Last Sunday I headed down south to Wokingham, near Reading, for the first open youth bouldering comp of the season. It was being held at a new venue called Oakwood Climbing Centre. Qualifiers begun and as usual we had 8 blocs to climb in 2 hours but this time we had 5 attempts instead of 3. As the centre had recently just opened all of the holds were incredibly grippy and they shredded lots of layers of skin! I topped 6 of the 8 climbs in 12 goes and this meant I just scraped in to the finals. The format for finals was 5 on 5 off compared to the usual 4+ format and this was the first final in a real competition that it had been used so it was good to do something different. I came out first and flashed to the match on the slab which was our first problem, but I didn’t quite see a crucial foothold which made the last move lots easier on my second go. Then I had my 5 minutes rest ready for bloc 2. This was an all volume problem that was very burly. I flashed to the bonus and even got both of my hands on the second last hold, a massive sloping volume but then I released my thigh clamp and cut loose. The 3rd bloc wasn’t topped by anyone in A Male. It started with a compression on a cone-like volume and a bicycle on another volume below before slapping up to 3 circular slopers each getting worse the higher you got. Then the move to the bonus was an accurate dead point to about a 1cm wide ledge. The next move was where I fell off reached up for another massive circular sloper. The fourth and final problem started with a coordination move, as the left hand went up for a volume your right toe flicked up to get a toe hook so you could come in to the compression off the sloper and volume. It was really tough, and then a high heel to roll over to the bonus, right hand up to a small crimp and rock over left you an undercutting side pull. I couldn’t manage this move because I was knackered after trying so hard on the others but I felt my tactics were still good. I finished in fourth so I upped my position by 2 which is a great positive start to the season.
As it was a selection comp I’m really pleased to have been selected to represent the GB Junior Bouldering Team and compete in Portugal and France which are the first 2 European Youth Cups of the season.