Well the past week was rather successful and therefore leaves me with quite a lot to talk about… I’ll try and keep it quite short though. Firstly; last Tuesday I visited The Quay Climbing Centre to do some endurance training and also to participate in their round of the BMC Leading Ladder. My very strong friend, Tom Wright, had tried the F8a on the Saturday before and had fell around midway and then on second attempt on around 3/4’s of the way, so I decided not to give it a go on the Saturday but on the Tuesday I returned and thought that I should probably give it a go. Tom showed my the beta and I pulled on, I moved steadily through the lower section and arrived at a two finger rest pocket just before the crux. Before I knew it I was through the crux section and just had the roof and top wall to tackle! There were no good holds to rest on I just had to go for it and fully commit! Feeling really pumped and happy I clipped the top for my first F8a flash in a Leading Ladder round. I finished the session off with some endurance training and went home having had a decent evening in Exeter.
Saturday morning arrived and it was time for the BMC Youth Climbing Series round two in South Molton’s Rock and Rapid Adventure Centre. I woke up at 6:30 having had around 4 hours sleep and not much rest from training and I felt very very tired! I was ill prepared for the competition and was in doubt that I would be able to hold onto the winning spot. I arrived at the wall, not feeling anymore awake and psyched than earlier and got warmed up for my first route which surprising went okay (even though it was around F6a). I was a fan of the 45 degree board at the centre and spent most of the time training on this in between routes, which was probably a bad idea… Every thing ran smoothly and I managed top everything and win the round despite my lack of sleep.
I awoke to snow on the Sunday but decided to head to Anstey’s Cove with Dan Woolnough, Alex and Phil Waterhouse where I decided to get back on a route which I had tried a couple of times a couple of months ago despite it being in the worst condition that Anstey’s has been in so far this year… it was sunny and warm! This route was La Crème Direct (F8a)- A technical and powerful route on slopers. This is a harder finish to La Crème (F7c+). Alex tried it first while placing draws and got most of the moves first go. On my first go of the day I fell two moves below my previous high point, then the next go I was one move below and then the next attempt as soon as I hit the crux hold, I knew that this was the time and knew that I could finish it. I soon reached the good hold and got my head together for the final slab section then before I knew it, I was at the top and clipping the chains! Feeling psyched I decided to have a quick go on the top moves of La Crème which I hadn’t previously tried and 10 minutes after finishing the direct I pulled onto the original for my first redpoint attempt and flowed through all of the moves and clipped the chains to which was my first F7c+. Later that day I went for an onsight attempt on The Mightier (F7c+) but fell on a reachy move from a wet hold but I look forward to going back to try the route again.
I am very pleased to announce that from now onwards I will be working alongside Mammut. I decided to work with Mammut as I am a strong believer that they make the best gear available and therefore believe that this improves my performance!