Friday saw the first round of the Alien Rock winter boulder series. I went along with a few members of the EUMC. This was my first, of many, competitions this season so I wasn't expecting anything particularly spectacular.
There were 30 problems in total, with 20 being in each category. I entered the male hard category so had to climb problems 11 to 30. I started well flashing everything until problem 16, which my foot slipped off just before the final hold. Problem 21, which was an odd sort of mantle/bridging route, proved quite difficult, although I got it in the end. I was especially pleased with my flash of problem 23, which I saw a lot of very strong climbers fall off. I finished with 230 points out of 300 which put me in 12th. With the number of strong climbers, and the fact that I don't really see myself as a boulderer, I am pleased with this result, although I do hope to improve.
On Saturday I headed to my usual weekend venue of Newtyle Quarry. I could probably have got some proper winter climbing in but I was psyched to get on DTS Spirit. DTS Spirit was put up my Jeff Mercier last year and was given the grade of M12, making it the hardest thing in the cave at the time. I wasn't too sure on the start so I started up Torchlite and made a big move to the first hook. All the moves on DTS are very large, there are 9 moves and 9 bolts. On my third attempt of the day I managed to link up to the 4th bolt then do all the moves up to the 7th bolt. To get to the 8th is a very big move, which I wasn't able to do. After talking to Greg Boswell this evening I now know where the route starts and where it joins Fast and Furious. I felt utterly shut down on this but I now have things to work on and something new to train for.
As one of my nomics currently has a broken handle I had to team my working nomic up with another axe. I started off by borrowing one of Scotts Grivel Force alloys. I used to really like these but today, compared to my nomic, they didn't feel that great. This is probably partly down to me being so used to my nomics, and that Scotts axes were a bit blunt. I then had a shot with Sandys old Fusion, they orange ones. These felt quite good really and the lower handle being set back so far made them very easy to swap hands on. Hopefully my nomics will be repaired soon.