Just over a month ago I was offered the opportunity to go to one of the senior world cup rounds being held in Kranj in Slovenia. It took a quite a bit of thinking as to whether or not it would be worth my while in going to an event like this but the decision was made in the end and I booked my flights.
Joining me on the trip was two other members of the GB Climbing Team, Luke Tilley and Ed Hamer. Me and Ed travelled to Slovenia together which involved a very enjoyable sleep at Stansted airport on Thursday night. We got the train from Sheffield to Stansted and then found a cosy corner to bed down in. Amazing.
Once we landed in Slovenia we waited for a couple of friends from the Swiss climbing team and got a taxi with them to the hotel. During the day we chilled out and relaxed from the travelling that we had done over the past day. We nipped to the local shop and stocked up on food we made need during the comp and then headed back to the hotel. We had dinner at a local pizza restaurant with the Swiss team and then headed back for an early night. Luke arrived later on this evening after hitch hiking his way from Venice all the way to the doorstep of the hotel in Slovenia in one car. Good effort to him…
Comp day arrived and we made our way down to the wall for an early start. The men’s qualifiers were on in the morning followed by the women’s in the afternoon. I was on 20th on the first qualifier and 46th on the second qualifier. As soon as I started to warm up I realised just how hard this comp was going to be. I was stood there warming up next to some of the best climbers in the world. It was amazing and after a couple of minutes I got less nervous climbing next to these people and I just got on with what I needed to do. I route read the first route with Luke as he was on a few people before me and I had a really good look at all the holds through some binoculars. I felt ready for the route and I finished off my warm up. I sat down and relaxed for a bit before I was up on the route and did a few final checks. Sat down in the chair and tied into the rope, I took another few minutes to relax and I felt really good. I walked up to the route and pulled on. Climbing strong and controlled I pulled through the lower moves and found myself at one of the hard moves. I pulled onto the hold and as I went into match it I came off. The move felt very hard and in itself would have been hard for me but after I had done the lower section of the route felt even harder. I was happy with how I had done and I did feel good on the route so I felt strong going into my second route.
For my second route I spoke to Ed about it as he had already been on this route. I got the beta off him and found out what he thought of the moves and holds. I stayed warm between my two routes and then got ready to go onto the route. I sat down in the chair and looked up at the route for a final route plan. When it was my turn to go onto the route I walked up and pulled straight on. It instantly felt a lot harder than the last route and I was fighting on every move. I nearly came off on a volume but managed to just stay on it and move past it. I then pulled over to the right and then as I was reaching up high with my left hand I came off. I was happy with this effort and was pleased with how I had done on the route.
I finished in 48th, which for my first senior comp I was happy with. I also scored very similar to quite a few of the youth competitors who make finals in EYC comps on my second route. I had a really good trip and watching the finals was amazing.