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 http://verbundklettern.de/
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).
Getting back on the high street...
2 months ago