Monday 6 April 2015

2015 AYCT Tryouts - Day Two (Boulder)

The first day of tryouts was over. I'd done what I'd set out to do, having qualified in the Lead Tryouts the day prior, and was totally relaxed and ready to just have a good time bouldering. I very much intended to qualify for the bouldering team, but as lead is generally my focus, I wasn't going to let the outcome bring down my mood.

I arrived at the gym at around 9.00AM to find that Male Juniors would not be climbing for several hours. I immediately wished that I'd stayed at home for a little while longer, as many of the boulders were shared between categories, and as such we could do nothing but wait in isolation. I found myself a nice quiet space and tried to flush out any nerves that still lingered.

Ned Middlehurst manoeuvring his way through his
final boulder.

Nanki Soin, bonus in hand on the slab.

Liliana Scacheri showing off her flexibility.

Time passed as category after category of athletes were shuffled up and onto the wall, ready to give it everything with the hopes of qualifying to represent at the 2015 IFSC World Youth Championships in Arco, Italy. This will be the first time that bouldering is included at the WYCH, and as such nobody quite knew what to expect when our timer started and we were faced with our qualifying boulders.

The event ran in the format of a World Cup qualification round. We had five boulders, five minutes to top each boulder, and a five minute rest between each. In order to earn a place on the team, it was expected that the athlete complete three of the five boulders, and score a bonus on four of the five. This felt like a lot of leeway until we were faced head-on with the idea. Realistically, that only left room for you to not complete a boulder and a half at most. With a variety of styles and difficulties on show, we all knew this could prove a difficult task.

My turn came, surely enough. I was warmed up and ready to fire. I suspected, given that the gym's slab was closest to the entrance of the bouldering cave, that this would be our first boulder. I tried to keep myself relaxed, breathing slowly, knowing I would have to be patient rather than powerful if I planned on topping out. In the past, I rarely perform well on slabs, and as such I was not going to allow myself to become frustrated if things didn't go so well.

My initial efforts went more or less as I had expected. I found myself unable to read the sequence and couldn't make the bonus hold. I took a step back from the boulder and really tried to analyse what might be going on. An idea struck, and with the clock ticking down, I knew I only had a short time to execute it. I took to the wall, moving through the first sequence to stand atop two sloped footholds, located the bonus from where I was standing, and made a short and sharp sideways pounce to the next volume. Funny enough, it stuck! I moved up into another rather poor volume, put my heel up high, rocking over until I found myself matched on the final hold!
I was ecstatic! If there was any boulder that would sweep qualification from under me, it was that slab. But this time it was me and not the wall that emerged victorious, and I found out shortly that I was the only climber to do so on this boulder. I returned to the edge of the mat and waited my five minutes until I was to take to problem two.

Problem two was exceptionally tricky. It began crouched on a blank volume, moved into a round ball in a roof, into a sloper over the lip, and finished up a series of positive holds to a top in an under cling jug. Once again, the intended beta totally evaded me as I was spat back onto the mat again and again. Clearing my head once more, I started to think more rationally, and worked my way into a scrunchy press between the hold in the roof and the top of the blank volume. From here, it was a careful lean into a good sloper, catching a big swing, and then a fun final sequence. I was now two-for-two, with only one top and a further bonus keeping me from a place on the bouldering team.

The next boulder, a series of rock-overs and presses between volumes, proved to be no issue. I flashed it and returned to the mat, soaking up my extra rest time and feeling pretty hopeful knowing that I need only obtain the bonus hold on either of the following problems.

The next boulder looked like a series of powerful movements between jugs up a steep overhang. I took a silly slip on my first attempt coming out of the starting holds. I shook it off, and after a quick breather, finished the boulder with little difficulty. Having topped all four boulders so far, I was in the team, and pretty pleased with myself. One more boulder to go, and I had no intention of heading home defeated by it.

The last problem appeared to be the most difficulty. It mostly consisted of  many small tick-tacks between large holds, and a punchy top. I was progressing nicely, moving into the final sequence, totally sure I was going to flash it, before peeling off near the top. I was frustrated, but I took a long rest on the mats knowing that I could climb up there easily and make the top. Unfortunately, each attempt sapped my energy, and the moves felt harder every time. My five minutes came to a close, and the boulder was left un-sent. I was a tad bummed, wanting to back-up my four out of four tops from the previous day with five out of five problems, but it wasn't to be. Never-the-less, I was stoked with my efforts!

The day was over, and seven boulderers joined the team alongside seven route climbers from the previous day. Myself and fellow Junior Male Jarred Jordan were the only two athletes to meet both standards, bringing the total count to twelve.

Congratulations again to everyone who made it. It's going to be so cool competing with you and watching you all crush in Italy! Thanks to the route setters, organisers, volunteers, and to Bayside Rock for hosting the event. Also a big thank you to my sponsors, Indoor Climbing Productions, La Sportiva Australia, and TRI-Climbing.

The complete team, plus coach Will Hammersla and Open Team members Emma Horan and Tom Farrell.

After a quick Easter break, climbing on rock and totally over-indulging on chocolate, I'm super keen to kick into gear and get beastly strong for the season to come! My next adventure sees me in Brisbane at Urban Climb for the Queensland State Lead Titles. Last year I fell short of first place on time, and so this year I'm hoping I can push just that little bit further and not give anyone the chance! ;P But in all seriousness, I'm mostly looking forward to hanging out with the ICP crew and seeing some good mates I haven't seen in a good long while.

Time to train!! :D

1 comment:

  1. Very Useful Information, your blog is sharing unique information.... Thanks for sharing!!!
    RCheap Climbing Holds