Fontainebleau and BLCC’s

Fontainebleau & BLCC’s

So it has been a while since my last update and a lot has happened. As said in my previous post i’ve recently moved back to London to pursue my career in UX design, now as a freelancer. This has meant that work has been busy, hectic and fun but training for climbing has had to change some what. I find it really important to mind sanity to climb most days even if it is an easy session. It lets my mind relax after a stressful day at work and wind down. Due to the nature of freelance work i had to move my training sessions to mornings for a week during a deadline. This is something i have actually thoroughly enjoyed and am keeping on with as it gives me more time in the evening for me time and to do other things! Anyway enough with training what else have i been up to and what is coming up? Lots of fun climbing things!!!

First was the Nihil / Madrock meet in Fontainebleau. This was amazing and a thoroughly great week meeting awesome new people, old friends and climbing some great boulders. I drove out on my own for the week and arrived at the gite to meet the other athletes around mid day. Irene and Rene turned up shortly after myself. Many of the other athletes were competing in the Paris world championships and so were turning up the next day. I attended the same meet last year and the people who came this year were completely different to last which was super cool. It was awesome to meet loads of new super strong and psyched climbers and expand my climbing network. I went out to Font this time with little expectation and desires on what to do. I wanted a chilled out week to let my body and mind relax from the hecticness of work and get it ready for the BLCC’s (British lead climbing championships) the following weekend. To my amazement though i felt pretty good and strong and throughout the week i managed to send some of my outstanding projects from previous trips. Most notably Carnage stand start 7b+ at Bas Cuiver and on the last day i managed four 7a graded boulders. An achievement i felt pretty happy with. Overall though an amazing week with lots of climbing, coffee, BBQing and chilling out in a great place.

After Font was the BLCC’s, unfortunately this landed the day after the Font trip. Not ideal but i just had to deal with it. I had planned the trip back to get an early ferry to allow myself to chill out at home for a few hours and grab lunch before heading up to Sheffield to stay at a friends the night before. Unfortunately this didn’t happen. The traffic the whole way through France was terrible and it stayed the same if not worse in the UK. This meant i ended up driving 14 hours with only pee beaks to break up the journey. Not ideal preparation for the BLCC’s indeed! This coupled with the tragic state my skin was in from the previous days bouldering was going to make for an interesting competition!!!

I woke up on the morning of the BLCC’s feeling surprising good to my surprise! First on the agenda? COFFEE….. I cracked out the moka pot and got a good brew on to get my ready and psyched for the comp!!! I arrived at the wall at just past 8am to register and once signed in i sat down and grabbed a hearty breakfast of porridge with banana and pip and nut almond and coconut butter while watching the demo videos of the routes. I was feeling nervous, more nervous than i thought i would and the demo video of route one didn’t help one bit. Yann the setter of the route fell on what looked like a super bouldery route about 5 times. This certainly did not put my mind at ease as bouldery routes are not my strong point at all…… To be frank i was s**ting myself about it. I was worried i wouldn’t even make it past the first clip! I also couldn’t believe how much more nervous i was than in bouldering comps. I guess it’s down to all the pressure being on two routes with only one go on each. Anyway how did routes one go then? Well much better than expected. I made it to around half way where i had identified a particularly tricky shoulder move (the kind of move that makes me slightly sick in my mouth) where unfortunately i fell. This was down to my lack of shoulder strength and also messing up the foot beta (i missed a key higher foot hold that might have helped) but not because I was pumped at all. That said not to bad…..

On to route two!!! Now this looked much more like my style. Long, good holds and basically just endurance! I had high expectations of myself on this route. This probably didn’t help the nerves, piling extra pressure on myself…… Unfortunately this time i hadn’t seem the strengthy move slap bag in the middle. A lovely shouldery slap out to a slippy volume! I hit the volume, my whole body tensed and i couldn’t grip it. Damn i was off again! So two routes two shoulder moves and two falls. Well at least i know what i need to improve!!!! I ended 19th in the end, not to bad for my first ever lead comp but definitely something to improve upon.

Going forwards what do i need to do? Well one thing certainly is improve my overall strength. My endurance is good, i can climb on crimps for many many meters but as soon as a move requires physical strength i come unstuck. This is going to require some serious training and fuelling to build muscle and get strong. Watching the final on the Sunday gave me even more motivation to do this. The final climbers crushed it! I’m super lucky that Ollie Torr is going to be helping me out with the strength part of my training to ensure i am focusing on the correct elements to make improvements.

As for competitions and trips what’s around the corner? Well i am psyched to get back on the comp scene as they motivate you to try really hard and make the training count for something, luckily there are loads to choose from! This weekend i am heading up to Nottingham to compete in the Blocbuster event and then on 15/16th October I’m going to the Big Flash comp at Highball in Norwich with Louis Parkinson and Henry Heismann. Blokfest is also starting soon which i am monumentally psyched for. They were epic when i did them a year ago!!! As for trips i need to get one booked isn soon, hopefully some winter sun somewhere nice like Costa Blanca.

Anyway thats enough for now, time to get back to training and focus on getting stronger!