Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Update - 14th June 2016

Life has been very busy. This year I have been sitting my Higher exams and I have now left school :) I have a conditional offer for Edinburgh college to study HND Civil Engineering, so fingers crossed for good exam results. I am also learning to drive and have just passed my Theory test, so there has been lots going on. I am really looking forward to being able to drive as I will be able to get to my training and to crags without relying on anyone else.

I have also been very busy with my climbing. This year I wanted to climb Rainshadow, 9a at Malham, and so I had been training very hard for this over the winter. I am psyched that I was able to achieve this goal on the 2nd May.

UKClimbing report

Climbing this route has been the biggest buzz of my climbing so far, as this route has been a dream of mine since my first visit to Malham aged 12. Also, I feel that this is a major stepping stone in my climbing and I am psyched for the future.

I have also still been competing, over the winter at the Youth Opens, CWIF, local bouldering comps and more recently at a Lead EYC in Imst, Austria and at the Junior British Bouldering Championship. These competitions have been successful for me and I am pleased with how I have performed.

At the EYC in Imst, I was very tired as I had my Computing exam the day before the competition and had, therefore, arrived at the hotel at 2am. Despite this I managed to climb well enough to make the final, in a large and strong field. The final route was tricky for me as it was set in very much a World Cup Boulder style using very few holds and lots of volumes, which is not a style I am used to. I fought my way up the route and finished the comp in 10th. I was happy with how I climbed, given the poor preparation due to exams.

This past week, to celebrate leaving school, I headed down to Malham with fellow climbers Ajda Remskar and Jim Pope. We spent a really fun few days camping and climbing. Unfortunately, conditions were not good as birds were nesting on some routes and the sun was out. However, Jim and I managed to send some classic routes, including Unjustified 8b+ and Austrian Oak 8b. I also did a little work on Total Eclipse and I am psyched to return to this route when conditions improve.

Austrian Oak 8b

After our week in Malham we headed to Manchester for the JBBCs. I was happy to climb well at this comp and finish in 1st place :)

Junior Boys Podium JBBC 2016

I am now psyched to visit Ajda in Slovenia, for a few weeks, where I plan to train really hard at their brilliant training walls. Not having to return to school is great!

Friday, 23 October 2015

Monk Life (Font 8B+ / V14) Kyloe-in-the-Wood, Northumberland

I first visited Kyloe-in-the-Wood in August 2015. As it was my first visit to the crag, I was keen to try many of the problems and especially, Monk Life. I had heard lots about Monk Life, from climbers at my local bouldering wall, Alien Rock 2, and had read all about it in the guide book. Also, as I am Scottish and the problem was first climbed by one of Scotland’s best, Malcolm Smith, in 2003, this is a problem I was really keen to try. On that first visit I had only a few attempts and didn’t even reach the crux! However, I was instantly blown away by the problem and the moves. I knew, straightaway, that I wanted to come back to complete this.   

On my second visit, on Tuesday 13th October, I was lucky to be able to work with another climber sharing both beta and boulder mats (as the problem, in my opinion, is quite high!) Using this new beta, I was able to reach the crux on my first attempt of the day and suddenly the problem seemed possible. Throughout the day I got very close but didn’t manage to stick the dyno to the break.

I returned again to Kyloe-in on Monday 19th October for another session, where I hoped to make progress but had no real expectations of climbing it. I did a couple of problems to warm up, and then decided to give Monk Life a warm up go, just to get back into the flow of it. However, before I got on my mum insisted we put the camera on, just in case. At the time this seemed a bit far fetched, but I'm very grateful we did, as on that go I managed to climb it perfectly, caught the dyno move and did it! At the time I couldn’t quite believe it, and I haven’t stopped smiling since! 

UK Climbing News

Climber Magazine

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

BMC Junior Cups, Lead and Boulder, Round 1

On Saturday 29th November I competed in the Junior Lead Cup, Round 1, at Awesome Walls, Sheffield. Having been ill with a virus the week before I had not had the best preparation for this competition, and was slightly lacking in strength. However, I climbed fairly well and in the final was in joint 2nd place. With the count-back from the qualifiers I finished in 3rd place.

The following weekend, on Sunday 7th December, I competed at the Junior Boulder Cup, Round 1, in Derby. As in the previous week I finished the final in joint second, but was separated by count-back and finished 3rd overall. I was a little disappointed with these results, but it has been a long season and I am now looking forward to a break over the winter where I can focus on my training.

Due to my results throughout the year I have been selected again for both the GB Junior Lead (elite) and Boulder Teams for 2015.

At the Boulder Cup Rob Adie, from the BMC, presented me with the Trophy for winning the Senior BLCC. It had been engraved with my name alongside some very famous previous winners, e.g. Ian Vickers, Steve McClure, Gaz Parry, Ed Hamer and Dave Barrans.

Being presented with the BLCC trophy