August 18th, 2016 by Matthew Phillips

The second international competition in Imst started for me far down in the Southern Mediterrianian. We were on holiday in Malta and had to catch an early flight from Malta to Munich. On arrival in Munich we met up with the rest of the team DNA collected our our cars.  

As well as the trek across Europe from the South this competition was also going to be a memorable one because we had with us a film crew from ITV. They were following colleague Sianagh Gallagher for the ITV Programme Real Stories which has now been shown on ITV and is available on ITV Hub.

Arrival in Imst was followed by a trip down to the wall to have a look at our setting for the weekend. The wall at Imst is an impressive sight and first impressions are misleading as the wall is set in a dip and it is not until you are up close you realise how big it is.

Friday night saw the team having a meal at a typical Austrian restaurant which was excellent, it helps when the ITV researchers have selected it and the English translation they made of the menus were very useful. After a few of the team endulged in a snaps courtesy of the owner (don’t tell the coach) we settled in for the night ready for competition on Saturday.

There were four in my category this time and the format was going to be 6 climbs no finals unless there needed to be a super final. The first three climbs of the day look reasonable and didn’t prove much of a probelm to three of the four in our category. Three of us topped all three climbs ending on day 1.

Day 2 of the competition started with a fairly straightforward climb which I topped along with my 2 rivals. The second climb showed they were starting to get tricky with some nasty crimps and reaches towards the top. The third and final climb of the competition was the decider. A nasty reach proved the difference that gave SPain Gold and I achieved a Silver with Israel getting a Bronze.

This was a great Compeition and again the support from all competitiors from all countries was amazing. The climbing family are very special.

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