Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Bristol Weekend

On Saturday morning I woke early and headed into Paignton where I met Andrew (Andy) Haley where we got on a train and headed up to Bristol for the TCA (The Climbing Academy) Redpoint Bouldering Competition. We had finally arrived at Temple Meads where we met fellow Base Cubic athlete James Squire and shortly after arrived at TCA. I was quick to get climbing and started to warm up on some easy problems; then I got my score-sheet and got going on some of the easier looking boulder problems. I swiftly completed 18 of the problems and just had a few tougher ones to do. In the end I finished having topped 21, fell from the last move on 3 and only reached the third/fourth hold on my remaining which was extremely hard! After an interesting final the results were announced and I had finished in third place with James beating me by one hold!

After the comp there was a lengthy journey back to James’ were we had food, watched climbing films and slept to recover for our attempts at soloing ‘The Prince’ (F8b) the following morning.

Me sending 'Mouldy Rain' V9
Photo by: James Squire
We headed out to Avon Gorge for 11:00 to discover that ‘The Prince’ was absolutely soaking and not a single section of the wall was dry… So we headed to an eliminate cave called Gollums Cave (see video below) and did some training there. My plan was to try ‘Mouldy Banana’s’ (V10) but one of the main holds was soaking; so James did the first ascent of a nice variation to ‘Mouldy…’ called ‘Mouldy Rain’ (~V9) and I quickly got the second ascent. After that I did ‘Gollums One-Armer’ (V10), I’m not certain if I did it off the right hold but the hold I used was the poorer of the two possibilities, so obviously the harder option. We tried another (even harder) variation to ‘Mouldy Banana’s’ but the session came to a premature end due to heavy rain closing in on us.

The approach is down a steep muddy bank, so obviously reversing this to get back to the car was extremely dangerous in the rain. After lots of falls and slips we were back at the car drenched and muddy.

I then got on the train and headed back home after a great weekend climbing.

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Thanks for reading,