Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Lyon Sponsored Youth Team

Lyon have updated their sponsored youth team page but I think I should send a more recent photo of me.


After taking a break of two weeks from climbing over Christmas it was straight into the first round of the Youth Climbing Series. On the few days before the comp I wondered why I had been having a break because I felt like I hadn’t climbed for months, so it made me a bit nervous. The first comp was at Ratho and the routes were great, quite tricky on VERY cold holds but I really enjoyed it. The second round was held at Stirling two weeks later and again the routes were quite challenging and it was a bit off putting when Natalie Berry who was demonstrating the final route couldn’t make the last move. In both rounds I came in second place to two different people.
Last Saturday I took part in the bouldering competition at the TCA in Glasgow, it is a great new place to boulder and the comp was good fun. It was a redpointing comp with 25 problems to try. Again I was second. I think I am destined to come in second place in every competition. The last round of the YCS is in a couple of weeks and then I can start to train hard for a few months before the next competition.

photo taken by Jen

Friday, 30 September 2011

Bowden Doors

I spent a couple of days in Oban at a friend’s caravan. The weather was brilliant and we spent most of our time on a jet bike going up and down the loch. When we came back to Edinburgh the weather was still excellent but I had to train for the British Open Competition the following week and so it was back to Ratho, indoors on the Saturday.

Mcofs had organised an outdoor bouldering day on the Sunday as part of their Real Rocks sessions. And we went off to Bowden Hill in Northumberland. Luckily I had been given a crash mat and the Northumberland bouldering book for my birthday two weeks before. I was really looking forward to going because I hadn’t been bouldering outside since I was in Font over a year ago and I loved it then.

Buz (Neil Busby) was leading the session so we picked him up in Edinburgh and took him to Northumberland.

We met everyone in the car park at Morrisons in Berwick and then followed each other to Bowden Hill. Eilidh Vass Payne, Keira Farmer and the Bosi brothers, Alexander and William were in the group. We strapped our crash mats to our backs and only had to walk 5 minutes to the boulders. It was a long 5 minutes. Because it was windy the crash mats were like sails and we bobbed and weaved through the grass.

Buzz talked to us about safety and placing the crash mats properly and spotting our friends. We then warmed up on some easy ones on boulder three to get used to the rock.

We then moved to boulder 2, ‘Super Slab, 4+’, it was quite tricky at first but when we had topped it Buzz then did it one handed and Eilidh did too and after a couple of tries I managed it.

Before lunch we walked back towards the cars and then past them to another area. We stopped at the sheep pen and David (Keira’s dad) put on his funky BBQ and we continued to boulder until the sausages were ready. By now, it was really hot and sunny so the rock was quite slippery. We did “Paw Prints”, “Dreaming of Heuco” and moved round the corner to try “Smooth Wall One” and “Two,” the “South Arete”, “Upper Traverse” and “Reverse Traverse”. Bouldering outdoors again reminded me of how much fun it is to find your footholds and also handholds. They are not as obvious as indoors where they are colour coded. I also enjoy climbing over the top and standing on the boulders which you can’t do when you are indoors.
As we climbed into the late afternoon, we also tried “Entrebaillement” , “Scooped Wall “and “Sandy Rib”.

At the end of the day Buzz suggested we try an 8a called ‘The Crack and he challenged us by saying he would give anyone who flashed it … £1,000! William was really motivated by the money and struggled desperately to get to the top. Buzz looked really nervous for a while, but we all looked at it and had a go but nobody could get much further than the first move. I think Buzz was relieved. At around 4.30pm when we packed up to go home the sun was still shining and everybody agreed that it had been a great day. Buzz and I fell asleep in the car because it was so warm and had been a tiring day… so my dad didn’t stop for chips.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

YCS Final Wolverhamption

Alasdair, Kirsten, mum , dad and I left on Friday afternoon. Kirsten and I had brought blankets to make tents in the back of the car and lots of climbing dvd’s.
We ate pasta for tea and went to bed early.
The next morning we registered at 8.30 at Wolf Mountain. It was quite an interesting wall but there were so many people!! It was all a bit confusing and nobody seemed to know what was happening. We were split into our groups and so I didn’t have Kirsten or Eilidh in my group but I did have Emily and Rebecca from Scotland North. We were to do our first two boulders and then swap with the other group and do our first two routes. We hadn’t done a big warm up which we would normally do, so the lady looking after us just said to put on our climbing shoes and traverse along the wall. I was a bit anxious because I normally do a much longer warm up and the first boulder problem didn’t look that easy. Then I realised everybody was going back through to the main area to do a warm up, I could hardly get through because of all the parents, so I decided to stay and warm up by myself. I managed the first boulder but the second one was hard. There was a really difficult move at the very start of the problem and only a couple of girls got past it out of the whole group. I was really disappointed but I was finding it really hard to focus because it was raining and there was nowhere to sit or keep warm before climbing. I then went on to my first route which I topped, but the second route was more difficult. I came off at 88 points although I felt I should have had 89 because I touched the hold. When I came down the judge asked if I had touched the hold but when I said yes she then said she hadn’t seen me and so couldn’t give me the point. I was disappointed and when I looked at mums video it was obvious I had touched the hold, but the judges cannot look at parents videos for evidence. I just wished the judge had moved to a position where she could see.
We were then shown our last boulder problem. I was first up but I knew I had three goes. I was really pleased with my first attempt and it wasn’t until their second goes that two of the girls went beyond where I had got to. The last route looked really hard technically. I was in a good position because I was climbing last, I could watch all the other girls climb, the only thing was that it was very off putting when everybody kept falling off . Then the girl who won topped it, which was a brilliant climb. I was really psyched to climb well, but I came off because I just couldn’t hold onto a tricky move onto a not very good hold. I was disappointed but overall came in 12th position, and all the girls ahead of me were a year older. I think I could have climbed better but overall I climbed okay. We went out with lots of people for dinner and then played at the hotel until about 11 o’clock. We drove home the next day.

Imst Youth Color Comp, Austria 2011

I really wanted to go to Imst again this year because I had enjoyed the competition last year. The wall is great to climb on and the new outside wall was finished, which was only just beginning to be built the previous year. I had moved up an age category, so I was leading instead of top roping which was more exciting.
I knew I had 43 other girls born in 99 and 98 in my category, and from around 14 different countries. I was looking forward to meeting up with an Austrian friend, Elena, I had made last year, who said ‘luck good ‘ before every time I climbed.
I like the way the competition is organised. They have the timetable on the wall, so that you know when each demonstration of a route will happen, and also when you can have lunch so that you can relax a bit when you are not climbing. The running order also stays the same for the first day and so you can watch the climbers and then warm up when you have around five climbers in front of you still to go, and then tie in ready to climb. I topped my first two climbs but as I was clipping the last bolt the rope slipped out and I took a really big fall. The belayer had let out a lot of slack and so I fell around 15 m. I got a bit of a fright and felt a bit shaky afterwards. I then didn’t climb the next two routes very well, they were very hard but I should have done better on my third route. The last two climbs on the Saturday I felt a bit stronger but still wished I had done better.
I went for a swim with Angus and my mum and his dad to stretch our muscles and then went for something to eat and another early night.
The next morning we did another warm up with Ian Dun and then I did my own warm up as well because I had a while to wait for my first climb. We were climbing our last three routes at the same time. Carmel who is in the British team was in the same category as me, climbed the green route first and then talked me through it. I climbed the yellow and told her all about it. I felt I climbed the yellow reasonably well, but I still wanted to top it, it was a 7C+!!, the green was a 7b and my final route was a 7c+. I was timed out on my last 2 routes, I was just over half way on both of them. We were only given 4 minutes for each route. It would have been good to have known this before we went to Imst because I had no idea how to work out what four minutes of climbing felt like.
Overall I came in 30th place, so I was a bit disappointed, I was hoping to be in the top 20, but my second two routes on the Saturday let me down. I have decided I need to work on climbing faster, getting over ledges and my overall strength. Imst always seems to fire me up to train harder and do better next year. I have another year in this category so roll on 2012. It would be great if more Scottish climbers could go to this comp.

Scottish Finals

Scottish Finals
The top 5 climbers in each category go into the Scottish Finals form Scotland south and North, 10 climbers. We had three routes and three boulders. The boulders weren’t very good, but the second two routes were. The second route I climbed quite well and was lying in about 3rd position but I had a good climb on the third route and came out on top at the end of the qualifiers. The top three then had to go into isolation and climb a final route. We had to wait for 5 and a half hours. The final climb was a blue on the old comp wall. We had 2 minutes to read the route before going back into isolation. I came out last and I found the climb hard but I didn’t see a small hold out to my left and so lost by couple of points. I was really disappointed but was pleased I had lost to my friend Kirsten and I was pleased for her.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

YCS Round 3 Glasgow

Last Saturday was the last round of the YCS held in Glasow. The routes were great again, I really enjoyed the different boulder problems especially the last one. I came in second place by one point and was really pleased to get into the finals of the British and Scottish comps.
My last route

Siurana, Spain

Mum, dad and I flew to Reus in Spain and then stayed near the sea before driving to the campsite in Siurana on Friday. We had a cabin on the campsite next to the Bosi family. We all said it was like a 'shed from B&Q' with a small kitchen and some beds. On Saturday morning we all met at the cafe in the campsite and then walked to the crag. McGeek started us on a 4+ and 5 top rope to get used to the rock. It was really hot and the rock was hot too. On Sunday Kirsten and Jodie and Eilidh arrived and we had Lynne Malcom coaching us and then later Tom Bolger for one climb. I was also taken away by Neil to climb a 6a+, I top roped it first then lead it.
Over the next few days, we all climbed lots of different routes and grades and had a great time. Neil showed us how to work on a route on a top route and then lead it. At the end of the week Neil wanted me to work on redpointing a 7a. I tried it on top rope first of all and then on lead.

I wrote a descriptive essay for my teachers which I have copied below

" Els hi agrada?

I first saw the Catalonian Mountains from the aeroplane as we started our descent into Spain. From my seat I could see loads and loads of high mountains and I knew I would be climbing some of them over the next week.

During the next few days I climbed all sort of rocks starting on quite easy routes to more difficult routes as the days progressed. But I knew that before the end of the week I would have to climb the most difficult of all, a really scary 7a. The one I decided to climb was called ‘Els hi Agarada’.

I knew the climb would be difficult because all the holds are very small or ‘crimpy’. I pulled my harness on as tightly as I could and made sure I had enough chalk in my chalk bag.
Eagerly, I squeezed into my shoes and tied the laces, tied myself into the rope and buddy checked my climbing coach, Neil. He told me to go through the moves in my head before attempting the climb. I was red pointing the route, so I had top roped the climb earlier to try all the moves and so all I had to do was put it all together and keep myself focussed. Red-pointing is when you have already tried the route and then completed it once you know the moves.

Before I started I felt quite nervous because I really wanted to complete the route and if I made one small mistake I would have to start again.

The start was on sloping jugs. Jugs are normally good, deep holds but when they are sloping they are always harder to hold. I accurately crossed through with my chalky hands, holding on precariously with my right hand and carefully crossing over with my left. I felt very positive about the climb at this stage, I had to concentrate all the way and not get the complicated hand sequence wrong. I wanted to climb it well and make all the moves as smoothly as I could and not just anxiously scramble to the top. Cautiously I reached up to a sharp undercut ledge and then eagerly clipped the rope into the quickdraw, and made a powerful cross over with my right arm to a horrible, very negative crimp, which was very difficult to hold. Slowly I moved across a spiky ledge, which was easy to rest on, then I nervously clipped the second quickdraw in place and instantly felt much more secure. I then attentively moved my foot onto as high footholds as I could before making an abrupt move with my left hand to a sharp two-finger pocket. I continued to work my feet higher and changed the position of my sore hand into an undercut, and then I tentatively moved my feet onto the spiky ledge. I still felt very strong at this point but I needed to move quickly because the rock was very hot and I needed to get to my resting position before the crux. I knew I would get tired soon and I was aware I was using a lot of energy at this point of the climb. Moving to some sharp crimps, I clipped the rope through the third quickdraw. I moved both feet high frantically and then my left foot out to balance me and then I desperately slapped my left hand around the side pull to catch a small crimp. By the time I reached the start of the crux I felt tired, my muscles in my arms were beginning to ache.

The crux; I had worked the moves out for this section of the climb but I had not completed it in one go before so I was feeling quite nervous. I had to psyche myself up for the next few moves and not hesitate. I quickly moved right to a two fingered, edgy crimp, which I had to pull up on sharply to catch a pebbly side pull, and carefully slid my right foot onto a small edge, which was about knee height. I then moved to two very small crimps, which were very sore to hold. Apprehensively I slapped for a sloper, a hold that you have to rely on the friction between your hand and the rock, and I hoped it had enough grip on it for me to be able to hold on to. I caught it horridly and it held long enough for me to pop for the final move of the crux. Eagerly, I jumped for the colossal jug, like a starved lion viciously pouncing for its weak prey.

By using the edgy jug I could rest enough to complete the climb.
I felt a sense of relief mixed with achievement at this point but I had to remain focused and keep calm to complete the climb.
My body seemed to remember the moves for the top section of the climb, my mind went blank and when I clipped in to the last clip I felt fantastic. My first 7a outside which I had worked hard to red-point."

This is the video of the climb.

Monday, 7 March 2011

McGeek Coaching

The next day I had a great session with McGeek. My elbow was a bit sore again and so Neil told me not to do any bouldering for a while and to have a rest over the next few days. We did lots of lead climbing and then Neil showed me how to tie my rope up and he tied me to the pillar in the bouldering room!

YCS Round 1 Stirling

The first round of the YCS was held in Stirling at the Peak Wall. This week I have been to Benmore with my school and had a great time. I really enjoyed gorge walking. My teacher applied ice to my elbow in the morning and at night so it felt much better by Friday, but I had it x-rayed and scanned on the Friday afternoon because if it had been something serious I would not be able to compete today. The doctor decided there was no serious damage but said I probably shouldn't compete and he referred me for physiotherapy. I didn't sleep very well last night but when I woke up I really wanted to compete. I decided I would climb but if I felt my elbow sore at any time I would stop. I made a promise to m mum and I was determined I would do this. The first climb and couple of boulders were fine and my elbow was fine. The second route was only difficult because I had to think all of the time not to stand on the blue holds. The last route looked really hard. I had planned it and I watched everyone in front of me climb and noticed where everyone was coming off. I decided to do it slightly differently. I was really psyched for this climb, the holds were horrible and it involved a lot of moving my weight and core strength. I climbed as well as I could and got to the same place as Angus ( the demonstrator) had got too. I was really pleased with my climb. The last boulder was tricky, involving wedging yourself in the tunnel. I had a great day and came first which was a bonus when at the beginning of the day I hadn't known if I would be able to climb.

BMC Talented Climbers Day Newcastle

The Bosi family gave us a lift down to Newcastle for the BMC Talented Climbers Day. I have had a sore elbow over the past week, but I was hoping it would go away. I don't think the bouldering competition had helped. When we arrived at the wall at Newcastle Ian Dunn talked to us about what was going to happen across the day and then we went to warm up. When we were warming up my elbow felt very sore so I decided to stop. I spoke to my mum and then Ian told me not to climb and not to compete in the YCS 1st round the following Saturday. I was really disappointed. I played some games with my mum for the rest of the day, using one arm, but I couldn't join in with everyone. I was very worried I wouldn't be able to compete in the YCS series this year.

Dundee Bouldering Comp

This year I decided to go in for the Winter Bouldering comps held at Dundee. There were four competitions and the best score out of three counted towards winning. We drove up to Dundee on the Friday after school and once I had finished the 20 boulder problems, we drove straight home so that I wasnt too late for getting up for training the next day. I missed one of the comps but we stayed late for the last one and I won £30. I really enjoyed the problems that were set, they were all very different and it was good fun bouldering at a different wall.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Fun Bouldering Competition

Today was the fun bouldering competition at Ratho. I wasn't sure if I was going to do the comp because I haven't been climbing much but I decided to have a go and enjoy myself. It was really busy and had a good atmosphere in the arena. It was good fun trying out all of the different problems, we had to do 20 problems. Most of them were okay but three of them were more difficult. Although I didn't think I had done well enough to win a prize, I went to the prize giving to cheer for the winners but I was surprised to find I was joint third. I also won a T shirt in the spot prizes. It was a good comp I hope Ratho will organise more fun comps.

Session with Kirsten

Kirsten and I decided we would have a session training together on Thursday night. We started warming up doing some easy boulders and then tried some harder ones.Unfortunately we couldn't get into the bouldering room because it was being set for the fun comp on Saturday, so we only had the problems in the arena to do. After we had bouldered for a while, we chose two routes to do. We did the purple, and yellow. Kirstens dad bought us hot chocolates and then we did some more bouldering. It as good fun training with Kirsten and we are going to train together again on Tuesday.

Back training with McGeek

My first training session with McGeek was the best one I have ever had, he took me to the cafe and we had hot chocolate and planned what I was to do for my training over the next few months.
I then caught a bug and was off school for the next week, so that was a good start to my training. The following week I started my training programme and I couldn't believe how weak I felt, my hands were sore and my feet were really sore, and everything seemed much harder to climb. I just decided to keep climbing and bouldering although I wasn't really enjoying myself. After climbing all of my back and arm muscles were aching, but after a few sessions it became a little bit easier and I began to feel a bit stronger.
I then had my next session with McGeek, which was a top rope session. I had been doing more leading and so I really enjoyed this for a change. We started on the ripple 6b and then blue 7a and then the yellow 7a+ which I didn't manage to onsight. I then did the red 6b+ lead on the tower. I really enjoyed this session and felt more confident having done these climbs.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Climbing in Melbourne

I climbed for the first time in Australia on Friday. Mum and dad took me to Hardrock Climbing Centre. I wanted to climb outside but we aren't staying here for long enough and we have just got over our jetlag. We had to be tested to make sure mum could belay me properly and I could tie in properly. All of the climbs were top ropes because you had to take a course before you are allowed to lead climb and you couldn't do this in an afternoon. All the belays were attached to the ground for safety, but it made it difficult to belay. The grades were all different numbered to 25. I warmed up on a couple of 17/18 and then moved on to some in the 20's. I tried a tricky climb using just pockets, but my favourite was using a self belaying rope where you could just throw yourself off the wall and float to the floor and then climb up again. I tried a very crimpy red equivalent to a 7b and just floated down when I fell off. Can't wait to climb in Perth.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

British Team Trials, Liverpool

The team trials were held at Awesome Wall, Liverpool on Sat 27th November.
At the competition I felt very nervous, I didn’t feel very confident because I felt it had been ages since I had done any lead climbing because I had been sent home from school on Monday and had been in bed ever since then. I was seventh to climb on my first route which was a slab. I route planned and watched the demo and then watched 3 climbers climb and then warmed up again and then came up to watch another climber and then it was me. I spotted where the crux was and watched climbers struggling to get past it. I worked out exactly what to do but when I started climbing I felt I had no energy and when I got to the crux I couldn’t do what I had planned. The hold was really horrible and I couldn’t get my right foot high enough. I tried a few times and then asked to come down. I was really disappointed with myself, that I had not gone for it and had asked to come down. I just wanted to go home.
I pulled myself together and got quite psyched for the second route although I was shocked to find out I was first on it. Again I watched the demo, but I had been watching the older category doing it earlier. I felt I climbed this well, I tried really hard but came off about a third of the way up. I was pleased with my effort but thought I must have been the worst in the group. I decided to go and eat lunch. I was 8th in the group at the end of the two climbs. I got joint third highest on the second climb which was better than I thought. I then found out the top ten climbers go into the final and I wished I hadn’t eaten my lunch. I guessed it would be the pink route and so I had a good look at it. We all had to go into the bouldering area downstairs and wait. We then got to come out and look at our route. I was right it was the pink and so I planned it again. We then had to go downstairs and wait to be called. I was quite nervous but really ready to go for it. When I came out I saw that the second clip was moving but no others were above it. I found the climb quite tricky but okay , but the wall was quite steep. I got to the triangle but couldn’t get over it and came off. I felt I had done okay. It ended up only 2 other climbers got beyond this point and a couple to the same hold. I didn’t feel my day was good at the beginning but by the end I feel I had gained lots of experience, including being in isolation. All the climbers above me were a year older so hopefully I will do better next year.

The results for other climbers were, Angus 1st, Rachel 2nd, me 6th, Ross 7th, Calum 9th, Megan 11th, Alexander 17th.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

McGeek Session

Today I had a session with McGeek. The McGeek squad were meant to have a fitness session with Eleanor but she has a virus so we had an extra hour before McGeeks session which was quite good because I was tired from last night. When I told Neil I was tired he splashed water over me to waken me up. Neil had a chat with me about the GB team trials in Liverpool next week and then we did routes on the main comp wall. We tried the white, purple and black. The skin on my fingers was really thin and sore so I finished at 4.

On Friday night mum and I drove to Dundee to take part in the second Avertical Wall bouldering comp. I had to do 20 problems. There were lots of different types of boulders and I had a great time. I started at 6 and finished at 8.30 and we left to drive home because I had a session with Eleanor and McGeek the next day. I found out in the morning I had come first. Wowee!!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Yesterday Neil Gresham came up from London to coach me and my friend Angus. Neil decided he would like to take us for our training session on my climbing wall in our garage. We spent ages discussing it first and he ate lots of scones my mum had made. When Neil saw my climbing wall he said he really like it and we spent about 2 hours stripping off the old routes and planning new ones. Angus and his dad arrived when we were doing this and Angus helped out too. Mum and dad’s friend Gary arrived with his son Jamie. Jamie is is a climber too but he and Gary went off with my dad to have some chilli.

In the end we had set 16 new boulder problems. Neil said we would be having a competition between the three of us and was very strict about the rules.

First we started off with traversing the wall to warm up. We tried the problems board by board, it took about an hour.

We climbed until 9 o’clock and I was very tired. Angus was too but when Neil stopped for something to eat with my mum and dad we did a bit of extra climbing with Jamie joining in.
At 10 o’clock everyone went home apart from Neil who stayed the night. I will see Neil again at the weekend because he is coaching at Ratho.

Neil on my wall

This is Neil trying out one of the boulder problems we set on my climbing wall.

Me on my wall

This is me on my climbing wall trying out one of the boulder problems.

Me falling off my wall!

This is me falling off a difficult boulder problem!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Award for Talented Sports Performer

Great news today. I got a grant from Midlothian Council. My Mum & Dad applied to them for help with all the travelling we do to competitions and stuff and we were lucky enough to get a grant! This will really help as we will be going to Dundee, Liverpool and Newcastle over the next month. Thanks to Tommy Goldie, Community Recreation Officer at Midlothian Council and Mc Geek and MCOFS for help with filling in the application form.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Training Sessions

I have been really enjoying my training for the last few weeks and I have been doing a lot of lead climbing when normally I prefer to boulder! Last week I started to time myself on the speed wall and can now do it in 1 minute (not quite as good as the climbers in the WYC) but I am getting better.
Yesterday Angus, Megan and myself had Euan for our post brycs session. We tried some of the comp routes on the old comp wall, I managed the blue 6b+, it had a very hard move at the top. I then tried the green 6c but I only got about a 1/4 of the way up and found it too reachy. Euan then took Megan and I to try the blue 7b that we had been trying previously. I climbed the blue 7b to half height and then continued up the tan 7a, Euan thought that made it a 7a+. I really enjoyed this session.
For the last two Sundays I have had my McGeek seesions. The first week was a lead climbing session and today we were setting boulder problems. In the first session we planned out my new route session for the next four weeks, I think I will really enjoy it apart from the laps at the end, I'd rather go out for a run. I really enjoyed this session. Today we set boulder problems in the bouldering room, I was a bit tired from my session yesterday and then Calum and Nat came over to set some problems on my new bouldering wall at home. Jaimie and Robbie his little brother and Lyndsay, Calums sister and Kirsten (MCGeek Squad) came as well and we were bouldering until 9pm as well as eating lots of chocolate and crisps. Mcgeek and I set a green sloper problem, I only managed to slap the last hold. The yellow one was very crimpy and I managed to top it. I love my sessions with McGeek.

New Home Wall

I have a new home wall. A couple of years ago my great Grandad died and he left some money to build a wall in our garage. Finally!!! it has been built but it was worth waiting for. Scott Muir from Extreme Dream built it for us, he made it in his workshop and then brought it down on a Saturday at 7pm and worked to 2 am and then got up to start at 7 am and didn't finish until 11pm and then he drove home to Aviemore. It has four boards, one 15 degree board , a concave board, a convex board and a 40 degree board, so lots of steep stuff to work on. Mum, dad and I helped Scott to do the convex and concave board I had to get into the back of the boards to tighten the bolts and Scott had to cut a hole out with a jigsaw to get me out, I had a small torch to see with. Scott painted the boards the most amazing colours and I chose lots of different holds. The only thing wrong was I had to wait until Monday after school to start setting problems. I think mum thought I had moved out that week because I was always in the garage. McGeek was in the garage last Wednesday when I got home from school setting problems, I joined him and we set lots of project problems and a circuit, it was lots of fun. I love my new wall. Thank you Scott

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Mc Geek Session

After having a few weeks off of hard training, I had my first coaching session with McGeek today. I was really pleased it was bouldering because I feel I need to build up my strength and stamina for routes.I had to do some homework for him, describing different types of climbing and I also had to give myself points for how good I was at slopers and speed climbing and competitions and other things.
We started with a green problem...... and then I tried another green and I touched the last hold. We did a problem that went under the roof and I nearly got to the top but came off about 3/4 of the way up. The last problem we did was another green problem, it was very hard. I got to the fifth hold then came off.

At the end of the session Neil showed me some excercises to use for the opposite muscles to the ones you use for climbing. It's so annoying because I can't use the gym until next year.
I enjoyed my session, my hands were really sore by the end.


At the beginning of the summer I went on my first real outdoor sport climbing adventure. Mum, dad, Olivia and myself flew to Marseille in France and then drove to a place near Gap, which was also near Ceuse. We met Eleanor and her dad at 6.30 am the next morning to drive to the campsite and meet Natalie and Robbie. Martin drove into a high kerb and got a puncture and so we took Eleanor to meet them. First of all we went to the bakery to buy some baguettes. We met Nat and Robbie and started to climb up the the crag. After about 1/8th of the way up. I was asking if we were nearly there, it was very steep and very hot.Mum and dad ended up carrying all the gear. Halfway up we stopped for a rest and more water, over an hour later we reached the top.
It was amazing, the view was fantastic, I was very excited. We looked for some easy routes to start on, I had been given a guide book for my birthday. Natalie and Robbie put up the quickdraws and we all tried the routes, it is so much more difficult looking for footholds and handholds, but also more fun. By around 6 we walked down the hill, we had been invited for an aperitif (don't know what that is) by the French owners of Martins gite. It took an hour to walk down and then we rushed to martins. When we were there Neil Gresham called and came to our gite for tea. We arranged to meet the next morning at 7am to walk up the hill. I slept well that night and couldn't believe when my alarm went off. We climbed the hill and Neil helped my choose some routes to climb. He put up the quickdraws for me but he also used some slings and put extra quickdraws up , because the runs between the bolts were really long and I wasn't confident enough to climb that high above the bolt. I mainly tackled slabs which were quite tricky. It was very hot and we followed the shade round the crag. The next day we had off and went to Sisteron to swim in the lido which was great fun, later we met with Neil and Nat and Robbie and went for the biggest pizza ever!!
Neil suggested we went up later in the day which meant climbing in the heat but enjoy climbing when it was cooler in the evening. The walk up was very hot, but I was beginning to enjoy the walk and it became easier each time we did it. My best grade that I climbed was 6b+, Harley Davidson and also Mary Lou, I was really pleased with this. Unfortunately on my last day when I was climbing up the hill I felt very unwell and was sick and had to turn round and go back, I think I had sunstroke. I loved my trip and can't wait to go back.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

YCS Final

It was the YCS finals yesterday at Ratho with 180 competitors. When we arrived it was very busy and it took a long time to get started and so I began to get nervous. I met up with Nikki again, I was so excited to see her and I also saw Sophie harper who had been in Imst. Simon gave me my South of Scotland hoodie but it was too small so I couldn’t wear it. I then went to look at all my routes and plan them out. I got to the top of my first two boulders and also my first route although there was a tricky move at the top of it. My lace came out on my first route and I had to stop to tuck it in. We then did our last boulder which was mainly slopers and I could only get to a horrible pinch on all three of my attempts so I only got 41 points. Only the older, taller girls got to the top. We then did our third route before our second route which was a black 7a+/7b on the speed wall and I managed to get 2/3 of the way. I was pleased with this because I had to pop for most of the moves because of the reach. The second route that we did last, I got ¾ of the way up and couldn’t reach the next hold. Overall I was 19th, my third boulder let me down, I still have two years in this category and so I should do better next year. I had a great day and can’t wait to go back and try out all the routes this week. We then went to Scotts for a BBQ and played at the park.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

I am just back from Ratho after having a session with Robbie. I did my usual 30 minute warm up and then we started by doing the tagged problems in the boulder room. I found them all quite hard but managed to get three of them. Robbie gave me thirty seconds to plan my route and then watched me and then when I couldn't do them he would suggest different ways of doing them. We then moved onto the feature on the bottom of the main wall to make up a really hard traverse only using features. Rachel Carr joined in to help make up the traverse. I could do about a quarter of it but we all fell off at the same part because it was so hard! Robbie, Rachel and I brushed all the sloppy features and looked at all the ways to hold them. After trying the traverse I thought we should grade it a V15. We moved onto the boulders and made up a feature problem on the over hang. Robbie said we should try and mantle shelf over it. So instead of just mantle shelfing over it I said we should make up a problem that starts under the over hang and comes over the lip. We made up the problem and tried it, I got over the lip but fell off going for the next hold.
Then I did my cool down session.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Imst Youth Color Climbing festival

On Thursday mum and I left from Edinburgh airport to travel to Imst in Austria for the Climbing Colour Festival. I was ssooooooooooo excited. Mum picked me up early from school and we met up with Angus, William, Nikki and Sophie at the airport. It was a two hour flight to Munich airport and then we hired a car to drive to Austria. Mum and I had our own car and we were going to follow Gordon and Martin because they had sat nav, but Gordon drove too fast and it was dark and raining and so we lost him after 5 minutes. Nikki’s dad Jimmy saw us and so we followed him. It took a long time and we didn’t arrive in Imst until 12.30. I was so tired although I had slept in the car. Our room was great and I could see the climbing wall from the balcony. The next morning we had breakfast at 9 and then went to the alpine rollercoaster. We went on a cable car up the mountain fro about 30 minutes and then came down on a little buggy attached to rails with( when you are on it with my mum) no brakes !!!! It was brilliant. I went on it two more times with Nikki and Sophie, but used my brakes. We then had some pizza and bout some food for the next day. We then went to the climbing wall to have a look and register. The wall was awesome and I was number 15 out of 29 in my group.
The next morning we had breakfast at 7.30 and we were at the wall at 8 to meet Ian Dunn for our warm up. After the warm up, I did my own warm up and then watched the demonstrations at 8.45. The first route was okay but it I was quite nervous. It was very busy with lots of people watching and nobody spoke English in my group. They were from Austria, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Israel, Slovakia, Germany and France. When they called my name they said Steeeyouert Gabrrryelle Great Breetain. But we always went in the same order so I knew when it was my turn. There was an Austrian girl called Helena after me and she always said ‘luck’ to me before I started.
It was difficult to keep warm all day and I had to keep taking my shoes off and on and not do too much bouldering in between because we didn’t finish until 6. I topped all of the 6 routes on the first day but so did everyone else apart from one!! William, Angus and Nikki did well, they had really really hard climbs. Sophie didn’t feel she had done her best because she was shaking with nerves.
We went for pasta and ice cream and went to bed. I knew the routes were going to be a lot harder the next day.
We did our warm up and stretches and then watched the first two demos. My first rute was a purple, which looked a bit tricky but okay. I managed to get one hold from the top but whacked my chin and came off. It was okay after a couple of minutes and so I concentrated on the next one which was a a very technical blue. Lots of the climbers were coming off on this one. I managed to get about three quarters of the way up and then came off. My second last climb was very weird. It was more like a traversing boulder and then up. I got to the third last hold. And the final route was a green route which again was quite technical. I climbed this quite well and came off 2 holds from the top. I don’t think I climbed the absolute best I could have climbed, I was nervous and so my muscles were tense, but I really enjoyed it and learned loads. At the end I was 19th, the others were in the older category and Nikki was 11th, Angus was 9th, William was 23rd ( I think) and Sophie was 34th, I think we did well for Scotland. There was a prize giving and then we drove back to Munich airport. We arrived home at 12 which was 1am in Austria so I was exhausted. I was allowed to take the next day off school and so I have been doing nothing all day. I absolutely loved my trip to Imst and made really good friends with Nikki. I hope I see her soon she is an amazing climber.

Scottish Finals

I was really pleased to come in the top 5 and make it into the Scottish finals and although I really liked going to Aviemore, to Extreme Dream, I was pleased it was being held in Ratho because it meant I didn’t have far to travel. We had three routes and three boulders to do. The first route and the first two boulders were really easy, the second route which was the yellow route was also okay but unfortunately there were two routes very close together and at the top an older climber came off his route and skiffed my back, I got a very big fright and fell off. I will need to get used to this for future competitions. So I was down 11 points!!! I tried really hard on the third boulder which was quite tricky and had lots of slopers but couldn’t top it. The last route looked really hard and I was really excited to climb it. I managed to get just over the ledge and was pleased with myself. Overall I came 7th, I could have done better but I lost a lot of points on my second route. It was a great day and good to watch the super finals on the red on the comp wall. I can’t wait to try it.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Why doesn't anybody comment on my blog??? Does anyone read my blog????!!!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Session with Neil Gresham

Angus and I had our next session with Neil. I was really looking forward to it but I was also tired. I should have listened to Robbie and had a rest on Sunday because I had been training for three days in a row.
We started with bouldering to warm up, doing V1,V2, V3 V4, I also had a few more attempts at my blue boulder problem. I managed to get to the reachy move and Neil, Simon and Robbie tried to work out how I could make the next move. The best way was using my heel on the volume to rock over, I managed to touch the hold but not hold it .I will do it next time.
Angus did some amazing bouldering, I think he has velcro on his hands.
Neil told us he was doing an endurance session with us. We started with pull ups on the fingerboards, 10 pull ups and then Angus had a go and then my turn. We did this for 3 minutes. We then bouldered on the 45 degree wall doing a hard stick game for 1 minute taking turns, four times. My arms were very tired. We did lots of other endurance work and then cooled down by jogging and sprinting and then doing sit ups and press ups. Angus and I were wiped out. Neil gave us a talk about the pressure of competitions and to enjoy the competition in Imst. I wished Neil lived nearer Edinburgh so that we could do this more often.

Session with Robbie

Today I had a session leading with Robbie. I started by warming up. This involved running up and down 5 flights of stairs at Ratho. Then I did my mobility and stretching meaning I had to stretch my muscles and loosen them off afterwards. I was then all warmed up and ready to climb! The first lead climb we did was the green 6c and although I flashed it, I found the top part quite hard. The next one was the grey 7a but I didn’t manage to get it because it had some of the biggest moves I had ever seen in my life! I’d have needed arms like a monkey to reach them. We moved on to the blue 7b. I got half way up. This was a 6c+ at the half way point. I had a rest on the rope because the next part of it was a 7b so I planned it again. I managed to climb two clips above half way. I was pleased that I did a 6c+ lead! We then moved onto hard boulder problems and I tried the blue V4 (my project problem). I managed to get over half way but there was a huge move into an undercut. I just needed to go for it. I made a big effort. I touched the next hold and managed to stay on the wall. In between my attempts on the blue Robbie tried his pink V10. He got really high up and I thought how can he do that? It was amazing! I really enjoyed Robbie’s session!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Bupa Junior Run

I woke up this morning aching all over especially my hip flexer on my right leg. I was meant to go for a mentoring session with Jonny Stocking at Ratho but instead my mum worked on my leg and hips so that I could run in the Bupa junior run in the afternoon. I had to do this or I would be letting my friend Phoebe down and I also was running to raise money for Diabetes UK. The run started at 2.15. We arrived to do the warm up which was good fun and then the gun went off. We had to run up the hill in Holyrood park and then back down. We paced ourselves well and sprinted from the roundabout. It was great fun. Here is a photo of me and Phoebe at then end with our medals. It's been a good weekend.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

YCS Final Round Sat 1st May

Today is the final round of the South Scotland Youth Climbing Series at Dundee. We left early and picked up Irene and Lewis, so that they didn't have to drive as well. I felt very excited but also very nervous. My new shoes had arrived on Tuesday, so I had tried them out at Ratho on Tuesday and Wednesday night and I really like them but everyone said not to wear them for the competition.
We warmed up outside and then started on the first boulder problem which was nice and easy to warm up on. We then did the second boulder problem which was harder. It took me two attempts to get this problem. I decided to put my new shoes on. We then did our first route which was okay. The second route had a lot of slopers and a lot of people didn't get this one. We then did our final boulder problem which Robbie had set and you could tell, it was really tough. I had three attempts and got 55 points. I then only had my final route to climb. It was a a 7a+ so I knew it would be tough. Rachel C did the demo and she came off!!(and she won the leading ladder comp) I had drawn out my route plan earlier and made a few changes when I watched Rachel but I knew I would have to climb it differently because of my height. This route was full of the weirdest holds and slopers, it was all about moving your weight and moving quickly past the bad holds, the problem was there weren't any good holds. I ended up jumping for a really bad sloper and getting 77 points.
At the end of the comp three of us had the same points and so it went on countback and I came 2nd. It was a great day and thanks to Megan and Rachel it was an exciting comp.
I am glad I wore my new shoes.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

New shoes

I can't believe I have gone through the toe on one of my shoes!!!!! I think it was all the climbing I did in Font. Mum is going to order a new pair of Katanas and I think I will try and get lace ups to keep them tighter for longer. I hope they come before next Saturday.

Avertical Wall, Dundee

Today I went to Dundee to Avertical wall. Next week is the last round of the YCS for Scotland and it takes place at Dundee. I like Avertical wall, especially the bouldering (that’s a surprise). After warming up I started with a couple of top ropes and then moved on to a purple lead 6b, it was pretty straight forward apart from getting over the ledge and also the clips are really stiff so I found it difficult to clip. I also completed a few more leads including a red which was quite nice and also a turquoise that I put a top rope up to complete. I moved to the back of the hall and tried a black 6b that was quite tricky but I managed to flash it. Unfortunately I found a lot of the routes were set for much taller climbers, so it gave me an excuse to go and boulder. I love the archway and I had a go on the steep board and tried some dynos. I enjoyed climbing at Dundee.


Yesterday I was at Ratho for my usual BRYCS coaching. I started by playing tunnel tig with my friends and running about to warm up then we did a really long traverse along the main lead wall. I stretched while Neil McGeek told us what we were going to do today. I was going to be doing top-roping and looking at technique. Neil took us to the slab wall to do technique, I climbed up with no hands! This made me think about the weight being above my feet before moving. We then moved onto harder climbs so I did the olive 6b and the yellow 6b+ which I found REALLY reachy. I was finally warmed up! I was ready to try my project route. It was blue 7a. I climbed up and fell off at the huge move at the top so I kept trying that move and finally got it! Neil thought there was no point in doing the last 2 moves so I came down and had a rest, I was really determind to complete it next time. I managed to get to the same point again and went for the big move. I managed to catch the hold with one arm, I pulled myself up with that arm and managed to complete the climb! I was really glad that I got it! That is the 3rd 7a that I have now completed! After a rest and a few other climbs, Neil said why don’t you try this yellow, I looked at it and thought crimpy, technique and 6c . Sounds like my kind of climb!!! I tried it and fell of half way and cut my knee on the bolt! AWWW! My foot slipped off and there was a bolt under it. It was time to cool down. I did some easy bouldering ,traversing and stretching then went home. I really really enjoyed this session! Neil always makes me want to climb hard. I think we are all going to miss him at Ratho.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Back at Ratho

I can’t believe I have not written my blog for the past two weeks since I got back from Font. It took us so long to get back from France, we left the gite at 10 in the morning and didn’t get back home until 3am Sunday morning. We didn’t go climbing on Sunday because it was Easter Sunday but went to Ratho on Monday. I felt quite tired so I did my bouldering session and then we did some fun stuff. Since then I have been following my training programme and trying to work hard on routes and not bouldering all the time.
I am really excited about tomorrow because McGeek is taking us bouldering outside, probably in Northumbria somewhere, it all depends on the weather. I am also hoping one of the other parents is going to give Olivia and I a lift because mum and dad are running the Chris Hoy half marathon and can’t take us.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Day 4 in Fontainebleau

Today we went to a place near Noisy. It was really good as well as all the other places we have been to. Although every ones fingers were red raw and some were even cut we still had an amazing time!! To warm up we did this really hard crimpy slab, after two goes I got up it as well as Becky. It was very hard and was even harder if you had finger tape on. I didn't feel very warmed up so I tried another slab but I think I warmed up my throat more than my body because 3/4 of the way up there were two lizards, I screamed when I saw them because they gave me such a fright but I went to the top anyway and climbed as fast as I could on the way down!!! I was very warmed up after that so I asked Neil for something harder so he took me to this reachy, overhanging, juggy problem. It was a kind of traverse then it went up at the end. Since it was April Fools day, the night before Viv and I planned some tricks that we were going to play on Neil for a joke. The first one was putting flour in his chalk bag, it was really funny when he put his hand in and found out it was flour!!!!! The second one was when he was showing us a boulder problem we put big sticks and two pine cones in his chalk bag, he got a fright! The third and final one was placing a very heavy rock at the bottom of his climbing bag so he would be carrying extra weight when he lifted it up!!!!!!!!!!
After all the pranks I got back to climbing and Neil set me another challenge, it was another reachy problem! We did it with some German women. We used their mats. I had my first go and got to the same place as they did. My second go I got to the same place again, came off and went over on my ankle because the rocks underneath the crash mat were uneven.
I watched Neil do a boulder then had to go home. My ankle was really painful!

Friday, 2 April 2010

Day 3 in Fontainebleau

Today we went to Franchard Isatis and Franchard Cuisiniere, they were only a 10 minute walk in between and were both amazing!!! I completed 5 red problems and nearly did a white problem (the hardest level). After about 2 hours it started lightly raining so we walked down the road to Cuisiniere. After warming up on a few slabs and trying a few red problems I asked Neil, can I try something harder so he showed me and Viv this overhanging, reachy and awesome problem!!! I chose a sequence and brushed the holds, I even climbed round the back of the boulder and looked at the top from above! I was ready to try it! I had my first go and fell off just after the middle bit, it involved lots of heel hooks and big reaches. After I knew I could do the start of it I tried it from standing start but I noticed there was a huge dyno to the next hold so I tried different places to put my feet and finally got it from standing start. My fingers were really red and nearly bleeding! Neil said I could try to join it all up if my fingers were ok but they weren’t , I still tried it though but unfortunately fell off at the huge dyno. After that problem I just did reds and blues because my fingers were really sore.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Day 2 in Fontainbleu

Climbing in Font with Neil Gresham and his group for the whole week. I took 5 days off climbing after last weekend because Neil McGeachy told me to and I now feel much better. We arrived on Saturday night after getting stuck in traffic around Paris. On Sunday when we woke up it was raining so we only managed about three hours climbing but it was fantastic. I woke up this morning and it was sunny and I was so excited. I ate lots of pain au chocolate and we headed for the boulders!! At first the boulders were a little wet and so we looked around the forest and checked them out while they were drying. The french people get very angry if you climb on them while they are wet because it wears away the sandstone. When we started to boulder it was amazing, it is so different to bouldering inside, I think I prefer bouldering outside. The boulders are really technical and have REALLY small foot holds so you have to be balanced when you are on them. Before you get onto a boulder you have to arrange your crash mat into the right place depending on the angle of the problem, clean your crash mat with your towel, clean your shoes with the towel or your feet will slip off REALLY easily. Then you're off!!!!!
My climbing buddy, Becky, who is a very good adult climber, is really nice and we give each other pointers on each problem and advice on how to do it! Sean, the trainee coach, was good to work with and really helped me on the harder problems in Font. By 5pm my feet were killing me and I had to go back to the Gite (where we were staying).
I was exhausted by the time we were finished, after 5 hours training, 12pm to 5pm, I was ready to jump in the shower. Hopefully tonight dinner will be good!!! :D

Sunday, 21 March 2010

YCS Round 2 Glasgow

Over the past week I have been suffering from a bug that makes me sick and feel faint and so I have not been feeling well. I have still tried to train but had nothing interesting to blog about apart from nearly throwing up on my mums head from the grey 7a+ that I was attempting (badly). I spent more time in Ratho toilets than on the wall!!
This was all on the lead up to the second round of the YCS held in Glasgow Climbing Centre on Saturday the 20th. I had given up hoping I would feel okay and was only holding out for making it through the day. I had to climb in order to get points if I had a chance of getting into the final on the 12th of June, or into the Scottish Final.
Although I felt weak and shaky I thought the first climb and boulder were VERY easy. The second route was harder. When Robbie demoed it he even looked like he was struggling (hahahahahaha). I got 99/100 points so I was pleased(ONE HOLD AWAY FROM THE TOP!!!) I just couldn’t hold the last hold after I did a major dyno for it . My sister, Olivia, was first up for the second boulder and totally flashed it! She did really well! The last move was hard because you had to hold onto an alien head hold ( I held onto its eyeballs) I got it on my second go!
The third boulder was da bomb! Bridging, high feet and swinging basically sums it up! I also got that one on my second go nearly fainting in between!!!
Finally, the last route was AWESOME!!!!!!!!! Full of slopers, dynamic moves and you had to be in balance all the time. I felt really bad by this time and was seriously shaky but decided to give it a go and get as many points as possible. I drank some lucozade sport and hoped it would stay in my tummy for the climb. I found the middle of the route where the the tricky bit was, hard, but kept looking for features and moving my weight over my feet. I got to the second last hold which had nothing on it to hold and so came off!! Only two others got to the same position, that was Megan and Rachel who had a super climb off and Megan won. I came third, one point behind them. I was so pleased to see the end of the day. Poor Kirsten and Alasdair felt the same as me.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Mentoring Session in Glasgow

Aberdeen Saturday and Glasgow on Sunday, I am missing Ratho. I was in Jonny’s group this week with Lewis and Claudia. We did some top ropes and leading mainly 6b’s and one 6c. I really enjoyed the black on the arĂȘte and managed to get to about 5 holds from the top. We then did some bouldering and some hanging off the holds to check our arm strength. I enjoyed the session it went really quickly. I then had to get home quickly because I had a Laser quest party to go to.

Scottish Youth Bouldering Competition

On Friday we drove up to Aberdeen, had pizza and then went to bed to be ready for the competition in the morning. The comp was held at Transition Extreme in Aberdeen, it has a brilliant skateboarding place and a basketball court.
In the morning we had to do 10 boulder problems, we had lots of time so Olivia and I went out for a run for 10 minutes to warm up. Unfortunately Olivia was allergic to the grass and ended up wheezy!! So we sat out and watched for a while. I decided to start with the pink and then no.10 grey and then worked my way round them missing out on the queues. I was really pleased to top all of the boulders and get through to the semi finals. Five of us were in the semis because two climbers were in fourth place. We were all put in isolation and had to wait our turn. I was last to go and by then my legs were shaking. The green and black problem had a very difficult start unless you had very long arms. It didn’t go well for me, I couldn’t get past the start and only gained 44 points. When I came off I bashed my shoulder on a hold and had to have an ice pack put on it. I then had to wait for the second boulder that also looked difficult. I tried my very hardest and managed 54 points. Unfortunately it was not good enough to get through to the final, only two got through. I came in third place and was awarded a medal.
I still love to boulder.

Sesh with Neil McGeek

Last Thursday I had a coaching session with Neil McGeeky. Neil started by talking to me in the office about what we were going to do that night, To start we did a few falls on top-ropes because Neil knows I don’t like falling, we then moved on to some lead climbs. To help overcome my fear I had to jump when Neil shouted “GO” without looking down or thinking about it. By the end of the session I began to quite enjoy falling. Neil has given me a programme to do over the next four weeks, I can’t wait to start it. I really like training with Neil, he makes me want to try hard.


Bouldering about on Tuesday, I ran into Robbie and Nat. I was trying the white on the barrel boulder and had a big move that I was finding it hard to commit to because it was quite high. Robbie very quickly took me onto a lower bit to practice my dyno technique. When he was showing me he made lots of very enthusiastic noises to go along with the move. Olivia, Nat and I were laughing lots at Robbie’s noises. BBBBBBBUUUOOOooSSSSSSHHHHH!!!!!!

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Sat 27th Feb 1st YCS Round held at the Peak Wall in Stirling

I woke up this morning to four inches of thick snow in my garden. I was really worried about getting to Stirling and also getting to the competition on time. To calm my nerves I watched Neil Gresham’s climbing DVD in the car on the way. When we arrived there were lots of people there and I found out there were 22 other girls in my category. Because I am 10 I was not very confident that I would do well this year but I was determined to do as well as I could. The first boulder I found quite tricky at the end because I was so nervous but I topped it and so began to relax a little. I then did the first route which I found very easy, I then moved on to the second route which was on an arĂȘte and a bit reachy but I managed to top it. The second boulder was very short and pretty straightforward. The last boulder was a killer! I would have needed 10 bowls of porridge to top it! I had three goes and managed to touch the last hold and so gained 58 points. I was disappointed but knew I couldn’t have ever reached it in a million years (or maybe next year when I grow a bit). I moved on to my last route that I had spent a bit of time route reading and so I worked out the tricky bits first. As I got half way up it got harder and harder but I kept on going. Two thirds of the way up, where most people were falling off I was trying to climb faster so I wouldn’t fall off, I realised I was climbing aggressively. I was sooooooooooooooooo pleased to get to the top!!!!!!!!!
I wasn’t sure of what was happening with the other group, so I had no idea I was in joint first place. I couldn’t believe it, I just didn’t expect to do so well! Simon , the chief judge announced there would be a climb off between me and Rachel Tennant who has been my climbing buddy for the last two years. The route picked for the climb off was the orange that the 14-16 category had climbed for their last route. We tossed a coin and I went first. I was very nervous because everyone was watching. I didn’t have a lot of time to route plan but approached the route confidently and tried my very best. Half way up I jumped to touch the next hold and missed by a milimetre. Then it was Rachels turn and she managed to touch it. Unfortunately I came second. Our other friend Megan came third. I had a great time at Stirling and am looking forward to the next round in March.