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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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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