Wednesday, March 9, 2011

2011 YCS Round 1 Scotland North

At the Inverness climbing wall in the North Region, 21 girls and 21 boys competed, with routes set by MCofS coaches Neil McGeachy and Mark McGowan. British Team members Steven Addison, Nikki Addison and Dylan Mackenzie, along with Ellen MacAskill attended as volunteers to help out on the day along with MCofS Coach (and stand-in AYC for 2011) Ruairidh Mackenzie and Anna Wells and a host of other parent volunteers making it a great day. The Highlander Youth Climbing Club had a stand at the event selling various goodies to raise funds. It was good to see some new climbers in the 8-10 age category but it was Keri MacLennan again who won the girls competition. The boys 8-10 was a harder fought competition and the top 4 had to be separated by a superfinal to determine the first place witch went to Thomas Ryan. In the 11-13 category, Emily Eadie showed she has come on a lot in a year to take first for the girls, whilst Stephen Dent took first for the boys against Rory Cargill who has moved up from the 8-10 category this year, but still managed second place. Reuben Green and Henry Kerr had to be separated by count-back to determine third place (to Reuben). In the girls 14-16 cetagory, Amy Anderson was joined by Sophie Harper and Sofie Hvide who moved up from the younger age catagory this year. Sophie took the win. In the boys, Ruairidh MacAskill, who moved up a category this year, did well against some seasoned climbers and took second place after count-back frm Scott Donaldson, but Malcolm Bradley took a clear win. Well done to everyone who took part, and a big thanks has to go to Inverness leisure and their staff for hosting the event this year and to all the volunteers for making it possible.

The new routes set for the competition will remain available for a while - why not go along and try them - see how well you can do?

2011 YCS Round 1 Scotland South

Scotland South YCS Round 1- The Peak Stirling

We had 45 climbers turn out at The Peak Wall in Stirling on Saturday 5th March with many new faces particularly in the 8-10 boys group. The route setters had been hard at work the previous day and had set some interesting routes that even tested our demonstrators - GB team members Angus Davidson and Rachel Carr. In most groups it was down to the wire before we could write the winners' certificates.

Top marks of the day go to Rory Whyte for a perfect 480 in the Boys 8-10. Newcomers Matthew Fall and Declan Currie took second and third place in that category. In the Girls 8-10 Rhiannon Freireich just missed out on a similar score due to a ‘feet on features only’ route which caught out a number of the competitors. She was joined on the podium by Holly Davis and Emma Davidson, second and third respectively.

The 11-13 categories were the busiest and hard fought to the end with only 10 points separating the top three spots in both boys and girls.

In the Girls Gabriella Stewart triumphed with an excellent final route climb marginally beating Eilidh Vass Payne into second place by 2 points. Elle Hogarth's first time success on the final boulder problem put her in third place on count back over Claudia Charlwood in fourth.

In the Boys 11-13 William Bosi held his cool to take first place just ahead of Robert Davidson and Sam Harland-Sendra both in their first year of this category.

The 14 - 16 Boys and Girls all climbed as a group and had to contend with some very tricky routes and ‘features only’ boulder problems. Down two points going into the final route Rebekah Drummond put in a spirited climb to gain an extra hold and take first place over Abigail Blunt in second and Christie MacLeod in third. Euan King fought hard for his extra hold that gave him first place ahead of Jamie Drummond second and Alexander Bosi in third. With only 3 points separating these three future rounds are going to be exciting.

Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make it a smooth operation and an enjoyable event for everyone involved. Bring on Round 2.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011 GB Team Inaugural Meet, Sheffield

The GB Team 2011 Inaugural Meet at Sheffield on 12/13 February brought together 19 of the team selected following the Open Youth Competition in Liverpool in November.

With an uncharacteristically respectable start time of 10am we were able to have a leisurely breakfast before pitching up at Climbing Works for a day of bouldering. With only one new member added to the team following Liverpool, it was a bit of a family reunion and the climbers settled into their groups really quickly. Youth B and C worked alongside one another, as did Juniors and Youth A. While they started off around the various CW circuits, the parents had a quick meeting and got a peak at the new Mountain Hardware shell top the team will be issued in March. We then settled down on the comfy leather chairs to drink coffee and talk climbing. After lunch came the fitness tests – pat downs, push ups, sit ups, lock-offs, typewriters, pull ups, etc. Some excelled, others went away realising they needed to do a bit more work away from the wall. The results were all logged and improvements will be expected at future team training days.

Some of us were able to get together to share a meal in the evening. Despite the best attempts of the Sheffield one way system to keep us away a superb time was had by all and the food and staff at Wagamama were excellent. Wonder if they’d like to sponsor the team?

The Sunday morning schedule started with a 9.30 run. Only Ian Dunn could be described as enthusiastic as the climbers gathered in the rain outside The Foundry comparing aching muscles from the day before. Thirty minutes later some very red-faced and slightly soggy runners returned. With a short pause to catch breath and gather up kit it was then into the Foundry for more training on the boulders, 45o board and some routes. After a quick lunch, which tested the Foundry’s toastie machine to its limit, it was back into the cars to try and find the location for the Nutrition talk Sheffield Hallam University. Despite careful programming of Satellite Navigation systems, fate once again stepped in and put a road repair crew right outside the entrance for which we were looking. Several hurried phone calls ensued, that resulted in John Ellison standing on a street corner waving us down and sending us through the gap with the ‘no entry’ signs. Like a perfect tag team he then handed over to Ian to lead us through the corridors to the meeting rooms.

Youth B & C, with parents in tow, then sat through an interesting talk from Audry Morrison primarily on the need to hydrate and the best sources. The climbers were pleased when she didn’t ban chocolate, merely said that eating directly before a climb would have no beneficial result – a sports drink was a better option but only if supplemented by eating a healthy diet and getting lots of sleep. Her promotion of milk as an ideal nutrition and hydration source is sure to raise the prevalence of smoothies at climbing walls in the future. Unfortunately time meant that the workshop had to be cut short, but after giving out her email address and offering to analyse climbers’ food diaries there will no doubt be further opportunities to investigate this area of performance support in the future.

To round up the day Ian then took Youth B and C through a range of simple exercises they could do at home with a yoga mat and light weights before it was back into the cars for the long journeys home. All-in-all a very worthwhile weekend. Thanks to everyone involved in pulling it together.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2011 BBC's


British Bouldering Championships 2011

The BBCs 2010 took place in the middle of a leafy Sheffield park during a sunny day June 2010. The boulder wall was shaded by a circus tent and the spectators sat on their picnic rugs and cooked on barbeques. Six months later the BBCs 2011 were being hosted by the Outdoor Show at the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands on a cold and wet January weekend. The Bouldering wall was dwarfed by the huge exhibition space.

The Juniors had been scheduled for the Sunday but we were lucking to arrive in time to see the Senior finals on the Saturday evening turning up to hear that Natalie Berry had made it through. Unfortunately our representatives in the senior male event hadn’t been able to garner the 94 points required to qualify for that final. Calum Forsyth, still not 100% with continuing growth plate problems, achieved a credible 20 points for 46th place, while Robbie Phillips with 60 points was 18th out of a pool of 55. Given that many of the competitors train only on boulders these two predominantly lead climbers could be proud of their achievements.

Natalie, again know for her leading over her bouldering, climbed well among a posse of GB Boulder team members, topping her final problem to secure herself 4th place, but the star of the evening was Shauna Coxsey who made all of the problems with ease demonstrating why she chose to move over from the GB Junior Climbing team to the GB Senior Bouldering team last year.

Sunday dawned wet and foggy. Boys were first and the 40 competitors swarmed the stage to complete the 10 problems in the 2 hours allotted. Tactics varied with some sending the four easiest problems in their first 10 minutes. Other walked around sussing each problem and deciding in which order they should be attempted. Leave a hard problem to the end and you may be too tired. Use up your energy on 3 hard attempts without success and you may not top an easier problem first go and loose points. Friends went round and discussed moves, watched successful tops in the hope that they could replicate the moves and studied falls in the hope of avoiding the same dangers. For spectators there was the occasional hiatus as competitors gathered their remaining strength before the next problem, but it soon became clear which were the tricky problems and cheers would go up when the first top was made. It was impossible to tell who had made the finals until the top 8 were announced. Unfortunately Edinburgher Fraser McIlwraith (14) who had topped 8 with one problem left fell heavily off his first attempt fracturing and dislocating his arm and ending his first championship endeavour. Despite this he finished 9th. Fellow Scot Angus Davidson (12) finished with 70pts (16th) and Jamie Drummond (15) scored 64 pts (25th). As the first foray for each of them they all vowed to return next year.

Rachel Carr (14) was the only Scottish girl to take part and having achieved 12th place last year had her sights set on the final. With Seniors Natalie Berry and Robbie Phillips providing advice and support she topped 6 problems with relative ease before coming a cropper on a nigh impossible pink dyno that only one competitor (Ellie Rymer) topped. Further problems on volume holds saw her finish with 60 points and an agonising wait for the announcement of the finalists. Unlike the closely grouped boys where finals qualification scores ranged from 84 to 90 the girl finalists qualified with a points range 48 to 81.

Whereas the Senior finalists had all come out at once and climbed one at a time, the Junior boys and girls were brought out in reverse order and climbed a problem then rested. With 5 minutes to attempt each problem things ticked over at speed and towards the top of the pack every problem was full. Topping first go meant you had the remaining minutes plus your 5 minute rest period to sit facing the spectators – a nerve wracking prospect which all the youngsters took in their stride. The girls’ first problem posed a problem to a few of the climbers but most topped first go. The second was a reach to a small hold that had even the top qualifiers struggling. From the audience viewpoint dynos are always exciting and the 3rd problem with its two handed grab then tricky balance flummoxed all until Rachel stuck it first go. The final problem saw the first 6 girls fail to reach the bonus hold then Molly Thompson Smith showed that it was possible but unfortunately couldn’t take it all the way to the end. Tara Hayes the first qualifier held her nerve through to the end with a polished final climb to take the title with 4 tops. Rachel with 3 tops finished second with Molly in third with two tops. As these three also form part of the Youth B GB climbing squad they will no doubt continue to share podiums throughout the year.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Liverpool Open Competition 2010

BMC Youth Open Competition - Liverpool Awesome Walls, 27th November 2010

With 114 competitors turning out on a chilly Saturday morning this year’s winter YOC was marginally quieter than last year, but the competition was just as hotly contested. There were only 16 Scots taking part as some of our more experienced climbers were out with injury after an extremely long competitive season. Nevertheless we managed to get 13 climbers into the Finals and bring home two First and two Second places.

As well as an Open competition the event was being used to help GB team management select their squad for 2011. Everyone was competing in their IFSC categories for 2011, so there were some new faces and often a new group of climbers to pitch skills against. Zippy, Tom Randall and Neil Busby had set some exciting routes and they were testing from the start. Even so over a third of competitors (39) managed tops on their easiest qualifier in the 8 groups. This dropped to 12 on the harder qualifier and over the course of the day only 9 competitors went through to the finals with 2 tops.

Youth C (12/13yrs) saw many climbers competing for the first time at this level and while nerves were apparent on qualifying routes, scores were relatively close going into the Finals route for both the boys and girls. A tricky triangular volume proved too much for most girls but Inverness’ Emily Eadie made that all important ‘positive climbing move’ from the volume to gain a + and take 2nd behind Carmel Moran. Gabriella Stewart (Loanhead) was pleased with her 6th placing in her first YOC.

In the boys Angus Davidson (Edinburgh) had an excellent climb on a complex Finals Yellow route that had been used previously by Youth B boys. His final score of 29+ beat most of the older boys and gave him the Youth C title 6pts clear of his nearest rivals. Fort William’s Stephen Dent finished in 7th place in his first YOC.

The largest turnout was in the Youth B (14/15yrs) category which had 42 climbers. This was 10 more than last year demonstrating the level of interest amongst this age group (the youngest category that competes as the GB team on the International circuit). From Scotland there were 5 girls and 2 boys.

While there were many gutsy performances throughout the day, with heart stopping foot slips recovered, determined campus grips held for an inordinate length of time while feet sought a hold and brave lunges for that extra + point, the climb of the day went to London’s Molly Thompson-Smith who, despite having just moved up to Youth B, had an outstanding Final route on a tricky Green to the left of the Barrel Wall. This 7c climb had previously been the 2nd qualifier for the Youth A girls and Elite GB team member Kitty Wallace had achieved a near top 35- score. Molly had the crowd cheering loudly as she achieved 34+ a mere touch away from Kitty’s position and an example to all climbers who claim they aren’t tall enough to make moves. Molly is at least a foot shorter than Kitty. Edinburgh’s Rachel Carr took 2nd with Nikki Addison (Inverness) 4th, Rebekah Drummond (Brechin) 7th, Megan Saunders (Broxburn) 11th and Alexandra Blunt (Edinburgh) 15th.

There were 2 Scots among the 23 competing in Youth B boys and scores were close going into the final route. Dylan Mackenzie (Inverness) clinched first place thanks to his 2 Qualifying route top outs and Alexander Bosi (Edinburgh) finished 16th. It was Dylan’s second win that day as he had already won the Scottish Tooling Series Youth title despite missing the final round in EICA: Ratho that coincided with this competition.

The Youth A boys were also out in force with 20 competitors and with most of the current GB Youth A boys moving up to Junior next year this was perhaps the most unpredictable group. The climbers were warned that they were tacking their hardest route first so that they didn’t get too discouraged. Steven Addison (Inverness) finished in 5th behind winner Sam Brannigan (Newcastle) with Glencoe’s Alasdair Johnstone taking 10th place.

Scotland had no competitors in the girls’ Youth A (16/17) or Junior (18/19yrs) categories which were won by Kitty Wallace and Catherine Whiteman respectively.

The girls’ Junior group had only 3 competitors. By contrast the Male Junior group was 17 strong and sported 3 Scots. Scores were close going into the Final, once again on the Green Barrel route, now altered from a 7c to an 8a. Luke Tilley took the title with Paul Williamson (Glasgow) 4th, Ross Kirkland (Edinburgh) 7th and Calum Forsyth (Ratho) 9th.

The day ran smoothly thanks to Rob Adie and his team of volunteers and it was good to see some of the more experienced climbers, who were out with injury, sharing advice and words of encouragement to those new to the scene. Although some climbers were disappointed with their climbs on the day, many more were pleased with their achievements and the valuable experience they had gained. The next Youth Open Competition is on 30th July in EICA: Ratho. It would be great to see a few more Scots taking part.

Avril Gall

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Some Vids of EYS Imst

Heres a few clips and pics of some of the young blades in action on the wall at the EYS Imst Austria.