Climbing Works International Festival 2016 – the best boulderers from around the World all converged on Sheffield this weekend. Shauna Coxsey, Sean McColl, Melissa Le Neve, Jan Hojer, Leah Crane, Jimmy Webb … and us!
Yep, that’s right, Superman (me), a Mountain Goat (Hannah), plus Joe and Rhys (who couldn’t be bothered to dress up), all entered the CWIF – Britain’s best and biggest climbing competition.
The Qualifiers were 30 problems, set around The Works, ranging in difficulty from 5+ to who-knows-what. And when they mentioned “ranging” … there was one problem you could classify as 5+, one that was probably a 6a, and the rest were crazy hard!
Crazy hard for me, anyway. Sean McColl from Canada flashed all but one of them earlier in the day … I now knew my target: 297 points.
I was so nervous. I’ve never climbed in front of lots of people before. And never with the stakes so high – only 3 attempts were allowed on each climb, and we were desperate not to waste any.
10 points for a flash. 7 points for your second attempt. 4 for your third.
But in the end, it didn’t really matter. The nerves didn’t matter, once we realised plenty of people were having similar struggles. Lots of people watching didn’t matter, as everyone was so supportive of each other. And 3 attempts didn’t matter, as sometimes just one attempt was enough to show us that it wasn’t worth any more effort!
And where we eventually finished didn’t really matter … cos we did the hardest part, which was daring to enter, and holding our nerve to turn up.
I got 17 points … Joe smashed it with 61 though! He’s yet to tell us his secret … but I suspect his cellar is kitted our with fingerboards and pull up bars. What else can it be … other than youth, natural talent, height, or unexplainably massive forearms???
So, has getting a pathetic score put me off? No.
Did we have a great time? Yes.
Will I be in it again next year? … Hell YES!
Thanks Climbing Works!!!!!