Alpine Dreaming in Imst with the British Team

Why didn’t I hold it? I felt my fingers over the top hold, then the sensation of air rushing past at speed, as I spun downwards.
This put me in ninth after the first qualifier with just ten to make it through to the final.

It had been an epic just getting to Imst. Twice over the Alps via Italy and then to Munich in Germany followed by a long drive from Munich. Still the company was good and hopes were high, we had all trained hard over the preceding weeks.

With a day to relax we took to the mountains, ate ice cream and enjoyed the hot Austrian sun. We even found time for a long and fast ride on the artificial bobsleigh, and a soak in the steam room! Imst is in an idyllic setting and has the added advantage of a world class climbing wall with huge roofs.

That’s where the second route goes; it looks ok until you come to a 20 ft 90 degree roof! With the Austrian girls we worked out the sequence and in no time at all I felt my hands grip the first hold. Soon I was in the roof, and feeling rather pumped I made some more moves. I felt the enormity of the roof as I swung my feet onto the holds. By then my head was hot, and trying to think I went for the next hold feeling it’s sweaty texture, I held it for a split second and then I was once again feeling the expeditious rush of air. If I had only held the next hold and made a slap for the one after I would have been through, for another day to compete. The disappointment was huge but faded into happiness after reflecting on the whole competition. I was 14th in Europe and I had competed against and watched the best young climbers in the world.

Well done particularly to Nat for finishing 4th in her first International! And well done to Tyler. Thanks to Debbie and Andy for taking us.

By Beth Monks