July 7th, 2019 by Matthew Phillips

The Paraclimbing Blokfest was held recently at the castle climbing centre in London. It was the culmination of many months of effort from a number of people specifically the Castle, Paraclimb London and the Blokfest team who made the whole event possible. The day was broken down into three parts the bouldering the routes and the final to top it off, a long day starting at around 10 and going on all the way to 6. The route setting was done by a team of some of the best route setters in the country and the fine selection of holds on display meant that the route setting was outstanding.

I started on boulders and quickly ticked through the easy ones leaving around five harder ones for the end I quickly managed a few of these including a lovely double dyno set by Ben West which took a few tries to figure out the beta but eventually went very smoothly. This left three of the hardest blocs to go which unfortunately I was unable to tick through but which still left me with a respectable score going into the second half of the competition. The second half was a tope-rope section with three routes. The first two were pretty straightforward but enjoyable. The final route was a step-up with some tricky techy moves. I got about 3 quarters of the way up this one before falling on a tricky press out.

Now it was time for isolation before the finals. Waiting with some of the Gb team for my time to climb which was right at the end the last climber to climb of the day. When I went out the routes was great starting with some easy moves on good holds then into some more crimpy moves followed by a big dyno to a hold on a volume that was hidden, in effect a blind dyno. The last few moves were easy but pumpy and then I dropped the final move due to some faffing with the rope. This still secured me first place which I was vey happy with. Overall it was a good day nd I look forward to next years event.    

Below is a video montage of my climbs on the day 

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September 18th, 2018 by Matthew Phillips

It has been an incredible 10 days attending the World Climbing Championships in Innsbruck. I missed out on Paris 2 years ago because there was not enough in my category but this time I competed and the highlight of my competition was becoming World Champion. Here is my final climb at 17.22. The sound of the crowd was amazing and really helped me to get a top.

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October 13th, 2017 by Matthew Phillips

We were very lucky this year to have two World Paraclimbing Cups in the UK. The first was in Edinburgh two weeks ago and in Sheffield last weekend. Both were run alongside other competitions which I think is a good thing as it provides more exposure for Paraclimbing.

The World Paraclimbing Cup in Edinburgh was run alongside the World Cup for able-bodied climbers. The ticketed event was sold out and allowed Paraclimbing to be showcased to a lot of people whom it would not of otherwise been. The competition consisted of 2 qualifying top-ropes and a final top rope. Coming 2nd to the German Kevin Bartake taking Silver.

The second World Paraclimbing Cup was in Sheffield at Awesome Walls This was run alongside the British Lead Climbing Competitions and agin brought a wider audience. This time taking Gold topping out my first route and beating Kevin Bartake on both the second qualifier and the finals.

After the Sheffield competition the Paraclimbing team stayed on in the Peak District for a couple more days to allow for some filming to be done with the team, Epic TV and BMC TV. The first day was spent at Stanage Edge where the team went trad climbing and finishing off on the Flying Buttress. In the evening a spot of night bouldering at Stanage Plantation where multiple attempts were made on Deliverance.

The Tuesday saw the team rained off the Grit and so a visit to Climbing Works was the alternative. Thank you very much to Climbing Works who opened just for the team when we arrived as they were not due to open for another 2 hours. A great time was had by all the team and more filming buy the BMC TV crew.

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October 5th, 2016 by Matthew Phillips

Sheffield was the last International of the year and on home ground for the GB Paraclimbing Team It was also being run alongside the British Lead and Speed Climbing competitions so it was another opportunity for the Paraclimbers to show the wider audience what they can do. 

Unfortunately, the number of international competitors was down on the other competitions but 22 para climbers attended include competitiors from USA and Canada. The British Lead Competitions qualifiers were first and it was good to watch the Juniors and Seniors going through their paces including some of my home squad Surrey Summit. After these finished it was good to see a fair number of people stay and watch the Paraclimbing Cup. 

There were two qualifing routes and a final on the Sunday. The two qualifing routes looked as if they were going to be difficult as they appeared to be similar to those set for the Veterans of the Lead competitions earlier in the day. The first climb was going well but as I reached the last few holds my hand slipped, I think the top rope got in the way. The second climb was my climb of the comp, having gone through it with my coach earlier I was not sure I was going to top this one but gave it all and to my surprise and everyone else managed to top.  Thanks to Mike Langley for the great commentary. 

Back on Sunday the para climbers were first up, the final route looked equally as hard and after going back into isolation the finals began. There had been relatively few tops this weekend which I think reflected the toughness of the routes. My final climb was going ok until I came across a side pull on the wrong side and that was me.

At the Podium I was awarded a very nice looking trophy you can see in the photo, well done BMC, and this concluded the internationals for this year. 

You can see photos of the competition in the Gallery on the top menu.

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