WYCH Singapore 2012

Friday, 24 January 2014

A Visit to Berrymede Junior School

Trying out the green route
Last Friday, I visited Berrymede Junior School to talk to them about climbing, myself and also test their new traverse walls. It was my first visit to a school so I was pretty nervous... but the kids were great and incredibly psyched which settled my stomach!

We started off with an assembly where Mr Cotton, their fantastic PE teacher, introduced me to the children and we had a question and answer session. The children had prepared impressive and interesting questions which was great to hear. Assembly finished with a video of me climbing 2 years ago.

More green action 
Getting burnt off at backwards climbing!! 
After the assembly, I went outside with Mr Cotton to check out their traverse walls... I knew that they had been set by some westway staff members so I knew they'd be good! I wasn't surprised - they were good. The green route (the hardest) had me pulling and I was surprised to find out the large number of the kids that could do it! After demoing the greens on both of their traverse walls it was break time and time for all the excited kids to show me their favourite climb. I showed them my shoes and chalk bag... they really really liked the chalk! Next, I was lucky enough to help Mr Cotton teach his PE lesson before lunch. We climbed, obviously,  and it was great to see all the kids on their different routes and their determination to finish them. Unfortunately the rain cut short our sesh so we had to go inside. We played some brain games where you'd have to switch fingers and thumbs you held up at the same time... I was awful! Definitely something to work on! I stayed for a lovely school lunch - something I haven't had for a long time and miss - and spoke to some of the students.

Overall it was a great day and I'd like to thank Berrymede for having me! I hope the kids choose to keep climbing :)

Playing the brain games!

Myself and the climbing team
Break time psyche

Helping out in PE 
Thanks to Steve Cotton for all of the brilliant photos :)

 And lastly thanks to my amazing sponsors:

Lyon Outdoor
The Westway
Michael and Lauren Clancy

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

I apologise. I have been absolutely awful with writing blogs recently. My excuse is that school has kind of taken over my life at the moment... I spent most of my holidays trying to get to grips with electrolysis and other useless things I have to know for school. To be honest, I actually enjoyed some of it! 

But anyways, instead of boring you all with lots of words I thought I'd try something new and sum up my 2013 with pictures and captions. Just warning you, my year was a busy one so there are LOTS of pics. So here goes...

An old photo used for the Olympic bid.

Myself, Fran and Shanua helping out at a BMC press event.

CWIF 2013

Enjoying the beauty of the Roaches whilst filming a piece for the BMC on the Olympics.

Bridge of Love on a school trip to Paris... my year wasn't all climbing believe it or not!

EYC Edinburgh and Work experience trip to Boston doing physio therapy with Amy.

Myself and Alex chilling in Imst before the Euro Champs.
Throwing some funky shapes on Route 1 Imst EYCH.
JBBCs Glasgow
More filming for the BBC with Rob and reporter Sara Orchard.

Winning Round 3 of the JBBCs.
Team GB after touching down in Victoria, Canada.

Had to add a cheeky selfie in here somewhere... Featuring Canadian totem pole...

Concentrating on R2 WYCH

First time EVER the WHOLE team made semis at a WYCH!!!
Semis route WYCH.
Climbing in the Finals of the WYCH! 3rd year in a row! :D
It's always great to catch up with friends from other countries. (Hannah Schubert from Austria above).

Making friends with the Austrians/Germans at the WYCH. 
Beautiful view from our hotel room in Canada.

Overall ranking of 3rd in the World/Europe

Myself and Will Bosi with our ranking medals in Norway.

Blokfest Finals.

Hanging out with future wad Rebecca Kinghorn at the BLCCs.
Senior BLCCs finals
Senior Female BLCC Podium.
Kranj Semi Fi

My first Senior World Cup in Kranj

Imaginary seat... Youth Open

Winter Youth Open Lead R2 
Winter Youth Open Podiums (left bouldering, right leading)

Don't forget to smile!
Photos by Peter and Hannah Wuensche, Sandy Carr and Mattheus Barefoot, Nick Pope, Alex Messenger, Violeta Berel, Lukas Warzecha.

Have a great 2014... its gonna be a good one!!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Laval EYC

So this has taken me ridiclousy long to write… my only excuse is that i have been sooo busy!

Last month, I (along with Alex, Jen, William and Pete) joined the rest of the GB junior boulder team to compete in my first international boulder comp. I was so psyched for this comp and had been counting down the days till we'd finally arrive in Laval.

After a day of travelling, and another full of throwing socks, jabbing with spoons and "pegging" people it was time to get serious and compete. I remember having the same feeling as I did before my first ever international (EYC Edinburgh 3 years ago now!!)… but this time I felt more pressure. I guess I just put the pressure on myself - I knew it was my first one and nobody had any expectations for me but I really just wanted to prove myself… I reckon it was the most nervous I've ever been!

We got to the wall pretty early so we could warm up before it all got a bit too busy and stressful. A quick confidence booster from Tom and I was ready to climb. We had 8 blocs… all of which I had no idea whether they were easy or not - only little arrows on my score card indicating a general opinion on which was nails and which wasn't. I think it is really hard to tell how hard a bloc will be in the international comps… I pulled onto one expecting it to be really hard but matching the top hold I decided it wasn't too bad. However, there were ones that shocked me - they were MUCH harder than they looked!

After a mentally challenging qualification round, I finished with 4 tops in 7 and 6 bonuses in 8 leaving me with a finishing position of 11th. I was relatively pleased with my performances on specific blocs but was slightly disappointed. It was a good experience and I was able to see the gap between myself and the athletes who just bouldered.

Evening came and it was time for finals… we were all super super pumped for Nath who had qualified in 5th place. To sum it up, after about an hour of biting nails and screaming our heads off, history was made - Nath won!! The atmosphere was incredible and GB was so proud of Nath.

To top off an even better weekend, William and Pete both made finals the next day! And after another final we got our SECOND podium with Will getting 3rd!! Also a great 5th place for Pete!! I was so proud to be part of the GB junior bouldering team and the inspiring performances of my team mates have encouraged me to work hard.

Expect big things next season. As they say, watch this space.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Norway EYC and the BLCCs

Overall European Ranking Podium

Way back at the beginning of September, a slightly larger than normal team from GB travelled out to Stavanger, Norway for an EYC. We spent the first two days exploring the beautiful town and chilling with the Swiss team.

Finally comp day arrived and I was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately, this EYC round had fewer competitors than previous rounds. However, this didn't make the competition any less impressive or hard to get good results.

After a hard day of qualifications, all the team made the finals!! I think this was the first time ever and everyone was extremely happy.

The next day brought finals. It was unusual for everyone to have breakfast, go to the wall and warm up together on finals day... But it was great to have everyone supporting each other and dominating the warm up wall. My warm up wast thorough - unlike my usual light warm up - as
Me and Will!
the wall was actually in a ice rink! I went out to view and everything looked alright up until a mini overhang... there was a double dyno! I was pretty nervous about it.

Everything was going well on the route up until... the double dyno. I set myself up well and got enough height to get to the holds but just didn't quite hook my hand around the left hold and so I came spinning down extremely disappointed.

I was really really angry and upset with my performance but my mood completely changed when I found out that my team member William Bosi had not only topped the route (he didn't drop a thing all weekend!!) but come second due to time and second in the overall rankings! I was so happy for him as I know how hard he's worked and how much these competitions mean to him.

To make the weekend even better it turned out i'd come 3rd in the overall European and world rankings :)


A couple of weekends ago I was at the new Awesome Walls Sheffield for the junior and finally senior BLCCs. I was reaaaaally excited for this competition as it was the first time I was and old enough to compete in the senior category.
Junior Route 2, by Peter Wuensche 

The Saturday was dedicated to the juniors. I climbed well on my first route which I found quite easy. However I could definitely feel the step up for the second route which was steady until near the top where it suddenly got a lot more droppable! I didn't climb so well on this route but fortunately I climbed well enough so that I got the high point for my category and qualified in first. Our final route was the same as the youth a and junior boys qualification route 2 but I hadn't really looked at it. I climbed pretty smoothly up until a slightly sketchy vert section. I powered through and made it onto the side of the roof section. I was near the top and decided to just go for it without any hesitation. I reached the head wall, 3 moves before the top before falling. I had smashed a heel up and tried to pull up to the tiny crimp but was too pumped to get enough height. I came down and found out that I had won by quite a bit which was a nice surprise :) This made me even more psyched for the seniors.

Junior Finals, by Peter Wuensche
Unfortunately, only 2 adults joined the many Youth A and Junior girls in the senior category the next day. Nonetheless, the field was pretty large and I was up against many of my junior team members. I topped both qualification routes along with 4 others and headed straight into the finals in joint 1st. I was finally able to climb on the main wall and into the roof!!! I'd been waiting for this for a long time! I was put 3rd and did a fairly minimal warm up as I had virtually no skin left. I pulled on expecting to come off at the tricky looking volume in the roof but to my surprise I stuck the move and kept on going till I reached a massive double jug in the roof. I shook out for quite a while and remember feeling very hot and red faced due to the crazy angle of the roof. I kept on pulling all the way up onto the head wall and got the final clip before the top. It was quite a big run out but I snaked my way up to the penultimate hold. One small jump later and I was clipping the chains.

It was a great feeling topping my first senior final route and It was made even sweeter when I found out that I had won.

Thanks for reading, I know it's been a long one. Blog on Laval coming next! 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

WYCH Canada 2013

It's taken me a long time to post this blog. But finally, here it is:

We left for Canada 4 days before the competition started so we could have some time to adjust to the different time zones etc. After a really long 9 and a bit hour flight we touched down in sunny Vancouver. Alex's bag was searched, free wifi was used and selfies were taken. We then hopped on to our mini 
'toy' plane that took us to Victoria - the flight was only just over 15 minutes!! We finally arrived a good 10 hours after we left. 
Route 2 - Nick Pope

The first 3 days were spent relaxing in our hotel and checking out the harbor and downtown Victoria. On the Thursday evening things began to kick off with the opening ceremony. I was given the job of walking out to represent our team with a flag and our sign :) 

It was finally competition day and I was super excited. I was glad I was up early in 8th which is one of my favourite positions to climb in. I warmed up pretty well and sat in the chair ready to climb. Route 1 was pretty juggy with a difficult roof section and top vert bit. I climbed quickly through the first easy bit and up to the roof, resting where I could. As soon as I pulled into the roof I suddenly got really pumped and so I started to panic. I kept pulling up to the very end of the roof, missing the heel hook and coming off a big move. I was pretty pleased with my climb and glad I didn't have to wait around for most of the day. I enjoyed watching my team mates and talking to old friends for the rest of the day. I finished in joint 8th.

The next day came and I was up 29th on my second route. I did feel a bit more relaxed when we got to the wall. I helped our youth B boys as they had the same route that I had had the day before with a couple extra holds. I was a bit disappointed with the timing of my warm up and felt I had too much time sat in the chair getting cold. My second route was a slab into an arrete. The start was really sketchy and I was super cautious (especially as slabs are my worst area of climbing!). I then transferred across into the arrete and felt the pump creep up on me again. I kept going, bridging and shaking out where I could. I found out the last hold was a big flat sloper thing as I slapped for it and came whizzing down. I was really disappointed that I did not top that route and hoped that it wouldn't hold me back if count back was necessary in the semis. 
A happy, all semis team! Nick Pope

On a positive note, the WHOLE team made semis so everyone was mega psyched! I don't think we've ever had any team all make semis so it was a great achievement for us! The next day was for speed so it gave us all a  rest day before the semis. We chilled for the whole day and got an early night in. 

Semis day. We all headed into to isolation nice and early as .buster was second out and a few more Brits were out relatively early. I listened to some music in iso and then began my warm up. I was totally chilled as I knew how strong my category was and didn't expect to make finals. I think this worked for me because although I had a bit of a distracting start where they kept turning me round to face cameras at the bottom of my route, think I climbed the best that I had in a long time. My route had sketch written all over it with lots of droppable moves. I took my time, making sure I made no mistakes and used the rest holds. I came to the first crux and was nervous. I don't know how but I just about made it through that sequence of moves and before I knew it I was just beneath the roof. I got a little bridge in and tried to recover a bit as I was pretty pumped. The support from the crowd really kept me going as I fought with a pretty rubbish volume. I came off thinking if only I'd done this or that but I was really really happy with my climb. I took all my gear off and was then grabbed for an interview with dan. I then watched the rest of my category and chilled with friends. I couldn't believe it but I had made my third world finals in 7th place. I was over the moon. 

We went out to get some food whilst the arena prepared for the finals. Unfortunately, no other team members made the finals but we had a few who were really close - especially William Bosi who if he'd had seen the heel hook a bit earlier would have comfortably walked into the finals. 

Myself and Ian made our way back to the wall for presentation of the athletes. Because youth b girls and youth a girls
Team Austria/GB -Nick Pope
were sharing the route, I was the second category out which meant I had time to listen to music, relax and be almost hit by flying frisbees (it was the French!!). I was feeling really tired so my warm up was minimal. My route looked pretty straightforward apart from a massive volume section just before the roof. I got up to the volume section with no problems and again the pump suddenly hit me. I slapped up to this big sloped volume pointing out from the wall and just couldn't stick it. When i got down I watched the next climber (who eventually got 3rd) climb though that section and I was kicking myself thinking why didn't I do this, or that or shake out here. But that's how it goes and after my initial disappointment I realised that I had exceeded my expectations and so I was a little bit happy :P 

Overall, the trip was one I will not forget! There were some moments where we really bonded as a team that i am grateful for and enjoyed!! I think this competition also showed how much climbing means to us all and I just wanted to congratulate the team on their awesome performances.

Monday, 5 August 2013

European Youth Champs Imst 2013

Myself and Alex - check that view! 
Two weekends ago, a large team from GB went to the European Youth Championships held in Imst, Austria. We went out 2 days before the comp - one of which was used for relaxing (swimming and the alpine coaster) and the other was for the speed comp. We had 3 speed climbers with us so we watched their runs on the friday. Well done to Alexander (21st), Orrin (19th) and Ian (14th) in their tough categories. Special congratulations to Orrin Coley who got  a personal best and sub 10 seconds time! Effort!

Route 1
After a wet opening ceremony it was finally time for the lead comp. I was up 10th so I headed up to the wall pretty early. Our route had bad and slopey holds with a few positive smaller holds here and there. Unfortunately, the girls on my route were taking less time than I thought they would so my warm up was rushed. I headed down to the wall not feeling confident but surprisingly I got pretty high up on the route and ended up in joint 7th with a few others. It was only 10am by the time I had finished my route so myself and the other climbers who had finished early went back to the hotel so we could stay out of the sun and keep cool. It was 45 degrees!!!

Throwing some shapes!
After a couple hours, we went back to the wall to see the demos. I was out around 33rd so I had awhile to wait. I warmed up better this time and felt ready when I went down... however, I didn't realise there was a cleaning break a few before me so this extended my waiting time. I didn't do so well on this route and got pumped really quickly. I ended up joint 14th on this route. My results put me in joint 12th overall. I was disappointed with my results and climbing but it motivated me to train 10x harder when I got home.

Although I didn't get the result I wanted in Imst it showed me that my endurance was letting me down and that I needed to train a lot harder in the gap between Imst and the upcoming World Youth Championships in Canada next week. I'm psyched for some hard training and hopefully a good result in Canada!

Well done to Jim Pope and William Bosi who both made the finals in an incredibly strong category! The
boys' good results are looking promising for the Worlds!

(Massive thanks to Alexander Bosi and Orrin for the photos!)