Molly Thompson Smith

Molly Thompson Smith
Edinburgh EYC 2013

Thursday, 31 December 2015

First Time to Fontainebleau..

Beautiful scenery as we were getting lost! (JR)
During October half-term, I travelled to Fontainebleau with some friends for 9 days of bouldering. It was my first time going to Font, and my first trip abroad specifically or rock climbing! After a long journey we arrived at our place, almost opposite the lovely palace of Fontainebleau.

On our first day we headed to Bas Cuvier where the aim was to have a nice intro to Font style climbing – only 6's, no 7's. That lasted about half an hour; Aidan and Luke quickly dispatched L’Aerodynamite, a 7c classic. So the day changed to trying as much as we could in Bas Cuvier. I was amazed at the rock; not only was it beautiful to look at, it was so nice to pull on!! I really
Will holding my favourite hold in Font (right hand)! (CW)
enjoyed Bas Cuvier, and found it the best area for me out of all the places we visited over the course of the week. 

Spotting Kitty on Holy Moly (JR)
The first of my 2 favourite problems was Carnage – a name I’d heard before I visited Font. It was my style and I really enjoyed it's moves. One of my favourite things about this bloc is that at the beginning it had felt above my limit and I didn't think I'd be able to work out the right feet placement for me. But after working it for a while I managed to find a way. For the second move of the stand, I couldn’t lock it like the boys with a low foot, and couldn’t lock it with a high foot. After quite some time, I gave up trying to find some foot that would work for me and just flicked the move, catching it to my surprise. After a few more attempts trying to link the problem I managed to do it. The rest of the group had started working on L’hellicopter, another bloc I’d heard about before. I thought why not and joined them on it, but and falling off the last move, and watching everyone else take some interesting falls I decided that my one go was enough for me that day ha!  

My other favourite boulder, and the one I was most pleased with doing was Holy Moly, again at Bas Cuvier. It was something that took me quite a while to get, a problem that I knew I could do but just wasn’t doing! I have a short temper and short patience so I don’t really work things very often. It was good for me to practice this skill as I’ve learnt it’s something very important in outdoor climbing! It was a great problem and I eventually managed it with everyone's support and encouragement for me to keep at it!
Watching Aidan send Big Boss (CW)

The rest of the week I watched the boys send a lot of hard stuff, ate some baguettes and pulled on a few boulders. As much as I wanted to climb lots of hard stuff, I knew Font would be hard, especially the first time I was there and it would take some time for me to get used to climbing there. As well as this, I needed Font as a psychological break from competitions and training. The months previous to Font had been pretty heavy, hard and tiring and I was pretty done with the competition season. It was nice to be away with no pressures or stress and just enjoy climbing with friends!
Crew (CW)

Overall, the trip was great fun and I really enjoyed my time in Font. It was always impressive watching the others walk up things I'll return for one day! Thanks for a great trip guys!

But a massive thanks to my sponsors who've been the most amazing supporters this year!

Lyon Outdoor
Sport England
Michael & Lauren Clancy

And thanks to Carys Whomsley (CW) and Jo Robbings for the pictures (JR)... here's a few more of theirs!

Sale Gosse - Roche aux Sabots (CW)
Always smiling in Fontainebleau! (JR) 
Learnt how to do some of this... (JR)
Jo throwing shapes at Bas Cuvier (CW)
Getting stuck on Professional Killer - Cuvier Rempart (CW)

Noir Désir - Cuvier Rempart (CW)

Monday, 3 August 2015

A little bit of everything.

I haven’t blogged at all this year… hopefully this blog will make up for it. I haven't gone into much detail, just a brief summary.

Part1: Injury & Comps…

Me looking like I'm enjoying the final route in Imst (Tanya Rose)
JBBC Bristol final bloc 2 (Sandy Carr)
It’s been a busy year, not exactly in the way I had hoped as we moved into 2015. I was feeling really motivated for 2015 and loving training until my finger started to hurt. After countless visits to physiotherapists, doctors, team trainings spent watching everyone else climb and an MRI, the start of the season was getting closer and closer and I wasn’t even able to climb harder than a jug ladder. I missed the first EYC… it coincided with exams so that softened the blow, but it was my first ever EYC I’d missed.  It wasn’t long before I lost almost all motivation to keep on going, I couldn’t really do anything without this pain. After having some Shockwave treatment at Optimum Performance Sports Injury Clinic and seeing a physio at Appi Health group my finger started to feel like it was on the mend – I just want to say a huge thanks to these guys for all their support! Eventually, I started to push my finger and entered a number of comps including two Europeans where I placed 7th and 16th, and I entered 2 Junior British Bouldering comps which to everyone (and my own) surprise I managed to win. The injury taught me a lot… I was putting far too much pressure on myself to be perfect 100% of the time, I finally started to enjoy the actual climbing rather than be a robot and do competition after competition only thinking of those steps on the podium. This was quite a big turn around in my climbing. Competitions are no longer the be all and end all, just another part of climbing! I’m way more excited for rock climbing too!

Part 2: Kilnsey…

Comedy, Kilnsey (Jim Pope)
Last week I was lucky enough to get the chance to spend 3 days at Kilnsey with Ian Dunn and Jim Pope. It was great to watch these guys climb; they looked so experienced and comfortable on the rock, something I am yet to acquire! ;) Kilnsey was perfect for me – steep, a practically non-existent walk in, smooth holds! It took me a route or two to get into it but I really did love it. Ian gave me routes to try, saying I must get on a few of the classics! I managed to do Comedy, Dead Calm and Truth Drug to name a few but also was able to try a few others such as The Bulge (which Jim effortlessly topped 2nd go) and Dominatrix. I thought I'd leave the harder routes for the big boys to try! But I definitely want to go back soon!

To end, I thought I’d list a few things I’ve learnt from my little taste of outdoors:

1.     Routes take (me) absolutely ages to climb (in the eyes of a 6mins max comp climber). I still don't see 'holds' as such when I look at a rock face.
2.     Exact beta helps… a lot.
3.     The toilet situation is never going to be comfortable!
4.     You (well I!) will be pumped pretty much most of the way up a route.

5.     Everyone is mega friendly and helpful at the crag!

Now I'm back at The Westway training hard for the next EYC in Mitterdorf this weekend and the World Youth Championships in Arco at the end of August.

A huge thank you to all my sponsors for their support this year!

Lyon Outdoor
Westway Development Trust
Michael and Lauren Clancy
Sports Aid
Sport England

Thanks for reading :)


Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2015 - The Roundup

Another year has passed and it only feels like it was yesterday when I was writing my 2013 roundup last New Years Eve! This year has been an interesting but I've got some great memories to carry forward into 2015. Like last year, I'll share my year in the form of pictures. I didn't realise how much has happened in the year since putting this together... its been long, so there'll be lots of pictures!

Helping out at Berrymede Primary School.
My last day of secondary school!

Walking through beautiful Innbsruck at the Lead training camp.
Big smiles at the Imst wall... one of my favourite pictures!

Featuring on Blue Peter with Radzi

I officially joined the Berghaus team!
My first bit of Grit action! 

Winning my first Gold medal in Imst
Imst EYC
European Youth Championships Final Route
EYCH Podium
Working 'Dark side of the moon' at St Bees
Hanging out at Gordale... check out that orange rope!
Big thanks to Lyon Outdoor for the awesome kit!
Competing in the Chamonix WC... harsh conditions!
Focus at the Briançon WC
Team ft. Mr CAC in L'Argentiere
Imst WC 
Training and Rock Climbing with Austrian Team member Georg Parma.
The WYCH wall in New Caledonia


The Financial Times Shot
Kranj WC
JBBC R1, Derby

Lastly I must say a huge thank you to all my sponsors for all their support this year!

Lyon (La Sportiva, Petzl, Beal)
Michael and Lauren Clancy
Sports Aid
Sport England
Westway Development Trust

My Grandparents :)

I hope you all had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

P.S Cheers for all the photos from Rob Russell, Sandy Carr, Tanya Rose, Berghaus, The BMC, Up to Summit, The FT, John Ellison/CAC, Phil Waterhouse, Hannah Slaney, Eddie Fowke.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Kranj WC + A bit of waffle

Although I had a fantastic start to the year, my luck didn’t really stretch out through the rest of the year. I had an amazing summer; stayed with some amazing people and experienced so much… but I wasn’t really training. No training = no improvement, and improvement was what I needed if I wanted to climb well. I had a disappointing run of competitions after Edinburgh: A couple World Cups with performances I’m not too proud of and a few European Youth Boulder Cups, which were average. I came home from summer having enjoyed myself but mainly outside the comps - pretty much because in my opinion I was climbing rubbish and getting poor results. But I managed to find some psyche from somewhere and was ridiculously motivated to train my hardest so I could ultimately come home from the World Youth Championships having made another final and potentially getting a medal. As I’m sure you’re aware, worlds couldn’t have been further from what I was hoping for. All in all, the trip wasn’t that fun, my climbing wasn’t great and I came home extremely upset and demotivated. The next few weeks were really hard for me; I know it sounds pathetic to be this upset about a few competitions but I guess it shows how much they mean to me. I was not psyched at all, especially for competitions. So doing some training before the BLCCs was hard. You’re probably wondering why I’m going on about all this but I think it’s important, as it’ll help you understand my head in the run up to, and during kranj. After I found out I was going to kranj I was dreading it… I didn’t want to perform badly; the disappointment from the previous comps and Worlds had really hit me hard. I had also wanted to take a break and rest so I’d hopefully be itching to get back to the wall again soon. I decided that I would just try and have fun and enjoy climbing in Kranj… not my normal way of looking at comps! So I went out with the team, aiming to have a good time.

We arrived the day before the comp and I actually wasn’t feeling nervous… the nerves did catch up with me on the walk to the wall the next day but I’ve had more intense nerves before. I think I wasn’t as nervous because I really love Kranj; the wall, the warm up area, the competition, even the hotel… just everything about trips to Kranj. It’s pretty cool to be staying in the same hotel as all the other teams, and it was nice to have some other youth climbers I knew from the youth circuit competing. 

I was up 1st… dun dun dunnnn! Most people absolutely hate being out first but I actually I was kinda happy. For me it meant I’d put less pressure on myself whilst sitting in the chair or on the actual route itself. I think I’ve been out first maybe once and that was in a youth comp, but I am always comparing myself to others and putting pressure on myself to climb as high as the people before me on the route. This time, I had no pressure and I was able to just climb the route and not be influenced by others. I really enjoyed the route; I think it was quite well suited to me and I managed to climb up to about 6 moves from the top. I was really pleased with my climb… though I think I could’ve got a few moves higher if I had seen the beta for the move I fell on. But there are always ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’!  I had a good score on the first route, leaving me in 16th place. (you can watch R1 below). All I needed was a decent climb on the second route and I’d qualify for semis, something that had felt so far away earlier in the season. Sometimes you get those routes where from the moment you step off the ground you feel uncomfortable and don’t like it… yep this was one of these routes and I knew I probably wasn’t going to climb as well as I should/wanted to. Nevertheless I managed to qualify in 19th place. I was super pleased and looking forward to the next round.

The Semi-Final route was long. It started on one part of the wall and traversed across the gap between the two lines and went up that line and again traversed out left a bit more near the top. The bottom didn’t look too complex and I climbed it pretty well. I managed to do a mini crux of coming up into the roof, threw out to a big ball and then was a bit stuffed feet wise. I came off kicking myself  (not literally!) because I didn’t really try that hard to sort myself and just kinda gave up… something I never do! But after watching a couple other girls on it, I saw an easer way to do the move. It’s always frustrating to see people do something and make it look easy in a way you didn’t spot. But all in all I was proud of myself for going to Kranj, climbing well on my first route and making the Semi-Finals.

I’m looking forward to a nice break over Christmas and to training hard and giving it my all next year… who knows what 2015 will bring!

Thanks a bunch to my sponsors:

Lyon (La Sportiva, Petzl, Beal)
Michael and Lauren Clancy
Sports Aid
Sport England
Westway Development Trust

My Grandparents :)