Psyche levels were high at this year's Women's Climbing Symposium!
The event is the brain-child of Shauna Coxsey, the current British Bouldering Champion (and ranked 4th in the IFSC Bouldering Worldcup 2013), and Stephanie Meysner co-owner of The Climbing Hangar. Its goal is to raise awareness and enthusiasm among women climbers. Judging from the atmosphere throughout the day - they certainely suceeded!
The event kicked off with a presentation from ex-Pinnacle Club president Angela Soper - Still climbing at the ripe old age of 72. Like most people reading this, she had definitely caught the 'climbing bug', and her speech detailing some of the key historical points in female climbing was very interesting. Find more details of the (womens only) Pinnacle club here (the website is hosted by UKClimbing.com).
There were a few workshops you could attend:
As well as lectures:
Rebecca Dent (team GB's nutritionist) gave a talk on sports nutrition and diets aimed at maximising training and losing weight. Also touching on the recently popular 5-2 diet and few diets that have been tried by elite climbers like the broccoli stems and diet coke diet (not recommended!) and glyco loading. The benefits of the a low carb diet was particularly interesting.
After lunch there was a very heartfelt presentation from Mina Leslie-Wujastyk on 'self efficacy' which detailed the barriers she faced when competitng in this year's Bouldering World Cup. Having climbed harder than most people can ever dream of on real rock, why was competition climbing so hard? The speech was delivered very eloquently and you could tell it's been a battle for her. Hats off to you Mina! There was also an exclusive preview of the film 'Project Mina' from Jen Randall, showing the trials and tribulations of Mina's training and the competition scene.
I was especially interested in the 'dynamic climbing class' as personally I felt it was an area particularly lacking in my female climbing friends. A common misconception is that dynoing is the domain of the strong: The opposite is closer to the truth. You don't need to be strong when you can pop past the bad hold to a good one. There were more than a few smiles on the faces of the attendees when they released that jumping was indeed fun and beneficial to their climbing.
"The day surpassed all of my expectations. The workshops were excellently delivered by top female climbers who seemed to be genuinely thrilled to be there also. The speakers and talks were inspiring and personal and it was clear how much effort had gone into it by Shauna and the rest of the team. I will certainly be booking my ticket for next year at the first possible opportunity!" Beth-Cath-T
WCS is sponsored by: the Arch Climbing Wall, the BMC and Climbing Hangar