Anyone that knows me, knows that I am predominately a boulderer and up until a few months ago wouldn’t ever tie into a rope….why would I do that when I was scared of falling, and could do 8 hard moves on a boulder problem in comparison to 25 to 30 moves. Things changed for me after I entered the BUCS lead climbing championships and finished 4 th , I thought maybe if I trained properlyI could actually do well.
So after getting a new belay partner, re learning how to tie in and clip I started training endurance and getting PUMPED….which is not my favourite feeling at all, I mean who in their right mind enjoys that!! Training is never easy, but it is always most enjoyable when you are working your weaknesses, and endurance is a weakness for me after so long not on a rope. Gradually, after a month or so of training endurance on the auto belay at the wall I actually began to enjoy being pumped and my forearms screaming at me. I knew that I was getting fitter as I was completing more moves before failure so I realised I could push myself further.
After improving my endurance and confidence (with a bit of encouragement from my belayer) I began to try some harder climbs and push my ability. I managed to climb 8a second attempt whichwas the best I have ever climbed so I knew I was doing something right with training!!Going into the competition (British Lead Cup) I felt confident with my climbing and just wanted toclimb and have some fun, as that’s what its all about. The first route looked hard, very boulderywhich suited me, after being nervous for the first two clips I enjoyed the rest of the climb to thepoint at which I got spat off. The second route, was all about the crimps, there was one move halfway up that had troubled a few people, when I got to the move, I decided that it would be best tostatic the move as opposed to going dynamically and it worked!! I continued up the route, fightingagainst the crimps.So…. After two routes I had qualified for the final in 3 rd place, I was pretty happy with that and headed off to isolation where I stayed for the next 2.5 hours!
After viewing the final climb we knew it was crimpy and technical before a hard bridging jump move about ¾ of the way up. I came out for the final climb with no pressure other than to have fun, the route was a lot of run, some funky moves off some small holds. I came to a lovely rock over, to a crimp then into a gaston, to my surprise I held the gaston, so I took a breath and carried on….made the next move, clipped and then fell off rocking over to an under cut crimp….there was nothing more I could have given! Now to wait and find out how I had done, the final two climbers gave the route their best attempt and that meant that I came away with 2nd place. Considering I hadn’t competed in a lead climbing competition in a long time, I was very happy with my performance.
Don't fear falling, fear not trying!