24 Jul 2011

Life On Hold Trailer Released

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LIFE ON HOLD is a new UK bouldering film from Outcrop Films.

Follow Britain’s top climbers and visiting WADs, as they tackle some of the hardest problems around. From the tough, mentally challenging highballs on the gritstone edges, to the short, powerful, esoteric testpieces of the limestone and everything in between. We’ve filmed the new emerging scene of strong boulders’ and their tour around Britain’s finest.

Featuring: Ned Feehally, Dan Varian, David Mason, Jon Partridge, Michele Caminati, Ryan Pasquill, Micky Page, Miles Gibson and Ben Thompson

With appearances from: Klemen Becan, Nalle Hukkataival, Jernej Kruder and Will Abbott

Music: Endless Hands of Time by Sheridan Tongue

24 Jun 2011

Ben’s Roof

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I had tried this problem several years ago and never managed to link it. I was up filming for the soon to be released ‘Life on Hold’ DVD with Outrop films and on a quiet day popped over to attempt it.

I figured out the sequence quickly and completed it. It was a fun day and again Outrop Films were there to document some sillyness and the ascent.

24 Apr 2011

Chimaera

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Southern Sandstone has for many years been considered a laughing stock of British climbing. I had never really been and felt like I needed to form my opinion.

I had a rally fun day classic bashing some amazing boulders, hiballs and managed to bag the 4th ascent of the coveted Chimaera.

It is a stunning line with unbelievable movement and sequence. This video includes some of highlights and is shot by Outcrop Films.

25 Mar 2011

Vintage Gritstone

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After the semi-finals of the Climbing Works International Festival, we took Nalle Hukkataival out to try some of the gritstone classics at Stanage Plantation.

We bumped into rock stars Alex Puccio and Chris Webb-Parsons and the session quickly got out of hand. Slender Films were there to document.

We made it back just in time to catch the finals too.

24 Mar 2011

CWIF 2011

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This spring I took part in the annual Climbing Works International Festival 2011. The event took place over two days; Day one was qualification (300 competing) and Day two the semi Finals (top 16) and finals (Top 6).

I managed to make the semi final and finished 14th. It was a fantastic weekend and amazing competition. This video is by Outcrop Films and documents the weekend.

20 Mar 2011

Cooking with the Champ

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Ned Feehally is one of Britain’s top boulderers. He’s won the British bouldering championships three times, climbed into the high font 8 grades, set new standards of training with the Beastmaker….. But perhaps his greatest achievements lie in the kitchen. Watch how the Champ takes baking to a new level in his preparation for the Climbing Works International Festival…..

25 Feb 2011

Revolution Climbing Photoshoot

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While we were filming the commercial for Revolution Climbing Holds, Benn Grubb photography were also there taking some snaps.

They came out pretty well.

25 Feb 2011

Revolution Holds Commercial

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Commercial for Revolution Holds shot back in Feb by Slender Films.

Filmed out of hours at The Castle Climbing Centre we had a full run of the place.

It was a really hard evenings work having to climb the same blocs over and over but a great experience being on a set.

Crane camera, flashes, lights and action. The result looks pretty cool.

Check out Revolution holds; they have some great shapes and they are good on the skin.

26 Jan 2010

International Bouldering Competition Information

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Competition Format:

Due to the amount of competitors wanting to enter world cup events a two group qualification format is normally used. This allows two groups of competitors to compete at the same time and therefore halve the event time.

To create these two groups fairly the field is separated into two groups evenly based on world ranking; 1st and 3rd in group A and 2nd and 4th in group B and so on down to the unranked climbers who are evenly distributed into groups A and B.

The basic principle of the competition is as follows for both Group A and B an is as follows:

– Each climber has five climbs (boulders / blocs) to attempt.

– They have 5 minutes per bloc and can have as many tries within that time allocation.

– Following this five minutes of climbing is a five minute break. This gives a 5 on / 5 off process.

– The total competition period therefore lasts 45 minutes for each competitor.

– The object is to get to the top of the climb in the fewest attempts possible. i.e. If I got to the top on my first attempt I would be better than someone who did it on their second.

– The secondary aim is to get to the bonus hold (a point of significance but not the top) in the fewest attempts possible.

– After the five climbs have been attempted you therefore have two scores

– Number of tops / Number of attempts to top – i.e. 5 Tops / 10 Attempts or 5/10

– Number of bonuses / Number of attempts to bonuses – i.e. 5 bonuses / 12  Attempts or 5/12

– On a score board it would look like the picture.

 Basic Rules:

The start, bonus and Finish holds are marked using coloured pieces of tape. The judge for each climb will highlight these holds but not give any indication on how to climb it.

To complete a boulder legitimately you must hold the final hold with two hands in control. The judge will then say ‘OK’ to signify it is OK to drop down and that you have been successful.

To gain the bonus hold legitimately you must hold it in control similarly to the finish hold.

An attempt is only valid when you pull onto the wall holding the correct handholds and footholds.

Black tape is sometimes used to close off sections of wall that are out of bounds. If you go into these areas your attempt is void and the judge will call you down.

Yellow / Red Cards – Similarly to football they are disciplinary measures for indiscretions and used by the chief judge. Usual uses are for swearing, kicking chalk bags and offending judges.

Phases of an International Bouldering Competition:

Technical Briefing:

Usually the day before the event this is where the head route setter, judge, organisers and delegates inform team managers and competitors of any key information. This usually includes information on the wall, isolation, timings and Q&A.

Isolation:

As competitors we are not allowed to see the climbing wall, holds or routes before we climb them. Isolation is an area away from the competition where we are held and allowed to warm up before being called out to climb.

If the Competition starts at 10am Isolation would be around 8am-9am. Once isolation closes no-one can come in or out.

It is a very stressful place as you are basically just waiting for your chance to compete. The length of wait is dependent on your world ranking. Number 1 goes out first and the unranked people last. I have known people to be in iso for over 9 hours.

Imagine a place that is hot, uncomfortable with limited food and drink and  watching climbers who are much better than you warm up for hours. You are not allowed to communicate with the outside world so no phones, laptops etc either. Then factor in the size of the warm up area (tiny) add to it the number of people (lots) and you get an idea for what it’s like.

Iso to Comp Transition:

This is the final area where you wait before going out to compete on your first climb. You can normally expect about a 5-15 minute period.

I personally like this time as it gives you that final rest and psyche up time. You can also hear allot of what is going on in the comp by listening to the crowd and competitors screams. This information can be invaluable for gauging what you need to try and do in the comp in order to qualify for the next round.

Problem to Problem Transition:

After either completion of a boulder or the end of the five minute period (whichever comes first) each competitor goes back into temporary Isolation for their five minute break.

Again you can hear allot of what is going on in the comp by listening to the crowd and competitors screams. This information can be invaluable for gauging what you need to try and do in the comp in order to qualify for the next round.

If you manage to do your boulder in under the five minute time allocation you get the benefit of increased rest. E.g. If I flashed the boulder in two minutes I would get the remaining three minutes and then the following five minutes rest – Total 8 minutes. This is where it pays to get things done quickly and often why you have to get off to a good start on the first boulder.

Results Wait:

In a field of sometimes 100+ if you climb early you have to wait all the way to the end of the comp to see if your result is good enough to make the top 20 cut. If you’ve done badly you pretty much know early on as all the strong guys have already climbed and their results posted. However there can be random unranked strong people at the end of a comp who can do well.

In Sheffield 2011 world cup I was in 20th place for 2 hours and had to wait for the very last climber to find out if I’d made the cut.