October 13th, 2017 by gep7452

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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June 30th, 2016 by gep7452
Landing at Verona

Landing at Verona

Last weekend was the first international competition with the GB Paraclimbing

Team. We left for the airport very early on Friday morning and after a smooth flight arrived in a very warm (34c) Verona Airport in Italy. This was where we were meeting the rest of the team.

After meeting up we went to collect the hire car / minivan and hit the autobahn for our 2.5 hour journey into the Italian South Tyrol district. Arriving at Campitello di Fassa we headed straight for the wall to take a look. Three of us also had to under go medicals to check out our disabilities. The Doctor still did not find a right forearm on me.

We found a very nice Pizzeria in the village and had a very pleasant dinner getting to know each other as this was the first time since the training day the team had met up.

Saturday morning saw a quick breakfast and then down to the wall. Our Team Coach had already been down to register us and so we found a corner and settled in until the competition started.

Team and Coach Group Photo

Team and Coach Group Photo

My first qualifying climb appeared to be fairly easy and I topped it with no real problem. The second qualifying climb was a little harder with a small dyno at the top to the last hold. However, no real issue gave me another flash. Having made the final I had my first experience of isolation and came out pumped to flash the final route which I did.

After a long wait for the awards ceremony I finally received my first Gold medal for the World Paraclimbing Cup.

A celebratory dinner at a Pizzeria and Steakhouse in the next village made for a pleasant evening other than the issue that our minivan had now gone into ‘limp’ mode because the hire company had failed to maintain their vehicle properly and not filled up a fuel additive. luckly, the journey back to the village was all downhill so off we coasted.

Sunday we woke and had breakfast in a small cafe in the village. I then went back to the hotel to rest whilst our coach tried to get the hire company to take responsibility for the vehicle breakdown. With an ‘international incident’ brewing (joke) Mercedes Italia and Mercedes UK cam to our rescue. An engineer of theirs brought the additive out and reset the vehicle.

Impromptu Bowls waiting for delayed flight

Impromptu Bowls waiting for delayed flight

Monday after a quick trip on the cable car to the summit of the mountain we started home. A tour round Verona before going to the airport to find our plane two hours late due to the French air traffic controllers striking again. Some impromptu games with a ball and tiled floor (don’t ask) the team amused themselves until the plan took off. We arrived back in the UK at about 0230 in the morning.

 

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