The Competition Season Kicks Off

By Luke Tilley

Since being out in Austria my training has taken a turn towards peak performance. The trip marked the start of a short macro cycle in the run up to the first European Youth Cup and it has been pretty full on! The week after Austria I was up at Ratho for a weekends onsight practice, with 2 8a+ flashes and an 8b on the 3rd attempt I was feeling chuffed, if not slightly dubious about the grades.

The next week passed quickly and before long it was the Leading Ladder “Grand” Final, in Cardiff. I was less than motivated by the “Grand” wall but things turned up as the setters Steve McClure and Rob Napier had done a great job considering and was psyched to flash the 8a and fell 2 moves from the top of the 8b earning me the Grand Champion title, it was all good practice.

An onsight session with the GB team in the week and a Pinnacle Climbing centre leading competition at the weekend helped build my confidence as I took another title.

Pinnacle Climbing Centre

An international route setting course at the Foundry Climbing Centre provided perfect prep for the EYC the next weekend and at the GB training held there I fought my way onsight up an 8a+, marking a personal best.
It was now time for the European Cup and I was feeling good and well prepared. The luck of the draw had me climbing second on the first qualifier. I was not too fazed as my best performance in competition was out first. However Z clipping the clip before the crux did faze me and the particularly bouldery move had me off just halfway up the route. 7 others were thrown off here and I was in joint 13th this was frustrating as I knew only a top performance on qualifier 2 would see me through to the final.

I pulled it back slightly on the second route coming 11th but this wasn’t enough and my final position was 14th. For the first competition of the year in the oldest age group I am pleased, however with so much prep and with the home ground advantage I would have liked to do better. I guess mistakes happen to everyone, I will be careful never to Z clip again!

BW photo: Pinnacle Lead Competition final, Photo: Richard Potter