Kitzbühel – Austria – Bouldering World Cup

Kitzbuhel

K I T Z B U H E L – TEAM GB

Another world cup is over. I have left the warm sun and beautiful snow topped mountains of Austria behind and I am now back home recovering from the aches and pains. 

Kitzbühel was an interesting competition. Once again I came away with new things to work on and develop. I wonder if I will ever walk away from a competition totally satisfied with my climbing performance. 

The competitors were split into two groups for qualification. So you had to finish in the top 10 of your group to qualify for semi finals. Which somehow seems a lot harder than top 20 overall. A huge awkward dyno was mine and Leah’s hard introduction to the competition followed by a tough slab and some burl. We both managed to make our way to the semi finals along with Mina who flashed all of her qualifying boulders qualifying for semi finals in joint first with Alex Puccio. 

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Photo: Andreas Aufschnaiter

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Photo: Eddie Fowke

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Photo: Dave Barrans

Semi finals is the most nerve racking round for me. I was super nervous again and I even started to get scared it might effect my performance. Our first boulder problem was on the slab. The only boulder I was unable to complete in qualifiers was the slab and here I was stood below that part of the wall again. I rarely feel prepared pulling onto a slab. So I just jumped on and found myself stood up on two good foot holds with one move left. I didn’t quite know how I had got there. I really did not want to fall and try again. It took me 3 minutes to get to the top but luckily I managed to hold the tiny finishing crimp. Semi finals was one of my best climbing performances ever. I fell only once when I greased off and other than that I climbed well and in control and I felt really comfortable.

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THE SLAB – Photo Eddie Fowke

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Photo: Eddie Fowke

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Photo: Dave Barrans

I qualified for finals in first place. I was terrified. Very satisfied with my performance but climbing last in the finals was not something anyone has ever spoken highly of. 

There was a little break in which Leah, Mina and myself entertained ourselves by comparing biceps.  Leah won the gun show, top left. My tiny arm is top right and Mina’s bottom left. Did you guess  right? 

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After a while back in isolation we had the presentation and then viewing. The boulders looked quite weird with a few different ways to climb some of them. There was one in particular that I wasn’t looking forward to.  

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Photo: Andreas Aufschnaiter
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Photo: Andreas Aufschnaiter

Climbing last is so not fun in a flash fest final. I totally admire any competitor who has qualified in first and maintained their position! I knew the boulders were getting quick ascents and on the first boulder problem I made a silly mistake and topped it second try. There was NO room for any mistakes in this final. The second boulder problem just wasn’t happening. I went back into isolation after this boulder fighting back the frustration and pain. I knew at this point that I couldn’t come back. It wasn’t easy to come out and climb knowing this but I managed to keep my cool and top both the third and fourth boulder problems first attempt. (apologies for the scrappy footwork on the last move of number four) 

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Photo: Eddie Fowke

Although I am not happy with my performance there are always positives to take away. I qualified in first place to finals, my best result of any individual round. After the second boulder in finals I controlled my emotions and climbed well after wanting to do nothing but spit my dummy out and go home. And this time I didn’t get scared at all. I was committed to not only making the moves but holding the holds when I got there even at the top. Check out the picture!   

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Photo: Dave Barrans

A massive congratulations to BOTH Anna and Akiyo who flashed all four of our final boulder problems. It is so impressive to not only have the physical ability to do that but the mental ability to maintain composure and perform. Seems route setters may be slightly underestimating the level of the female climbers – 5 people topping all of the boulders in semis, and 2 people flashing all of the boulders in finals. The mens final sounds like it was crazy hard. A huge congratulations to Jakob. A lesson learned – if there are 3 pieces of tape on the wall you MUST have two hands and one foot touch the marked holds (not two feet and one hand). 

Kitzbühel was another really good trip. It is amazing to have a big, psyched team at the world cups. We had 2 people one hold away from semi finals and Mina just one hold away from finals. Although knowing how close you were can be incredibly frustrating it’s also exciting to know how close it was and the future success we can look forward to. 

Kitzbuhel

FOR MORE PHOTOS CHECK OUT EDDIE FOWKE HERE!

 

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