Tuesday 22 April 2014

CWIF 2014 and the Road to Recovery

The 2014 competition season began with the Climbing Works International Festival (CWIF) on the 15th and 16th March. After a lot of hardcore training throughout the winter I was feeling psyched and ready to give it 100%. I had little expectation as the start list revealed that multiple international climbers were competing as well as nearly all of the Senior and Junior British bouldering teams.

Women's Qualification results
I competed in the afternoon session as I chose to have a good nights sleep over clean hand holds. This proved to be a good decision for me as I started off well, managing to flash the first 17 or 18 problems. I still had plenty of time left and my energy levels weren't too depleted. I pushed on and surprised myself when I managed to bag more points on certain problems that I thought would be impossible for me. Eventually I managed to break the 200 point barrier which was a far better score that I expected!

I finished before the time ran out with a score of 203. This put me in 8th position, qualifying as the 2nd Brit! I was really pleased with this and it was good to know I was climbing well for the season ahead.

On Sunday I was up early for the semi-finals. I didn't have any expectations as I'd proven to myself that I was climbing well - I was just psyched to try the problems.

Bloc 1

I began well in the semi-final, topping the 1st problem on my 4th attempt.

Bloc 1

Unfortunately things started to go rapidly downhill on the 2nd problem. On my first attempt I fell off from near the top and landed with my left knee hyper-extended ( my knees are hyper-mobile anyway).

Bloc 2 before the fall

At first I couldn't move my leg at all and was planning on pulling out as soon as I was capable of moving off the mats. However the pain eased a bit within the next minute so I decided (perhaps stupidly) to continue. I managed to get another bonus on problem 4 and was quite relieved when the time was up. I finished in 14th and was pleased that I was the first British Junior.

After a trip to A&E I got back just in time to watch the finals. The problems looked super hard but the finalists pulled on and gave it their all. However there could only be one winner - in the women's it was Shauna Coxsey and in the men's it was Tito Caleyron. Well done to all the finalists - awesome climbing all round!

The Cwif was over for another year and yet again it was an amazing competition! Thank you to all of the organizers, route setters and to the Climbing Works for making it happen.

Unfortunately, throughout the next week my knee didn't improve so I had an MRI scan which revealed extensive soft tissue damage as well as bone bruising and a crack in my tibia (I guess the adrenaline kept me going at CWIF!) Because of this I was told not to do any high impact activities for 5-6 weeks (no bouldering!). I began easy leading after 3 weeks which prepared me nicely for my climbing trip to Spain on the 12th April!

Spain - Siurana, Margalef, Arboli

On the 12th April I traveled out to Spain along with Sarah, Tash, Gracie, Naomi, Flo, Billy, Pete, Luke, Alex, Jonny and the parents. I was really looking forward to it, even though I didn't set my aims high because  my knee still couldn't bend properly.

On the first 2 days we went to Siurana where the crushing began. A lot of hard routes were sent and I managed to flash a 7b+ and top a 7c ( already better than I'd expected!)

On the third day we went to Margalef (definitely recommend it for people who like pockets) where we managed to get some quality climbing in away from the sun. I topped another 7b+ and there was more crushing from the boys - Billy and Alex sent an 8a and Luke and Pete got close on an 8a+ and 8B+ (which they topped a few days later).

The following day we had a half day/ rest day. We went to Margalef in the morning, but soon realized we should have got up earlier as the crag was already in the sun. After doing 2 routes we sacked it off and walked up to a massive lake that was nearby. Me, Flo, Billy and Pete arrived first and decided we'd swim to the other side. However we'd seriously under-estimated the distance and only just made it across ( luckily I'd been swimming as part of my rehab!). After the swim back we'd gained a lot of respect for the competitive swimmers as we were all knackered - not the best rest day!

The next day we went to Siurana where we spent a few hours pushing through many holly bushes (it was a mistake wearing shorts) to get to the crag. Unfortunately it wasn't worth the walk in and we only ended up doing chossy routes with 6m runouts. Luckily the walk back only took 10 minutes as we found an alternative path. Me and Gracie also did a few decent climbs on the way out.

The final day took us to Arboli which was an awesome crag with really long routes. I onsighted some 7's which were some of the most enjoyable lines I climbed - though we almost ran out of rope on a 40m route.

All in all it was a fantastic trip and the weather was amazing - thanks to Sarah for the invite and for Mark for organising it!

My knee has improved a lot within the last week, however the 2nd round of the Junior British Bouldering Championships in Glasgow is only 1 week away (26th April). because of this I'm not sure if I'll be able to compete, however I'm hoping to as I won the first round. To retain the title I need to compete in all three rounds..... so fingers crossed!

Tick list from Spain:
Remulo y Romo 7a - onsightC
Chachi qui chapi 7a - flash
Chanidanger 7a+ - onsight
Per tutatis 7a+ - onsight
Pa ella y pa los guiris 7a+ - flash
Crosta panic 7a+ - Flash
Valga'm deu quin patir! 7a+ - flash
Huir para vivir 7a+ - onsight
Montgromyeta 7b+ - second attempt
Bistec de biceps 7b+ - Flash
Avance cangrejo  7c - third attempt

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