Saturday, 29 December 2012

Blocfest and New Holds

On the 8th of December was the Castle round of the Blocfest series. This was an absolutely awesome comp! There was such an awesome atmosphere throughout the comp and the whole centre was packed! The Blocs were absolutely awesome with some really interesting and weird movements in. I managed to flash 23 of the 25 problems which I was pretty pleased about. I topped every problem in the end, although two of them required some working meaning I finished with 232 points out of a possible 250. This meant I finished in joint 3rd which I was seriously pleased with. Two comps in two weeks and two podiums, seem to be off to a good start!

For Christmas I got a new set of new holds for my home training wall! I received the Holdz Ripplez Set 8 and they are So awesome!!!! The set has such a good variety of horrible slopey pinches, big slopers, jugs and crimps! The friction is absolutely incredible which left my skin slightly ruined after the amount of climbing I did on them! In all it is a totally sick set which I am so psyched to train on in the future!

Hopefully, as I'm going down to Cornwall again tomorrow, I'll get a chance to go to Helman Tor as I have some serious unfinished business there which needs sorting out!!

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Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Soloing, Comps, and Illness - Interesting few weeks

 So the day after we went to Roche Rock in Cornwall, we were able to go down to Dodman Point for a few hours on the way back home. There was one route that I was keen to do which I had first seen a few years earlier. It was a 14 metre HVS 5a, a really interesting style too, it was easy face climbing up to a slanting finger crack, this was then followed to another parallel slanting finger crack a couple of feet higher and then a move to a ledge and the finish. It was a really cool little route and my hardest solo to date! I'm psyched to get back to Dodman as there are two little micro routes slightly further down the gully that I really want to try!

Last weekend was my first competition of this season and it was the La Sportiva Party over at the Castle in London. It was a really awesome set with a mixture of delicate slopey slab problems, burly overhanging stuff and technical crimpy things. One thing I did find though was the volume of slabby problems with mantels on them; this is the style of climbing that I am worst at so I didn't do too well on these. I finished with 163 points out of a possible 200, and there was only one problem that I couldn't do as I simply didn't have the required flexibility to get my leg up and rock over. In all I finished second which I was very pleased with, my first ever podium too which was sick!! I also won the La Sportiva bouldering bag because of this, however, as I already have a bouldering bucket, I'm gonna use this as a little bag to carry my climbing stuff in.

More recently (last 4 days) I have been ill at home, which is shit. However, I am so psyched for Saturday and the second round of Blocfest at the Castle!! This should be a sick comp and I'm really looking forward to it!

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Saturday, 3 November 2012

Roche Rock

So we were going down to Cornwall this weekend again and I was keen to get over to Roche rock. We'd never been before and one attraction for non-climbers (the rest of my family) was a 14th century monastery built into the rock!!
Some of the routes were up to 20 metres, most fairly low grade, up to a maximum of E4. There was very limited bouldering and most were routes.  I was psyched to get started so started on a climb slightly too hard for me to feel comfortable soloing. I backed down and started up another route. This was a 20 metre VS 4c and was one of the classics of the crag. It was an intense climb with some brilliant movements! The rock was also amazing! The rock is very rare and I believe unique: it's is a form of crystalline granite except the feldspar and mica have been removed and replaced with tourmaline (I don't get it either!).

I also did another couple of much shorter routes, only around 9 metres and tried a hard E3 which I couldn't even start in the rain!

I would definitely recommend this crag as the rock quality is excellent with some amazing routes on! I'm so psyched to get back there and do some more routes!!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

More Training!!

Been doing so much lately as it comes into winter, climbing about 5 or 6 times a week. Had a particularly decent session earlier where I climbed a 7b and flashed a 7A+ which I was so psyched about!! Can't wait for some decent conditions and to get on the granite and sandstone!! Heres a little video I made of some of the problems on the moonboard:

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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Wales Trip (Encore!)

So this weekend we had another climbing trip to wales, if slightly shorter as we only had two days climbing! On the Saturday we left early in the morning and arrived around midday. We started off by exploring a new crag called Howbeech Slade. It was, unfortunately, a total waste of time. There was basically nothing there worth climbing and the rock was crap quality; there was also very limited bouldering with everything being so loose!

After wasting around an hour there, we moved on to the Shakemantle Slabs. We started off with a bit of bouldering but it was just dangerous as it was so loose, foot and hand holds were coming off everywhere! Then we moved up to the main wall, a bolted slab with a number of mid range sport routes. I belayed a couple of the others up there on the top rope and then had a go at a lead; my first ever outdoor lead!!! It was only a 6b but the style was really unusual and one that I really wasn't used to, I still managed to onsight it though which was awesome.

When we had finished here, we went just over the road to another new crag called Staple Edge Quarry. A very newly opened crag with just a few bolted lower-offs and brambles everywhere!! However, it looked like it had some amazing potential with a couple of E6's and E7's!! The rock was excellent quality and the whole crag was amazing!!

On the Sunday we were rained off so stopped at the Reading Climbing Centre on the way back. None of us had been there before, but it was amazing! It had a massive lead wall and the bouldering was excellent. I warmed up and then worked my way round the V6-8 circuit and managed to do a fair few of them with only a couple I couldn't do! I also tried a couple of the blue V8+ circuit and got so close on some of them but didnt managed to top them. Well worth a visit!!

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Tuesday, 18 September 2012


I've been back at school for a couple of weeks now and have been training much more on the moonboard for some of the comps coming up and a couple of trips. On the wall at home I've been working my way through some of the problems after school over the last couple of nights and I made a video of some of them.

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Thursday, 23 August 2012

Wales Trip

So for the last few weeks I have been training for a climbing trip with my school. Originally we were going to go up to the peaks for a few days climbing there. Then it was changed to climbing in the Portland and Swanage area; then it was changed to going to Wales which was brilliant as I have only been there climbing for a few hours previously.

We arrived at Llangattock in the afternoon and got straight in. I didn't much fancy top-roping some of the 4's and 5's that were set up and instead I did some traversing. I quickly did one which I think was around V4 or V5 although I'm not too sure. Then, at the far left hand end of the crag I found an awesome looking boulder! It was a really interesting style on slopers and crimps, nearly all sidepulls as well which led to some odd movements. I spent about an hour, maybe a bit more, trying to do it. I worked out all the moves fairly quickly and there was only one I couldn't do. It was then that we had to leave for the day; this was uber frustrating!! I was so close!! I reckon I only needed a few more goes before I sent it but we had to go. This might have been for the better though as now I have a project for next time I come back. Also, the boulder was situated in a slightly damp hollow and the midges were shit!

The next day we went to Llangorse climbing centre which was interesting. It was a centre more designed for the activity side of things rather than the climbing. This meant a lot of easy routes and most were fairly poorly graded which wasn't too good. However there was some half-decent bouldering in a couple of caves and the sheer amount of climbing there was awesome though!!

On the Wednesday we had to go back. However, before we did, we managed to fit in several hours at the classic limestone crag Symonds Yat. I've been there once before although it was raining then and we barely did anything. I started on a decent looking route which involved climbing a technical (and very slimy!!) slab up to an overhang, however over the overhang, there were no decent holds to be able to get round so I moved on feeling a bit annoyed. I then did a couple of decent looking corner climbs, one very reachy and another pretty bare and technical. After this we then had to go as we couldn't get back too late in the evening.

In all it was a sick trip with some decent climbing! It was also just fun to explore some new places and gave me a decent experience of some of the Welsh limestone.

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