Molly Thompson Smith

Molly Thompson Smith
Edinburgh EYC 2013

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Getting a feel for rock

Bouldering at Carrock 
So after the EYCH in Edinburgh I headed back up North to the Lake District, home of the Hitman (aka Liam Halsey) and his girlfriend Lucy with my coach Rob Russell. I was spending a week at Liam's so I could get out on some rock. The trip wasn't focused on me 'sending hard things' or 'crushing', I just wanted to experience the whole process of going out climbing for a day or week. And I can definitely say it was very new and uncomfortable!

After a 5 hour drive we arrived at the Hitmans, had some pie and headed off to Carrock for an afternoon/evening of bouldering. I was still tired from the Euro champs and so I was relieved to find out the walk to the boulders we would be climbing was really short. We warmed up on some easy blocs and then moved onto less basic things. I really enjoyed the bouldering on rock and found it pretty similar to indoor bouldering.
Having some fun ahah

Climbing Pierrepoint at Gordale

Tuesday saw us travel to St Bees for a day of bouldering by the sea. The weather was absolutely amazing which is why we decided to go there. The approach was a bit sketchy but I loved St Bees so much; the rock was so attractive and the moves really cool. I enjoyed climbing everything - from the really basic blocs to trying much harder problems. I especially enjoyed working 'Headbanger' - the first move was the hardest for me and after some helpful beta from Dan Varian I managed to get it many attempts later. I also had a play a few other harder blocs and had fun trying to make up new sequences to make the moves easier or more doable for myself. My favourite problem I tried and watched Liam demolish was 'Floating Points'. It was like a board problem... so my favourite type of bouldering!

Pierrepoint, Gordale
The next day we travelled up to Malham. It was really hot and the midges were out in full force meaning we bailed after one route. Although I didn't get to climb anything the rock looked really cool and hopefully I'll be back soon! We moved over to Gordale after an ice-cream and tea break. I found it so much harder getting used to climbing on a rope outside... I would look at the wall or look at Liam climb something and not see anything... it was just blank to me. This meant that I was just patting around on every route ha! Obviously I will get better at seeing things over time but it was something I struggled with. It was great watching Rob and Liam climb... it was clear they were very experienced and knew how to read the rock so it was really helpful being able to try and learn from them.

Thursday we were lucky enough to visit the Lyon HQ in Tebay and have a tour... it was really nice and interesting to see what actually happens behind the scenes! So thanks so much Lyon for having us and Corin for the t
Beta from the Hitman
our! We also picked up some amazing gear which was so good to use. After, we travelled up to Troll Gill (not sure of its actual name!) and again had to bail due to ridiculous midges
. It was really frustrating to walk in to the crag and see how cool the rock and the lines looked but be so distracted by the midges and have to leave. But thats just how it is sometimes. It was nice to have my first rest day in a while anyways!

Friday we decided a day of bouldering would be best and hopefully the midges wouldn't be so bad. We spent most of the day at Virtual Crag which took me a while to get used to the rock. I found it quite sharp and the holds uncomfortable. But I got used to it and managed to do a few cool blocs which was fun :) Afterwards we headed to Langdale boulders and lazed around in the sun (and did a bit of climbing!).

La Sportiva Katanas ft. Rob

Saturday we retuned to Gordale to get another ropes day in. Rob thought it'd be cool for me to have a play on the famous 'Supercool'. It was such a nice route with really really cool moves. I really want to get back to Gordale again and get on the route again some time.

Sunday we drove home, myself and Rob both shattered! It was really nice to experience a week outside and I certainly learnt a lot! It was pretty uncomfortable for
me at times as I'm used to a nice café on site or at least some toilets! And walking through glass
Chillin at Virtual Crag
doors to get to the wall rather than a half an hour walk in! But I'm really glad I've had a proper introduction to rock climbing and I plan to get out a lot more and get more confident on the rock!

Big thanks to Liam and Lucy for putting me up and to Rob for putting up with me for a whole week too!
And a massive thanks to Steve and the Lyon guys for all the awesome gear and also to Berghaus for the super comfortable clothing.

Trying hard on 'Floating Points' at St Bees.

Thanks to my sponsors:

Lyon (La Sportiva, Petzl, Beal)
Michael and Lauren Clancy
Sports Aid
Sport England
Westway Development Trust

And to Rob and Liam for the pictures

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