey, we reached Munich and finally the Holiday Inn which was where we were staying. Funnily enough, the hotel was really nice, too expensive to have breakfast in though, but it had a pool, steam room and sauna!
The next day was the comp, so after a good nights sleep we headed out to the wall. The wall was packed to breaking point, Its amazing that you can fit so many people into one small space. I met up with lots of old friends and even made a few new ones.

The Team Mascott... MULE!!!

Anyway, all the routes where totally crazy, scrambling through the steepest sections of the wall and winding around like snakes. My first route was outside on one of the less steep angled boards but still easily around 30 degrees sustained. The route was around 8a and only a few guys topped it, many got close but the last moves where hard. I feel I cold have performed much better on this route if I hadn't struggled to clip one of the quick-draws. I faffed around on that clip for easily 15 or so seconds, much longer than you want. I got around 6 moves further and was boxed, I came to a large move to a screw-on hold on a volume and slapped it. It was a sweet route and I wish I could have gone back and done it later.

My second route was a long and very sustainly steep route. It was easily 8b, nobody topped it, really only one person got close to the top but even he looked totally destroyed when he got there and there was still hard moves to go. Andreas Bindhammer (Christian's Brother) demonstrated the route and totally pissed it. BEAST!!! I didn't do too well on this route, I fell of quite low because i moved too dynamically for a small pinch which I should have just statically locked.

In the end I wasn't good enough to beat the majority of these Euro wads, but thats what competition is all about and being beaten by them isn't a bad thing, its a good thing really. Every time I get beaten by these guys it motivates me to go home and train harder and improve myself for the next time. Its the same when you get burnt of a hard route outside, its refreshing that you can challenge yourself and get beaten and maybe next time, after learning more from being defeated, you can succeed!

The rest of the team did really well! Jonny Stocking came 11th, missing out on finals only by a hold and a very debatable appeal by the French team which is why he never got in. Natalie Berry got 12th place and climbed phenomenally well as standard. Kitty Wallace once again missed finals by nothing more than a point or so, she is not done yet though, we've not seen the last of this young climber... The tank that is known as Suzie Zitter came a very nice 30th place in no doubt one of the hardest categories, I've seen this girl climb and theres no way she climbed to her full potential on that day, the future is bright for this one. For Jonathan Field and Ross Kirkland it was there first EYS and I can't say that that I'm not impressed by their performances. This was their first international and they took it very well, better than my first and the way these two are climbing right now, the future of scottish climbing is going to be seeing a lot in the next few years I can tell you that!

This weekend is the Edinburgh round of the European Cup, show your support for them by coming to watch the event. Its being held at EICA: Ratho on Saturday (qualifiers) and Sunday (Finals).

The routes will be left up so you guys can test yourself against the best youth climbers in Europe (all of them world class).

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Board Wars: Return of the Climber

Hey everyone!

Not posted in a couple of weeks as i've been totally mobbed with everything at the moment. I retured a week ago from the Youth World Championships in Valence, France. I was competing along with fellow team mates:

Paul Williamson (Weegie-Scottish)
Jonny Stocking (Outside-Weegie-Scottish)
Nathalie Berry ("might as well be" Scottish)
Ed Hamer (Crimp Master)
Luke Tilley (Poy Champ)
Kitty Wallace (Beast!)
Suzzie Zitter (Dances with kebab chefs)
Beckie Hall (Doesn't like take off's)
Shauna Coxsey (All-round Beast)
Michaela Tracy (injured)

So that was the team. Despite being Britains strongest youth climbers, a great bunch of guys and girls! No doubt, they are the future of hard climbing in britain.

Now, the competition was great fun. Despite not such great results, we all had an amazing time. I did pretty poorly, no where even close to my usual standards. I fell 3/4 way onsighting the first route whcih was only 7c (disapointing). Falling off not dude to pump but my foot popping on a feature! I didnt let it dampen my spirits though, i headed onto the next route with a lot of psyche to improve upn my earlier place, good news is, I did. Bad news, it was only a couple of places and my foot popped again early on the route when i wasn't even remotely pumped. Gutted!!! I blame this to my poor ability to cope with nerves and therby causing a lack of focus on body tension ergo the foot popping...

However, the rest of the team didnt do all that bad, Paul came similarly placed to me but in a lower category, feeling that he definitely didnt perform to his usual standards. Kitty missed out on the semi's only just, a real shame as shes usually a contendor for podium places, but 4 more years in youth categories is enough time to get it back (man i wish i had that time left!). Shauna bested it into the semis but unfortunately missed out on the finals only just. Our adopted Scot, Nat, cruised her way into the semis as usual but, uncharacteristically, missed finals. Jonny as usual cruised qualifiers into semis but (definitely unusually) fluffed up the vertical start of his semi and didnt make finals. Both suze and Beckie missed out on semis too but made valiant attempts on their respective qualifiers, becky missing out due to being timed out on her route, GUTTING!

Irrespective of the outcome, we all had a totally awesome time! We made tonnes of friends (I certainly did) and we got to see all our old friends from around the world. After semis, we watched the finals, which was a truly amazing show, the most impressive of which was watching Adam Ondra dominate the Youth A category by topping out the route about 20 holds and a further 2 cruxes past the last climber who fell, MENTAL!

The next day we headed to the speed wall while we waited to leave for home. The speed comp was really exciting (funnily enough, unexpected by me) and it gave us a lot of time to chill out and relax in the sun. I went on a tour of the city with the NZ team of whom I became friends. Something I have learned is, people south of the equator seem to have a much more laid back and relaxed attitude, something to do with gravity me thinks?

Anyway, I had a great time, but right now, i'm getting ready for the next two weeks! I have a european in Munich on Saturday and another in Edinburgh the following Saturday! Crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Excuse my exclamation marks please)

We just had a training weekend with the team for some preparation. It took the form of a competition with isolation and everything. Two qualifiers on Saturday followed by an early final on sunday (before work). I topped both qualifiers onsight 7b+ and 7c+ and the final i fell on the last move which was about 7c+ as well. The routes are still up so you can go and try them if your keen? It was really good to see everyone again, but i must say i was so impressed with just how seriously the younger of the team took it. They all took the comp super seriously and did their best to listen to what the coaches had to offer in terms of advice and they applied it really well to the competition situation they where put under.

Anyway, Wednesday i'm heading off to Munich with the team. I'm going down with Ross Kirkland and Jonny Field to Stanstead where we will meet the rest of the team. before that i'm going to route it tomorrow with Ali Swinton at ratho and crush Dunkeld on Tuesday with Mhairi Thorburn and Adam Hughes, if they let me i might go for the Dunkeld Challenge (all routes in a day), but i doubt they'd be up for a second sesh at myopics.

Later everyone!

Wish us luck in Munich!