BlocFest takes over the Castle By Jen Wilby
The Castle is a magnificent victorian building towering over the Finsbury Park area of North London and on the 8th December it was host to the 2nd round of the amazing new BlocFest Bouldering Festival.
BlocFest is 5 giant bouldering festivals led by world class boulder setters across the South of England, but its not just a normal climbing festival, its exciting, social, challenging but most of all its what climbing is all about ... FUN!
The launch event was held at Mile End on the 10th October and was a huge success with over 250 folk enjoying the blocs, challenges and freebies on offer.
Click here to see photo's and results of the launch event: http://www.blocfest.co.uk/
On Saturday, the Castle's bouldering areas, inlcuding the steep powerhouse pen, the panels, slabs and inspirational mezz were filled with 25 blocs ready for everyone to have a go at. The problems range from easy up to insainly hard / challenging - which ensures something for everyone.
The first to try their blocs were the juniors (u16's) and whilst wondering around the castle saw some really good juniors who were awesome to watch, well done to:
1 Sebastian Tam 241
2 Stan Harris 234
3 Sam Roberts 232
3 Harry Hazeldean 232
1 Becky Whaley 190
2 Eugine Lee 183
3 Yasmine Roberts 177
At BlocFest everyone has 4 hours to try the 25 blocs, with some wicked tunes comming from the DJ's providing a great party atmosphere. As well as the blocs, the team put up two more challenges to throw yourself at - the Traverse of Terror :- what an appealing name! This delightful traverse involved "thinking outside the box" to put your skills to the test to see how far along you could get. Then there was the pull up challenge - how many pull ups you could do in 30s! I believe the winner won with about 34 in those 30s !!!
If the blocs and challenges wern't enough to keep you occupied you also had the opportunity to test out some of the Evolv shoes curtesy of Beyond Hope who sponsored the event. The demo allowed everyone to try out the shoes and get to feel how they perform on the plastic. Check out this website for the range: http://www.evolvsports.com/shop/climbing-shoes/.
Check out this website for stockists: http://beyondhope.co.uk/
Here are some photos of the blocs to wet your appetite for the next round:
If you managed to keep up the energy and get enough points and were in the lucky top 5, you make it to the finals! If not, it's a great opportunity to stick around and watch the top 5 battle it out for the top prizes ... which include cash prizes! whilst still listening to the DJ's tracks.
The finals did not dissapoint and the team put up some awesome lines:
Well done to fellow climbers Jon Partridge & Audrey Seaguy who put up a top effort despite Audrey being ill the week before:
Click here to see the final results: http://www.blocfest.co.uk/
If that wasn't enough to entice you into coming along to the next round at Reading Climbing Centre on the 19th Janiuary 2013, then maybe the thrown out freebies and BlocFest T-Shirts might be enough:
I did enter this BlocFest round after saying I wouldnt as I know I'm not comp fit, however I am glad I did as it was a lot of fun, and I now realise how hard trying 25 blocs giving 100% effort is. I lost all energy after about 2 hours - which meant I didnt try many of the problems. I managed to get 10th place, which I am happy with, given I haven't climbed on plastic, didnt try all the problems and am not comp fit...although I do hope to improve at the next round!
My next blog will be about life back in the UK, plans and training...