Molly Thompson Smith

Molly Thompson Smith
Edinburgh EYC 2013

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
PART 1:

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 :)




PART 2:

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!)

Sunday, 16 June 2013

A 5th Place in Edinburgh and more...

After a week of revision and exams, my dad, Jim Pope and I flew up to Edinburgh for the first lead EYC of the season.  'Hellos' and 'How are you?s' were said and dinner was eaten. It was finally time to go to bed.

Route 1 - Sandy Carr
I woke up psyched and was eager to get to the wall early to check out my routes. I was climbing early so there was not much time to relax. Route 1 was a sketchy orange route with not so good holds on the old comp wall. The crux of this for a lot of people was either the roof at the top or clipping the chains off an awkward volume with a LOT of rope drag. Route 2 was a red route on the left arĂȘte of the hanger wall. It was long with mostly positive holds and a pumpy roof section with a few awkward clips.

Route 1 - Samdy Carr
I was up on Route 2 first out of the two and as the Junior female and Youth A female categories were put together, I was out 7th. I like going out early and 6th is my favourite starting position: not too early so that you haven't seen enough people on it but early enough so that the conditions are good and you aren't waiting around for ages. So 7th was good. I was really happy that I topped this route because it relieved some of the pressure - Youth A is a category in which anyone can win - you can put the names of the strongest in a hat and randomly select the winner! Next up was Route 1 which definitely was NOT my style! I was glad I was up later on this one as it meant that I could watch some of the juniors and other strong climbers and learn from their beta for the tricky top section. I found this route difficult but I was pleased to have got to the top volume/last hold.

Final Route - Sandy Carr
It was a nice early finish so the team sat together outside in the sun and relaxed. It was really nice outside and I even got a tan - yes! A tan in Scotland!! The afternoon was dedicated to the speed, in which 3 British athletes were competiting: Alexander Bosi and Orrin Coley for Junior Males and Pete Dawson for Youth B (Pete only stepped in on the day so that the Youth B boys competition could run - effort Pete!!). All 3 did really well and made it to the finals the next day.

In the lead team we had some impressive results and some close ones - especially by Pete Dawson and Jim Pope who came 11th and 14th respectively in the Youth B males. However, myself, William Bosi and Buster Martin made the finals. Bosi had an amazing qualification in 1st, and Buster in 9th making his first EYC final.

Unfortunately, the night before/morning of the finals wasn't the best night I'd ever had. I was ill and sick 3 times due to food poisoning. I eventually settled into bed at 5am dreading my 6.30am alarm! When I woke up I felt horrible and was not psyched to climb - my stomach was in so much pain and I felt like I was going to throw up. I skipped breakfast and headed into isolation clutching my stomach. Isolation was not so much fun for me as the threat of being sick every time I pulled on only allowed me to do the bare minimum of a couple traverses to warm up and hope for the best in the holding area with a hand warmer.
Final Route - Sandy Carr

Although I was feeling sick before, everything was replaced by adrenaline when I stepped on the wall. I surprised myself on this route and climbed high up, mid way into the roof and into 1st place. What surprised me even more was that I held this position until the last 4 climbers who had all topped both of the qualifiers came out to climb.  3 of those climbers topped the final route and the 4th came of a couple holds before - I was ecstatic with my 5th place!

Overall it was an interesting weekend and a good learning experience - now I think I will try and stick to foods like pasta before a comp! Big congratulations are in order to William Bosi for his 2nd place which I'm sure will definitely not be the last podium we see Bosi on! Next time it'll be the top step!!

Where I fell off! Sandy Carr
Thanks to Ian and Rob Russell for all their support over the weekend and especially in isolation. Now the team looks forwards to the European Youth Championships in Imst, Austria in July - I'm hoping for some more good results!! But for now it's back to training hard.

Thanks for reading - I know it's been a long one!


Sunday, 12 May 2013

SYBC 2013 and the countdown to Edinburgh EYC

Last weekend, the Scottish Youth Bouldering Championships (used as one of the 3 British Bouldering Championships rounds) took place at TCA Glasgow. I was really excited for this comp as I had been training hard and had heard that it was an awesome wall. TCA Glasgow didn't disappoint; I loved the steepness of the majority of the walls and the set looked cool. I chilled out for a bit whilst the younger categories (C&D) completed their qualification round.
Final Bloc 2 (Sandy Carr)

An hour or two later it was time to start warming up slowly. Because the younger categories were still climbing and some walls were banned for warming up on, the little warm up are we did have was a bit crowded so the process took a bit longer than I had hoped. Nevertheless, I just about warmed up in time for the beginning of the qualification period. My tactics were simple - flash as many easy problems as I could all in one go so I could focus on the two harder ones later on. Stage one completed, I eyed up my final 2 blocs. They looked hard. I was the first competitor to pull on to the first, and felt okay. Two moves in I hit a difficult snatch out left onto a positive crimp on the underside of a volume. Luckily my fingers latched onto the hold a fraction of a second before it was too late. To my surprise, I finished the rest of the problem with relative ease. One down, one to go. I watched Nathan Phillips and Alex Waterhouse crush the problem and a few others struggle before I decided it was time. I pulled on and 6 or 7 moves later I was at the top. I sighed with relief  - the difficult part was over and I had secured my place in the finals. 15 out of 15 flashes in about 50 minutes of the comp... I was very pleased and enjoyed cheering others on and chilling on the sofas.


Final Bloc 3 (Sandy Carr)
Chilling time was up. I headed into isolation in joint first with Tara Hayes and Rachel Carr, who were both crushing and looking solid. I was psyched. After observation, I started to warm up. I was out 3rd last so had some time to get my head focused and make sure I was warm. First bloc. It was technical with a hard first move and crimpy top section. I pulled on. I came off. The first move wasn't working for me and I wasn't happy about it. It was hard staying psyched when I was struggling so much so I decided to have a quick rest and a think. I pulled on again and this time I stuck the move. I pulled through the volume section and up into the crimps at the top. I felt stuck. I couldn't move my feet without feeling like I was going to be spat of so I just jumped for the next crimp. Bad idea. I was never going to the hold that jump and came crashing down. With about 30 seconds left I tried to pull on again but the first move wasn't going again. I walked back to isolation disappointed and knowing I would have to step it up if I wanted a spot on the podium. 


Final Bloc 3 (Sandy Carr)
Bloc 2. Fresh start. It was a crimpy start with a slopery mid section into more crimps and screw ons with a jug to finish. It looked great - my style. I pulled through the first bit and onto the slopers. I was mega psyched - I loved positive slopers with locky moves. I rocked over to the second bonus and cruised the top section. I was extremely happy with my flash, especially when I found out that no one else had managed to do it. One more bloc and I wanted to hold that finish hold so bad. It was a long boulder that started in a cave traversing out right and finishing out left again. I pulled on, loving the double toe hook and heel to hand. I swung out to the right and pressed up (with some funky facial expressions!!) but came off a couple holds before the top. This happened 2 more times and I finished the comp with one flash and all of the bonuses. This meant that I had placed second behind Tara Hayes on attempts for bonuses. I was pleased with my result but wished I could have got the other final blocs as I thought they were do-able. 
Final Bloc AGAIN (Sandy Carr)

Unfortunately, myself and fellow Westway Squaddie and Bouldering Team member Alexia Basch (who came 3rd) had to miss the podium and dash for our planes home! TCA was a great venue for the comp and it was run amazingly. The day ran so smoothly and I just want to thank everyone involved for making it such a great comp! I am psyched for the next round in Leeds in August but now my focus will switch to lead climbing as I have my first international of the season in Edinburgh in June. 

27 DAYS! 

Thanks for reading and Train hard!

P.S, I'd like to thank Sandy Carr for all of the photos and my sponsors for all of their support: 


Lyon Outdoor (La Sportiva, Beal, Petzl)
Berghaus
Liquid Grip
Westway Sports Development Trust
Nu Line
McGrath Charitable Trust
Pilates on Elgin
Michael Clancy
Natoora
CGA (Country Gentlemans Association)
Electek

Joan and David Thompson (My grandparents!! :D)

My Great Garndma
My Parents
SportsAid
NO-AD Suncream

Monday, 8 April 2013

A Good Start To 2013...

I apologise for not writing in a while... I've been very busy! This blog is going to be a summary of some events that have happened recently in 2013.
First up was the press event held by the BMC to promote climbing for the Olympic 2020 bid. I was lucky enough to demo lead climbing along with World champion Fran Brown who demoed paraclimbing (which is one of the most inspiring things I've ever seen!) and International Wad and crusher Shauna Coxsey who demoed bouldering. It was a great event and a great opportunity to talk to reporters and 'big up' climbing!
Fran, Myself and Shauna (Alex Messenger)
 
Next was the CWIF. It was my first time entering the cwif and I was psyched to see how I fared against the top British senior women. I had the honour of climbing in the MOON team and climbing with Ben Moon himself! Qualification round went ok and I qualified for the semis in 12th place. After a good nights sleep I was up early and in isolation ready for some funky blocs. Unfortunately the semis didn't go as well as I wanted them to and I finished in 14th place. I had seen the standard of the athletes that climbed in the finals and decided that I would need to train very hard to think about competing at that level anytime soon! (Picture at the bottom).
 
Demonstrating lead climbing at the BMC Press event (Alex Messenger) 
In March, I appeared on Simon Mayo's Radio 2 drive time. This was a great experience and I really enjoyed it. I was on air in the evening for about 3 minutes, talking about my climbing and climbing possibly being an Olympic sport. It was a nervy evening but one I will never forget! :)
 
Later in March was the first Junior British Team inaugural meeting/assessment. The first day started off with a meeting to introduce new team members and get some awesome new kit. After that the lead team went to the Foundry and the boulderers to the Works. We all had our medicals and fitness tests and the day was over. Day 2 was the assessment side for both teams. Everyone's aim was the same: to be selected for the World Youth Championships in Canada in August. I recently found out that I would be competing in all 4 lead competitions this season: European Youth Cup Edinburgh, European Championships Imst (Austria) , World Youth Championships in Canada and the European Youth Cup in Stavanger (Norway).
Lastly, I was invited to train with Youth World Champion Hannah Schubert by Austrian head coach Ingo during the first week of the Easter holidays. It was really interesting to see how other countries structure their training and how they prepare for competitions. It was also lovely walking around the beautiful town of Innsbruck - which I hope to return to soon!  
All in all it's been a pretty good start to the year. I'm psyched for just under 3 months of hard training and preparation for my first international comp of 2013 in Edinburgh!
Thanks for reading,
 
Train Hard.
 
And thanks to my sponsors!

Lyon Outdoor (La Sportiva, Beal, Petzl)
Liquid Grip
Berghaus
Westway Sports Development Trust
Nu Line
McGrath Charitable Trust
Pilates on Elgin
Natoora
CGA (Country Gentlemans Association)
Electek

Joan and David Thompson (My grandparents!! :D)
My Parents
SportsAid
NO-AD Suncream



Sunday, 20 January 2013

Blocfest 2013

Yesterday, Jerome, my father and I braved the slush and snow to compete in the third round of the Blocfest 2013 series. I had previously been to Round 1 and entered the seniors finishing in 3rd place. This time I wanted to win. I had chosen to enter the seniors so I could habe the chance to practise my comp skills if I made finals. I got to a cold Reading Climbing Centre to see that fellow GB Team member Jim Pope had pretty much crushed all of his problems in the Junior category. I was lucky enough to have a nice conversation with legend Steve McClure and Jim before getting psyched to compete. 

Jim and Sacha :)

After a quick warm up it was time to compete. Qualifiers time. I went round with Jim and some other cool people and had soon flashed 22 out of 25 problems. I got 1 point for doing a sketchy, balancy problem with a last move that tested your flexibility on my 4th attempt. I had to use the 'Westway Knee' to do it! Finished qualifiers with a score of 221 out of 250 leaving me in 2nd place behind Audrey with a score of 232. I was pleased. Lunch time.

The lunch time crew

Quick CAC photo and some more chillin time. Isolation opened at 5. I always love the Blocfest showcase finals because of the amazing atmosphere: lights out with spotlights, great tunes and a loud audience!

JP

Quick warm up and out to observation. Was lovin the new pink holds for the ladies final! They were awesome! Back into iso and the finals began. I was out with the Power Partridge which obviously lifted the psyche! Time for Bloc 1: A dyno for the first move followed by two more straight forward moves. Flash. So did Jonny. Back into iso. Waited and chatted for a bit - itching to get back out there and climb! Bloc 2, funky volumes. Started off well but then got the 2nd volume to greedily so I had to dangle and hang for a bit trying to sort my hands and feet out. Despite this I still flashed Bloc 2 along with Jonny. A final psyche fist bump with Jonny and it was on. Bloc 3 - cruxy volumes again. I was psyched for this one and finished with a flash. 

Podium!

I was really happy that I won this comp and look forward to more senior competitions! Here are the videos of my final blocs:

Final Bloc 1


Final Bloc 2

Final Bloc 3

Big thanks to the Blocfest Team who did an amazing job with the setting and just overall comp! Thanks to Jim for filming too!! 


And thanks to my sponsors!

Lyon Outdoor (La Sportiva, Beal, Petzl)
Liquid Grip
Berghaus
Westway Sports Development Trust
Nu Line
McGrath Charitable Trust
Pilates on Elgin
Natoora
CGA (Country Gentlemans Association)
Electek

Joan and David Thompson (My grandparents!! :D)
My parents :)
SportsAid