The demos were scheduled for 8.30am on Saturday, so it was an early start for the whole team and we all got down to the wall in time to have a look around and get warmed up before the climbing began. The wall ( or I should say walls) was amazing,but what struck me in particular was the indoor wall (we were competing outside) which had an amazing range of angles, all crammed into a space smaller than most centres in the UK and yet far more impressive. My first qualifier was soon revealed to be a very technical vertical route up the middle. This should have suited me. However, extreme nerves overtook me and I found myself greasing of a pair of chalky crimps halfway up the route, with lots of energy still to spare. To my annoyance, the route was brushed straight after I climbed, but to my relief, I still managed to come 22nd out of 37, which, although not an amazing result, was reasonable for my first ever international route. I enjoyed the route nevertheless and would have liked to have given it another try.
I soon found out that I would be climbing last on my second qualifier, giving me a 6 hour wait in the heat and blazing sun. After watching a few of my team mates compete, I headed back to the hotel, with the intention of returning an hour and a half before my climb, enabling me to warm up and grab beta of some of my teammates (I would be missing the second demo).
Back at the wall, I began to feel nervous again and even started reading the wrong qualifier route (luckily my teammate Rebecca pointed this out to me!). When it was finally time for me to climb I had overheated in the sun and I found the first part of the route sketchy, as my sweaty hands struggled to grip the chalky slopers. This wasted energy and unfortunately I came off lower than I should have due to misreading the route and clipping from the wrong places. This placed me in 25th overall, which I was a little disappointed with. However, I feel that I learnt a lot from the experience and know that I can improve a lot as I will hopefully be less nervous at my next international.
The following day I enjoyed watching the finals with the rest of the team (big up to Hamish, Emily, Will and Molly who all made finals!) and was inspired by some of the incredible talent on show. I can't wait to return to the wall for another competition!
|Squeezing the life out of the chalky crimps on my first route|