The Best World Cup Yet!

Innsbruck was amazing. The competition was held in the market square in the beautiful city full of fascinating buildings and cute little houses surrounded by snow topped mountains. I already can not wait to return some day. 

In every comp of the World Cup circuit this year I have been totally surprised with my results and this comp was no different.  In qualifiers I flashed 3 of the boulders, got one second try and the other was not completed at all it was an awkward jump to bad holds and wasn’t possible with only 5 minutes of effort. The other boulders were really good fun – a slab to start and then some nice steep powerful funky boulders. At the end of qualifiers I was sat in 4th place and heading into semi finals with Ned and Stew. 

 

I was really quite nervous for semi finals. I don’t think I put that much expectation on myself and I knew how strong the field was and that it was going to be a very hard semi final but I really really wanted to be in that top 6 who make it to finals. I went out to climb, ready to hold on tight and try hard again. The first two boulders went really well I managed to flash them both. I don’t think I did the right beta on the first boulder but I managed to flash it, the second was a powerful compression moves up a prow on bad holds, so much fun! The third boulder was so cool! It was a big cross over dyno on pretty poor holds, I just about held that but only to be totally shut down on the ridiculously hard top moves. The last boulder problem in semi finals was a press that required a lot of effort from the right arm. My shoulder is not too sore any more but it is just not as strong as it used to be and this means I have to consciously think about the position of my hand when doing certain moves so that I can use different muscles and not put as much stress on the shoulder. Thinking about this is definitely not easy and cost me the flash on two boulders, luckily I was able to figure out the right position and get the boulders second try. 

 

After finishing the last boulder I looked around to find the eyes of a familiar face to see if I would get a nod meaning I was in or a shake meaning out. I hadn’t received a shake yet this year which made this moment in time all the more intense. I found a face and got the nod. 4th again 🙂

Finals… So this year I hadn’t expected to make any finals and I have been unbelievably excited to do so in every round. I have gone into the finals knowing that the worst possible position I could place is 6th. In finals we get to view the boulders as a group before climbing. I get really excited about this as the boulder problems in finals are always so much fun and its really nice to read them with the other competitors.  

Usually by the time finals comes around I’m unbelievably tired but I think I am finally starting to build up some endurance as this time I felt good and ready to go climb again. Our first boulder was a slab with a balancey start with and then a sideways jump. It all fell into place when I got on the wall, I caught the jump and topped the boulder first try. The second boulder was really hard! I’m still not so sure how I managed to get it, I did the wrong beta first try but next time I fought my way through the burly match and made it to the top. I topped the next boulder also on my second attempt it was a really cool problem on pinches up a steep wall. 

 

I knew what the last boulder had in store and I also knew that flashing this boulder could have meant that I would win. I stood under the boulder and had no idea how to deal with my emotions my head was all over the place. I knew I could do the boulder but the pressure of flashing it was way to much for me to handle. I totally missed a hold on the side of a volume, a hold that I had seen when viewing the problem. I fell off the boulder first try and could do nothing but smile. I hadn’t even dreamt of making a podium this year and being so close to winning was so so exciting but also way to hard to handle. I guess going into finals with such a relaxed attitude and no expectation went from having a positive effect on my climbing and results to the complete opposite. I sat and watched Anna flawlessly climb the final boulder, even with all the pressure she came out and climbed perfectly. I was totally inspired by this and in every competition I am learning so much. 

 

This was definitely the best competition I have ever done! The location was beautiful, the boulders were amazing and the crowd was unreal! Plus I got to spray champagne everywhere! I am now back home and finally recovered from the after party. The next World Cup is in Vail, USA in two weeks time but before leaving I will be competing in Rock Over Climbing’s ROCFest this Saturday.

A huge congratulations to Ned and Stew for making the mens finals in such an insanely strong field! Ned placed 5th and Stew 6th. Also in the European Youth Lead Competition that took place this past weekend we had 6 finalist! Amazing efforts from Luke, Jonny, Charlotte, Tara, Molly and William.

For more results check out the IFSC website HERE!

Picutre Credits to Udo Neumann and Heiko Wilhelm

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