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

World Lead Cup, Kranj, Nov 2014

I competed in my first senior international during the weekend of 14/16th November 2014. It was an amazing experience and very exciting. Having made some mistakes in the qualifiers, I finished in 42nd place, and was a little disappointed in my performance. However, the next week I was ill with a virus and off school, so I don't think I was competing at my best. It was still a fantastic learning opportunity and it was awesome to see the best climbers in the world, like Adam Ondra and Jakob Schubert, competing.

With Adam Ondra