BLCCs to see what was involved in current competitions. It was held at the new Awesome Walls in Sheffield which had been heralded as the National Performance Centre by the BMC, the pictures looked ridiculous and the venue didn’t disappoint.
The first day was the juniors and the vets with a large crowd of parents and supporters. Quite a few people I’d climbed with over the years were there, Vicky Askew, Catrin Rose, Emily Allen, Stan Harris, Cameron McLoughlin, Connor Byrne. I was very impressed with everyones performance and as I’d booked myself on to compete
the following day I could’nt believe how relaxed everyone seemed as I was bricking it. The quantity of talented youths who obviously put a lot of hard work into their climbing really came through and the 3 different viewing levels
made for a good show.
The following day arrived and thankfully quieter than the day before I was tied in to try the qualifier I wasn’t looking forward to by 10.30, having been set by the Frenchman Yann ‘genome’ it had a nasty looking slopey blob boulder pretty low down. Ed Hamer had just pissed up to the last move before me and thinking I could static the lower moves like Ed it became apparent I wouldn’t be. Slipping off the aforementioned blobs the next young man in line said “I thought you were going to walk up it”. The next qualifier was thankfully a Mark Pretty special involving small holds and not being too steep.
The final was great to watch. Connor Byrne, only 17 yrs old got really high in the roof. Ed Hamer blasted across the roof to fall at the easing in angle on the last few metres. Dave Barrans was unlucky enough to slip off still full of beans at the start of the roof which was a shame as Barrans was looking brutally strong. James Garden got well across the roof before falling. The last out and the only person to top both the qualifiers was a young Canadian Elan Jonas-McRae. Appearing able to take his feet off the majority of moves this caught up with him in the middle of the roof leaving Ed Hamer the winner of the Senior mens.
The Senior womens final was on the same heinous roof. Molly Thompson Smith put in a fantastic show topping it out and Tara Hayes wasn’t far behind. At 15 yrs of age it makes Molly the youngest senior womens lead climbing champion.
practicing on some slopey blobs before going on Yanns routes, I know I will.
The following day found a surge of excitement on Burbage South with Ben Bransby. Abseiling down Parthion Shot I was glad to discover a fingerjug/good crimp left near the top of the broken flake as well as quite a few good small wires. I pulled into position and found a good way of doing the big move up to the ‘ledge’ above. We had a rope down it and discovered that the top move to the pocket is pretty nails if you are a shorty although you are stood on a ledge so there are no excuses really. This was one of the routes I really wanted to get done whilst in the peak area and I was a bit gutted about hearing of it being impossible but it’s only a bit harder than before the flake snapped at the moment at probably around 8b.If anyone goes to try it could they go gently with the fingerjug/crimp.