March 22nd, 2018 by Matthew Phillips

This year saw changes to the GB Paraclimbing Team selection process. The BMC National Paraclimbing Series 2017still ran its 4 rounds during the year but it is not longer the critical factor in deciding the team for the following year. This year a new event was created the ‘GB Paraclimbing Selection Event’ and ran on 24 Feb at Awesome Walls alongside the British Open Youth Competition.

The aim of this event was to allow paraclimbers to specifically try out for the team using IFSC style routes and regulations as well as harder grades. The first event was well supported and proved to be successful although I would say needs a few tweaks regarding timings.

Shortly after the event the new GB Paraclimbing Team 2018 was announced, most of the team last year made it back on this years team with a number of new climbers getting selected for main team and for the development team. The team’s first training day was held at The Quay Climbing Centre, in a very snowy Exeter. The new team members bonded well with the existing team and we look forward to the year ahead.

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September 11th, 2016 by Matthew Phillips

On August Bank holiday weekend we set off to Exeter for my first DWS competition. I had seen the videos of last years and thought it would awesome to compete in desire there being no ParaClimbing category. 

After registration and briefing it was time to take a look at the routes. They looked difficult and obviously not set for my category. However, I decided that my goal would be to top one route and give the other two a damn good go. 

The first climb was fairly easy on once I started it flowed well and I topped it without too much problem. 

The second climb had a disco ball hanging about half way down which you had to climb up before tackling two huge volumes. I was bound to get wet on this one. I started the ascent got to the disco ball and hung on. To my surprise (and the crowds) I got on the ball and to the two volumes. Playing on these for a while I just could not get my legs up enough and with little to hold on to ‘splashdown’. 

The third route was the toughest and unfortunately I fell only a few holds up but a brilliant competition and great fun. The support from the crowd was unbelievable. The Quay Climbing Centre summed it up with a quote on their Facebook page

“This moment pictured had every single person in the crowd totally engaged and cheering, a fully inspiring moment that we shall never forget!”

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