Vail, USA, Bouldering World Cup

Firstly I am sorry it has taken me so long to write about the last World Cup. I got fully sucked into the Colorado experience and I have been out climbing and hanging out with friends so blog writing just hasn’t quite found it’s way into my life until now. All the boys have gone out and I had a super long lie in and now I have some peace and quiet in the sunshine 🙂

So Vail. The last round for a little while and the 7th world cup of the year. We had 4 days between Toronto and Vail which is not very long to recover at all let alone when you have an injury. It was a bit of a journey from Toronto but myself, Leah and Mina managed to find ourselves at a familiar house in Boulder having made no wrong turns.

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My knee had started giving way when I was carrying heavy bags and I still had no idea what I had done to it. As hard as it was to accept the signs were becoming clearer that maybe I shouldn’t compete in Vail.

 The Spot climbing gym were putting on a pancake party for all of the world cup climbers. There we so many nations having fun and climbing. This is something we never get to do, not on such a scale anyway. I went along but there was no way I could pull on. The frustration of being sat at the side and watching was back AGAIN!

The Austrian team Physio Klaus Issle is pretty much the only reason I was able to climb in Vail. He managed to figure out what was going on with my knee. He eased everything off and enabled me to use it. Thank you so much to the Austrian team for being kind enough to share the support you have and A MASSIVE THANK YOU to Klaus! One day maybe the GB team will have this network of support behind them at the comps?

Our drive to Vail from Boulder was not so successful but we made it (a couple of hours late). We had a few days in vail to adjust to the altitude and hang out in the beautiful surroundings. We even drove to the top of Mt Evens one day. Now that is HIGH!

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Our arrival in Vail.

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The top of Mt Evens

I made the decision to have one attempt at every qualifier. My knee felt a lot better but I had to be very careful and heel hooking and toeing down was still not good. In qualifiers you have 5 problems and of those 5 problems 4 had right heel hooks. I managed to battle through 2 of them. Find alternative beta on another and I made it to the last hold on another but a combination of fatigue, the altitude and pain threw me off. The last boulder was a slab with no heels it felt like a gift to climb on.

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I was really happy to be going into the semi finals along with Leah, Mina and Dave Barrans. However, my experience in semi finals is potentially the worst comp experience I have ever had. I got 2 bonuses. No tops just 2 bonuses. I thought I had messed it up, they just felt so so hard. I headed toward the crowd with a grumpy face to find it returned by lots of smiles. Grumpy turned to confused to happy and thankful. I had scraped into finals in 6th place.

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I hadn’t really known what to expect in this competition. I was happy to be climbing and heading into finals in 6th was a gift. It was the first time I had felt no pressure, no nerves and just excitement. It was my first experience climbing first in a final. I have no idea how hard the problem would be or how anyone else had done. It was up to me to find out. I got to go first and see if I could set the pace for the other climbers. I went out to every boulder to have fun. And it worked. I enjoyed this final more than any other. I do wish I had had a little more left to give on the final problem as I feel I gave one of my best performances ever but never mind I am sure I will get another opportunity.

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Finals

I want to thank everyone for the support this year so far. I literally feel like I have blinked and the past 4 months have gone by but so many people have been watching the comps and cheering m on along the way. It’s incredible to know that so many of you are behind me. THANK YOU!

There is a big break in the competition season now. Until the last round Munich which is mid August. So now for me its time to enjoy the summer. I will be in CO for the rest of the month getting out on some rock and embracing the sunshine.

The day after Vail we headed to a magical climbing area called Independence Pass. The boulder problems are in Ice caves and have the most amazing features. It was my first experience climbing above Ice and it was so surreal. The perfect place if you want cold conditions and sunbathing when you top out. A big thanks to Jackie and Chris for giving us the tour and bringing all the bouldering mats! I managed to flash a beautiful line called The Vampire V8 and I battled up Choke hold a horizontal roof full of big pinches V9/10.

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Photo: Dave Barrans

A good start considering I was supposed to be resting.

Have a good summer everyone! 🙂

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