Blokfest Westway

The previous weekend was the first round of the awesome Blokfest event and i was so psyched to compete. Initially i had a little scare on the Wednesday before. In a standard training session i started getting shooting pains in my left shoulder. Not again i thought, not another bl**dy injury!!! Luckily after two days of rest and icing the pain had gone. Probably just over worked and not injured. Phew thank god for that!!!

Anyway onto the event. I approached the organisers before the event to ask if i could take some photos of the final blocks as it wasn’t like i was going to get into the final as GB standard people would be more than likely turning up. Though i came closer than i thought!!! I ended up in joint 15th place and if i hadn’t made a silly mistake one of the blocs i could have been even higher up. A result i am more than happy with. A few things i did learn form the event though is that i really need to work on my slopper strength. There was one bloc that i really should have done but i just got too powered out fighting with a giant slopper to be able to hold onto the higher crimps. Annoying but something easy to work on that i am psyched to get better at! It was also awesome to meet up with Michelle and Caroline again from Serious Climbing and catch up with what they had been doing.

The final was held with the top 5 men and women from the senior category. They completed in a world cup format over 3 blocs. The atmosphere was awesome, lights down low and pumping beats from the DJ. It would have been awesome to be in. That said i was more than happy to have an excellent view from the top of the wall and be able to get some great photos. Shown below are a couple with the link to the full album after. Anyway stoked to get involved in the next round on 15th November at Boulder Brighton. Bring it on!!!

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Blockfest Westway Flickr album

Sick, a road trip!!!

So this is a little late but better late then never eh? It’s been a hectic last few week since i returned from Europe which means i haven’t had time to get my thoughts down on paper (or screen now). Just over two weeks ago i moved down to the big smoke (London) to start my new job as a User Experience designer and what a change it has been! Coming from a small Yorkshire town there is so much going on in a good way and something bad way!

Anyway back to the summer. This summer myself and Dale Comley embarked on a road trip around Europe to climb at some of Europe’s best destinations. We visited Berdorf in Luxembourg, the Frankenjura in Germany and Arco in Italy. Along the way we managed to stop off at a couple of Europe’s best gyms and watch the IFSC Bouldering World Championships and Arco Rock Master. Our first stop was Berdorf but unfortunately the first day we awoke to pouring rain so evening though Dale has already decided the trip as going to be a wash out (we did still have over 3 weeks left) we decided to push on to the Frankenjura stopping off at Studio Bloc in Frankfurt along the way to break up the way. Studio Bloc is a new wall and wow it was really cool. The hold selection they has was vast, i’ve done quite a lot of indoor climbing but nearly every hold they had i hadn’t seen before. Worth a stop if you are passing for any reason for sure!

Our first major stop on the trip was the Frankenjura we stayed here for just over a week and what an amazing place it is. It really suited out styles. Coming from the UK we were never going to be endurance monsters and having the past month and a bit off due to niggling injuries didn’t help and endurance i once had! That said i love the pockety style maybe because i spent the whole of last summer hanging on the beastmaker two finger pockets due to a different injury, but i got on really well. I managed to tick a load of 7b/7b+’s and even got my first 7c Bauer Olaf at Dachlwand. Definitely a place t return to for sure!

frankenjura

Our next stop was Arco but not before we stopped off in Munich for the IFSC bouldering world championships. Wow what an event, the atmosphere was amazing and it was incredible to see how supportive the crowd was to each and every climber. The german ones did get a bigger cheer but hey it was their home event. I can’t even put into words the psych that this event created and it made me so eager to get down to Arco the next day!

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Psych levels were still high by the time we arrived at the crag the next day. I was so psyched to get on something hard, i had the feeling a hard route was gong to go down! How different reality could be….. The first day we went to Eremo and tried to get on an amazing 7c. Unfortunately the route was seeping and the top tuffa was soaked. It’s ok we though there is a route to the right that looks nearly the same, it started the same, but wasn’t in the guide. We both got well and truly shut down and by lunch time were completely shot. We decided to sack off the rest of the day so we plodded back to the campsite swimming pool with our heads held low. Upon inspecting 8a.nu later on we realised that the route we had thought didn’t look to bad was actually an 8b maybe not the best route to get on as the first route of the day…… For me the next few days were something of a disappointment in hindsight climbing for 10+ days without a rest day maybe isn’t the best way to o about sending hard routes. I basically had to take two full days off to recuperate and gain back some energy and psych!

Arco’s routes are much more endurance based than what we were climbing in the Frankenjura. This meant even when i had a break and felt recuperated i still got shot down on a lot of routes. By the end of our time in Arco i just about felt like i was making some progress and the endurance that the local climber were displaying was starting to build up. Arco was a complete eye opener to how bad my endurance was compared to the average european climber, something to work on for sure. That said by the end i had managed to tick a few 7b+’s which i was really happy with. On a couple of the days we managed to climbing at the same sector, Massone, that a lot of the professional climber who were completing in the Rock Master event were. It was amazing to see their level of endurance even on a rest day. I even managed to witness Domen Scckofitz climb Underground 9a which was super inspiring!

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massone

All in all it was a great trip and thinking about it this was probably my longest time climbing on rock so i still have a lot to learn! Psyched to get back out to Spain this Christmas now, bring it on!!!

Anyway here is the video produced from the trip.