It's taken me a long time to post this blog. But finally, here it is:
We left for Canada 4 days before the competition started so we could have some time to adjust to the different time zones etc. After a really long 9 and a bit hour flight we touched down in sunny Vancouver. Alex's bag was searched, free wifi was used and selfies were taken. We then hopped on to our mini 'toy' plane that took us to Victoria - the flight was only just over 15 minutes!! We finally arrived a good 10 hours after we left.
|Route 2 - Nick Pope|
The first 3 days were spent relaxing in our hotel and checking out the harbor and downtown Victoria. On the Thursday evening things began to kick off with the opening ceremony. I was given the job of walking out to represent our team with a flag and our sign :)
It was finally competition day and I was super excited. I was glad I was up early in 8th which is one of my favourite positions to climb in. I warmed up pretty well and sat in the chair ready to climb. Route 1 was pretty juggy with a difficult roof section and top vert bit. I climbed quickly through the first easy bit and up to the roof, resting where I could. As soon as I pulled into the roof I suddenly got really pumped and so I started to panic. I kept pulling up to the very end of the roof, missing the heel hook and coming off a big move. I was pretty pleased with my climb and glad I didn't have to wait around for most of the day. I enjoyed watching my team mates and talking to old friends for the rest of the day. I finished in joint 8th.
The next day came and I was up 29th on my second route. I did feel a bit more relaxed when we got to the wall. I helped our youth B boys as they had the same route that I had had the day before with a couple extra holds. I was a bit disappointed with the timing of my warm up and felt I had too much time sat in the chair getting cold. My second route was a slab into an arrete. The start was really sketchy and I was super cautious (especially as slabs are my worst area of climbing!). I then transferred across into the arrete and felt the pump creep up on me again. I kept going, bridging and shaking out where I could. I found out the last hold was a big flat sloper thing as I slapped for it and came whizzing down. I was really disappointed that I did not top that route and hoped that it wouldn't hold me back if count back was necessary in the semis.
|A happy, all semis team! Nick Pope|
On a positive note, the WHOLE team made semis so everyone was mega psyched! I don't think we've ever had any team all make semis so it was a great achievement for us! The next day was for speed so it gave us all a rest day before the semis. We chilled for the whole day and got an early night in.
Semis day. We all headed into to isolation nice and early as .buster was second out and a few more Brits were out relatively early. I listened to some music in iso and then began my warm up. I was totally chilled as I knew how strong my category was and didn't expect to make finals. I think this worked for me because although I had a bit of a distracting start where they kept turning me round to face cameras at the bottom of my route, think I climbed the best that I had in a long time. My route had sketch written all over it with lots of droppable moves. I took my time, making sure I made no mistakes and used the rest holds. I came to the first crux and was nervous. I don't know how but I just about made it through that sequence of moves and before I knew it I was just beneath the roof. I got a little bridge in and tried to recover a bit as I was pretty pumped. The support from the crowd really kept me going as I fought with a pretty rubbish volume. I came off thinking if only I'd done this or that but I was really really happy with my climb. I took all my gear off and was then grabbed for an interview with dan. I then watched the rest of my category and chilled with friends. I couldn't believe it but I had made my third world finals in 7th place. I was over the moon.
We went out to get some food whilst the arena prepared for the finals. Unfortunately, no other team members made the finals but we had a few who were really close - especially William Bosi who if he'd had seen the heel hook a bit earlier would have comfortably walked into the finals.
Myself and Ian made our way back to the wall for presentation of the athletes. Because youth b girls and youth a girls
|Team Austria/GB -Nick Pope|
Overall, the trip was one I will not forget! There were some moments where we really bonded as a team that i am grateful for and enjoyed!! I think this competition also showed how much climbing means to us all and I just wanted to congratulate the team on their awesome performances.