Yesterday on the 28th of January I competed in the first round of the YCS. The YCS is made up of three rounds and an eventual national final in Edinburgh. To qualify for the national final you must place in the top three on average over all three rounds.
I started the day by reading my routes and boulders whilst chatting to some of my friends who were also competing. I thought that all of the routes looked hard but do-able and the boulders looked equally as hard but more within my ability.
I then did a rushed warm up (I spent too long reading the routes so didn’t have enough time for an extensive warm up) and after the briefing I met with my category in the bouldering area as that was where we were starting. I would have preferred to have started on routes to get them over and done with but I was still psyched to be climbing.
As there was too many people on our first boulder we had to move on to our second one. I wasn’t too nervous as I had route read the climb well and I thought I could do it, my only worry was whether I had warmed up enough.
I got to the end of the problem feeling comfortable throughout most of it but there was still a few hard moves that I had to rethink during the climb.
Our group then split into two because we had seventeen people so it would take a long time to get through everybody in the time frame. I, along with half of my group moved to our first boulder as it was now empty. When it was my turn, nobody had done the climb yet so I was slightly anxious but I just focused on the climb and I topped it.
I was feeling quite confident after this so when we moved onto our final boulder I was very excited to try it. On my first attempt I didn’t understand the beta so I fell off quite early. I knew what to do for my second attempt but as I was about to reach the next hold my foot slipped off.
Luckily I got the hard move on my final go and I climbed up to the second last hold and prepared myself for the big jump up to the final hold. Unfortunately I didn’t catch the hold but I had got the furthest out of my group so far.
We now had to do the routes so I was starting to get a little nervous as I’m not very confident at leading and my shoes, which had to be fixed with rubber paint a few nights before, made my shoes a little slippy. Our first route was very awkward and I didn’t enjoy the climb very much at all.
I fell off during a relatively straight forward move as I had to stand up on the tip of my shoe which was coated in the paint. I had awful hand holds so when my toe popped off there wasn’t much I could do to stay on the wall. I was kind of disappointed as I knew I could have topped the climb so when I came off I was annoyed with myself.
My second route looked really fun but hard so I was a little excited to try it. I climbed up to the crux move without any major problems and I did the dynamic move to the sloper without struggling too much. I then made an awful mistake of hanging around on this bad hold for too long so when I eventually did the next move I was too tired to clip the clip and I couldn’t get the next hold because of all the pump in my arms so I just tried to lean over and get the hold anyway but I could no longer hold on.
My final climb was on a very steep overhang which made me nervous at first but then excited as the climb itself looked really fun. I was the first person out of my half of the group to try it so I had no idea what it was going to be like. I obviously wanted to top it but my first target was to reach the 5th clip so I was very happy when I got there. The climb was full of big, pumpy moves which tired me out so when I reached for a hold next to the 6th clip I fell but later realised that I had got the furthest out of my whole category.
I was very happy when I got second place and I hope to improve on it next round.
I would also like to wish my friend Izzy a speedy recovery from her broken wrist which she acquired during the day.