Sunday, 16 December 2012

Youth Open Liverpool 2012 - Bouldering and Leading

On Friday 7th December I traveled up to Liverpool for the Youth Open which was on Saturday and Sunday. I was going to do both the leading and Bouldering because I would like to compete internationally in both next year.
The leading competition was on Saturday at Awesome Walls (, where I competed in the Youth A category. This was because the Youth Open is a selection event for next year, therefore we had to compete in the age category we will be in next year.
I managed to top my first route, along with 4 others, which put me in joint first. There wasn't very much time between my first and second route and when I came up from my warm-up (my forearms were still slightly pumped!) I found that I was next to climb! After quickly tying in I got onto my second route. I managed to top it, therefore I qualified in joint first with Molly. The top six places went into the final.

I was well warmed up for the final and felt confident with the route sequence. Unfortunately when I was climbing my foot slipped. Though I still came second, I was really annoyed because I wasn't that pumped when I fell off, so I think I could have got further.

The Youth A podium - Bouldering

On Sunday, at the Climbing Hanger it was the first time that there was a Youth Open bouldering competition. This was because, from next year, there's going to be a junior British Bouldering Team, not just a senior.

We had to try 8 problems in the qualifiers and do them in as few goes as we could. I topped all 8 of them in 12 goes (flashed 6, did 1 second go and 1 third go), which, as usual put me in joint first with Molly!

In the final we tried 3 problems, which we had four minutes to do (the less attempts the better). We were all in isolation, so nobody could see how to do the problems. I managed to flash all 3 of them, so I finished in 1st! Molly came second, with Rachel 3rd.

Overall I think it was a great weekend. Thanks to all of the organisers, volunteers and of course all the competitors!

I have been selected for the British Junior Leading and Bouldering teams, I have to make a decision on which discipline to choose as my priority......tricky!!

Monday, 10 December 2012

European Youth Championships, Gemozac

The European Youth Championships were held in Gemozac, France on the 3rd and 4th of November. There was a bigger team than usual going, and with most of the hotels filled with climbers, there wasn't enough room for all of us.
Because of this the girls and boys were in separate hotels. Us and the boys both thought we had the bad side of the deal, until we were proven right by finding we were 30 minutes further from the climbing wall than the boys (not to mention that 2 single beds could only just fit into a room!!)

Unfortunately the weather was worse than in Britain, so we were stuck indoors for most of Friday (we flew out on Thursday). We had to find some way to entertain ourselves, so we resorted to playing cards......more even more (you get the message!) Though it wasn't the best way to get psyched, I was still really looking forward to the competition.

I rose early on Saturday morning, grabbed some breakfast and went to the wall. It was an awesome place to climb, with lots of different angles (mixtures of slabs and overhangs) and I could't wait to start climbing.

On my first route, I came 10th - just enough to secure a place in the final if I continued to perform well on my second route. Unfortunately  when I was going for the last hold on my second climb I slipped, which moved my position down to 12th, meaning I just missed out on the final.Though I was annoyed that I slipped, my climbing has definitely improved. Molly and Alex made the final, so competed later on in the evening.

On Sunday we watched the speed with quite a lot of the Team competing - including Orrin Coley, one of my  long-term training partners! As always, the Russian's dominated the speed climbing and so took up most of the places on the podiums.

On Monday morning we were headed back to the airport (where the boys nearly made us miss the flight!).
Overall it was a great trip and I'd like to say thank you to all of the chaparones.

Friday, 12 October 2012

British Lead Climbing Championships 2012

Youth B British Champion!

The 2012 British Lead Climbing Championships (BLCC's) were held at Ratho in Edinburgh on Saturday 6th October followed by the British Speed Climbing Championships (BSCC) and the senior BLCC's on Sunday.
Both of my qualifiers looked do-able and suited my style of climbing, so I was feeling quite confident before the competition began.

Just topped route 1!
Photo Alex Messenger, BMC
I climbed roughly in the middle of my group on route 1, which I topped along with two other people (Molly and Elissa).
This put me in joint first for the second route where I was first to climb. Again this qualifier suited my style, as it involved more technique instead of power. I felt quite relaxed on the climb and before I knew it I was at the top! (Though it took a while to clip the last quickdraw because of the rope drag!) Molly also topped out so we were in joint first going into the final; with Elissa in third, Flo in fourth, Gracie in fifth  Liberty and Charlotte in joint sixth.
Me and the rest of the finalists went into isolation at about 2.30pm (I think) where we waited for the route viewing (everyone has 8 minutes to read the route before going back into isolation to warm up). I was really psyched for the final after reading the route, so when I went back into isolation I made sure I was really well warmed up and that I knew the sequence of the route.

I felt nervous just before I climbed, but as soon as I pulled onto the wall I was in the zone. Everything went as planned whilst I was climbing and I felt comfortable all the way to .......the top! This put me in first place so far, with Elissa in second and Gracie in third. I was really pleased with how I climbed as I couldn't have done any better, however if Molly topped the final route, it would go down to whoever was quickest (and I'm not a quick climber). As it was, Molly fell off the last move and I was crowned British Lead Climbing Champion 2012 (youth B)

I am really pleased with my performance because I got full points on all of the climbs and I'd like to say thank you to the route setters, organisers and all the volunteers who helped out.
Unfortunately I had to go on Saturday, therefore I wasn't able to watch the speed competition or the seniors, as it was the following day. However you can see the results at

P.S. Orrin Coley won the junior boys speed championships which he deserves because he trains really hard - well done!

On Saturday there was also a senior Vets category, where my mum competed FOR CHARITY and came an impressive 5th place!?

Well done to everyone who competed over the weekend.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Junior Leading World Championships 2012, Singapore

On Saturday 25th August, I departed from Heathrow airport with the British Team for the Junior World Championships ( In the youth B girls category, there was me and Molly, in the youth B boys category there was William, the youth A boys had Buster and Jonny and in the Junior Girls there was Charlotte. We began our journey with a 13 hour flight to Singapore, where we didn't arrive until Sunday.

When we finally got to the airport, we got a taxi to Sentosa (the island where we were staying) and settled into our well air-conditioned rooms.

For the next two days we had the chance to recover from jet-lag and adapt to the hot, sticky climate. On Tuesday we went to China Town, which is the Chinese part of Singapore. I found  this interesting as it was typically Asian, whereas the shopping centre in Singapore was just like being back in England!

The competition was on a purpose built climbing wall on.....the beach! This was quite an awesome place to climb, however it wasn't that convenient because it was impossible to keep sand off the mats and my climbing shoes.

From IFSC facebook photo album day 1
Qualifier 1 took place on Wednesday, where I was climbing 2nd. Personally I preferred this because you always know the time the climbing starts, so you can time your warm-up more precisely, as you know you'll be climbing just after it starts. Knowing that my warm up had gone well, I was feeling far more relaxed than usual. I definitely climbed my best, and once everyone had finished climbing I found out that I was in Joint 3rd out of 48 climbers. This made me a lot more confident and put me in a good position for my 2nd route.

The following day, qualifier 2 began at 11am, however I was 24th to climb, so had quite a wait. I didn't climb very well on my second route but I still qualified for the semi-finals (top26) in 14th place. Molly, William and Charlotte also Qualified for the semis.

Isolation for the semi-finals was due to open at 9.30am on Friday morning, however we got woken up at 7am by torrential rain. I lost all hope that it would go ahead, especially when the rain got heavier as we were eating breakfast. If the semi's has been cancelled, the results from the qualifiers would have been used, meaning I would have come 14th. though I would have been pleased with this result, I had no desire for the semi-finals to be cancelled, because I didn't go all the way to Singapore just to do 2 routes, especially after all the training that had gone into it. Because of this, it seemed like a miracle when the rain finally stopped, and they gave a new time for isolation.

Isolation was on the beach behind the comp wall, where there was a small warm-up wall. I think that though it was hot, the setting of the competition helped me to stay calmer (it made me realise how lucky I was to even be there). There was a long queue for the warm-up wall, so I didn't get quite as much warming up as I'd have liked, however I still think I did my best on the climb, as it was slightly easier  than the qualifiers, meaning you had to get nearer the top to do well, and at the moment my endurance isn't one of my strong points. In the end I finished 20th in the semi's, therefore that was my final result. I was pleased with my performance throughout the competition, and it was a great experience competing somewhere so different from England.

In the end, Team GB had some great results, with William and Molly qualifying for the finals, where William finished an amazing 4th place at his first ever World Championships! and Molly finished 7th. Also, myself and Charlotte made the semi's with Buster and Jonny narrowly missing out.

All in all it was a fantastic trip and was a great opportunity to meet people from all around the World with different cultures. Also, it was a good experience to climb on great routes, set by international route setters, and I really enjoyed the trip :D

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

European Youth Cup Update

Route 1, EYC Voiron
After a fantastic start to the EYC in Ratho with a 4th place I must admit to being disappointed in my results at EYC Voiron and Linz. I get really nervous when competing abroad and have been trying to work on this, taking positives away from each experience.

This weekend I was competing in Linz, Austria. I didn't climb as well as I would have liked on my first route but I managed to stay relaxed and focussed on my second managing a credible joint 6th on that route. Although still disappointed in my overall position I really enjoyed the trip as my good friends Sarah Pashley and Billy Ridal (who I went on my Spanish trip with) were also competing. The weather was hot (35 degrees!) but the hotel had an outside pool so we spent Friday relaxing and swimming after our long journey to Linz. The food was also excellent and I tried some of the local Linztorte.

Only Jonny Stocking made the finals in Junior male and finished in 8th place - well done Jonny! On reflection though I am happy to have the opportunity to compete for team GB at the European Youth Cup and must remind myself that I am on a long term athlete develpoment program.

Our flight was delayed by 1 hour on the way back so we didn't arrive at Manchester until 12.30am. It was 3.30am Monday before I got back home and I had to sit my GCSE English speaking exam  that same day!

Next stop the British Bouldering Championships at Cliffhanger next weekend where I hope to retain my Junior title...... can't wait!

P.S. Thanks to Wild Country for my new T-Shirts!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

RocFest 2012

RocFest qualifying route
Yesterday I took part in the RocFest bouldering comp at Rockover in Manchester ( The junior qualifiers started at 10.30 with 3 and a half hours to climb 30 routes. I managed to gain 228 points out of a maximum of 300 and finished in 1st place after the qualifiers. The routes were well set and some were very challenging.
After spending around 40 minutes in isolation whilst the routes were set for the Junior finals we were off again. I was last out to climb (it was in reverse order form qualifying position) and flashed all my routes which put me in first place. Afterwards, I watched the senior finals as it was a great opportunity to see some of the world's best boulderers.

It was a great day and I'm hoping to go back next year!!
Problem 1 in the final

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

EYC Ratho 2012

Photo by Alex Messenger/BMC
The first of the European Youth Cup events was held at Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, Ratho on the 19th and 20th of May.

The qualifiers were on Saturday where we had to climb two routes. My first route was on the old competition wall - technical and balancy. I managed to top out but fell 2 thirds of the way up my second route on the main comp wall as I didn't have too much time to warm up and got flash pumped. I had to wait nervously for an hour to see if I had made the final but in the end managed to qualify comfortably in 6th place. Molly also qualified in 7th place and Team GB did well with 6 members of the team making the final - the most we have had in the finals so far!

Reading the route in the finals.
 Photo by Alex Messenger/ BMC
Sunday morning started with a nervous breakfast then onto EICA Ratho. Isolation opened at 8.45am and route reading was at 10am with the Youth B girls out with the first group to climb.  It was good having a GB team mate to read the route with as last year I was the only British competitor.
I was 5th out to climb (it goes in reverse qualifying order) and managed to cruise through the first crux where a lot of the previous competitors had fallen.

Cruising the first crux on the final route.
 Photo by Alex Messenger/BMC
I finished in 4th place - just missing out on a podium position (by 2 moves!!) but was really pleased with my performance. A good start to the 2012 competition season and I am now looking forward to the next EYC in Voiron, France in 2 weeks!

In the meantime - back to studying for my GCSE's which started with biology on Monday morning at 9am!!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

2012 Leading Ladder Final - Reading Climbing Centre

Yesterday was the leading ladder final at Reading Climbing Centre. The routes were set by Tom Randall and Zippy and they ranged from 6a to 8b depending on the group.

I was in group C - elite under 16 female and had to climb 7a, 7b, 7c, 8a, and 8b. I flashed the 7a, b and c and got the bonus hold on the 8a which put me first in my group.

The day was great for onsight practice on competition routes and Reading was a great venue for the final.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

GB Regional Team Training - 7th April 2012

On Saturday 7th April Tom Randall and Adam Harrison held regional GB team training in Sheffield. We began at Tom's house where we were assessed on our finger strength. Then on the lattice board we were assessed on our aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity and aerobic power. Everyone had improved their finger strength and we varied on the lattice board but the atmosphere was positive.

After lunch we went to the Edge Climbing Centre ( to get some comp/onsight practice. We were all feeling positive by the end of the day, as well as rather tired! All in all it was a great training day.

Thank you to Tom and Adam for organising the day!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Trip to Costa Blanca

On the 11th February 2012, me and some friends (most of which are from the British Team) went sport climbing for one week in Costa Blanca. We stayed in a villa in Moraira near the coast. This was a perfect location as it was near to many climbing areas.

Sunday was our first day climbing, and though our minibus said it was 5 degrees, it snowed! We went to 'El cajon de los cuartos' and 'Sector Colp de Cot and Marion' in Sella. I didn't try anything too hard, as it was my first time sport climbing in over a year. I really enjoyed being on proper rock and was ready to try some harder stuff on day two.

On Monday we went to Sierra de Toix on 'Toix Far Oeste' in the morning. None of the routes were very challenging, so, after lunch, we drove to Los Pinos where the routes were generally a lot harder. I onsighted a one star 7a+ called 'Route 3' and redpointed a one star 7b on my second go called 'Paprika'. Though we all wanted to stay longer to tick more hard grades, we had to go back as it was getting late.

For our third climbing day we decided to go to Bernia, however after driving around for one hour to find ourselves on the wrong side of the valley, we changed our mind and went to Murla instead. At Murla there was a wide range of grades depending which sector we were on. 'Sector Empinado' was extremely exposed to the wind and was therefore too cold to climb at. For example I tried to climb a 6c+ yet failed miserably because of numb fingers. Around the other side of the crag - 'Sector Crazy,Crazy' - the wind was far weaker, yet the grades were quite easy. After not that long we had to leave because we were all numb and miserable and it begun to rain.

On Wednesday we went to Wildside. Unfortunately it was in the shade and so we were climbing in our down jackets, however I managed to flash a one star 7a called 'Si te dicen que cai'. I worked two 7b's (in my opinion they were undergraded), one of which had such huge runouts it was almost like doing a solo!

Thursday took us to Gandia, where it was nice and warm as it was exposed to the Sun. We went to 'Sector hidraulics' and 'Sector Potent'. I flashed a three star 7a+ called 'Don Diego' and did some other easier routes, including a 5 called 'Pequeno saltamontes' which went up through a hole in the rock!

On our last day we went back to Gandia and climbed at 'Sector Fundicio'. I did some easier stuff, then tried a 7c called 'Dia de borratxera', where I got to the top section before my skin almost got shredded on a line of four sharp pockets. I didn't do much on the last day because my skin was sore.

Overall the trip was great and I'm really looking forward to the next one wherever and whenever that'll be.

Monday, 20 February 2012