In reply to UKC News:
Bloody hell! I saw that top photo and thought someone was taking photos of me, I really hope that Rob Adie hasn't got ginger hair like me otherwise I've got a serious doppelgänger. He even has the same helmet and the an identical looking coat.
In reply to Rob Adie: This may not be exactly on topic, and apologise if not, but i have been researching and reading countless reviews on self-locking belay devices ( including adrien berrys review on the 'eddy' ) and am still, if not more confused as ever as to wich one to go for. any advicew would be apreciated. cheers!
In reply to cjskelly: Like you say there are so many different types of self locking belay devices to choose from, and they all have their pros and cons. The thing to remember with using this sort of device is that they are not idiot proof and most of the accidents I have witnessed at walls have involved one. You must always keep your hand on the dead end of the rope when paying out rope.
I think that making a comp like the leading ladder work for the full range of abilities of climbers thoughout the country is a big challenge and I have heard a lot of grumblings about how it should and shouldn't be done.
Do you think you have got the format & other details right yet?
In reply to ShinyDiscoBalls: Definitely, I imagine it will be way more than that actually. We have 570 climbers regsitered from 45 different countries, and if each one of those spends £100 (they will spend way more) you are more than half way there already.
The Americans alone are bringing over 100 people with competitors and their entourage. At the last WYCH in 2004 the americans alone spent quarter of a million pounds on there stay in Scotland.
It will be great event and a huge boost to the economy.
In reply to Mr Plow: I think the Leading Ladder is a great way to brinmg people into competition climbing who would not normally be interested and it is a great way to up your game over the winter months. I think the format for the rounds works really well, apart from the inconsistency in the grades, but without spending a huge amount of money to get all the setting done by onne group of setters you cannot really avoid this.
The format for the final definitely needs some work and I envisage a few changes to next years final. I still want to keep the relaxed comp. atmosphere though with no isolation etc. that a lot of people find intimidating.
If anyone has any suggestions or comments about the Leading Ladder please let me know as we never hear much back at the office about. We can't fix it if we don't know its broken.
What advice would you give to somebody interested in trying some competitions, but worried about starting competitions at a later age (compared to a majority of the other competitors who seem to of been doing them ages!)?
Also, what grades should I be achieving indoors to stand a decent chance at a national competition? I'm 16 in December if that helps.
In reply to Mike Nolan: Mike, if you were born in 1995 you will be still ok to enter the BMC Youth Climbing Series next year. You will only be able to compete for one year, but it is a great introduction to competition climbing in a friendly atmosphere and it will also give you an idea of what sort of grade level you need to be operating at to go on and enter one of the national events like the Bouldering or Lead Championships.
If not there is always the Leading Ladder which is being run all over the country this winter and most walls run their own competitions. Just get involved and see whether you like the competitive environment. It is not as intimidating as people percieve it to be. Most competition climbers even the guys at the top of their game will always have a moment to give someone like yourself some pointers in their first comp.
But if you are the right age I would definitely recommend the youth climbing series. And if you come in the top 10 in your age group, then you will also be invited to attend one of the BMC's talent development days and this will push you on towards British Team level.
In reply to Mike Nolan: Thats a shame. And sadly we only take the top 10 from the YCS final to the talent development days. The next best way to get noticed is to enter one of our youth events. There will be one in November - venue to be confirmed, but they are always good fun events.
Keep an eye on the BMC website for more details in the near future.
In reply to Mike Nolan:
Just to second what Rob said.
The comps are not as intimidating as you'd imagine and can even be quite fun.
If you just turn up for experience and to see if you enjoy comps, it'll be a very relaxed affair.
It's definitely not the sort of environment where people laugh if others fail or have a bad day (unless it's mates with a bit of friendly ribbing).
They can also be a really good training aid by giving you a date to focus on.
In reply to Monk: To be honest I could not give you an exact grade range for a national comp. as I organise them and tend to leave the grades of teh climbs to the route setters.
The route setters do a fantastic job of setting the routes to not only split the field, by looking at the start lists to see who is competing and what sort of difficulty they need to set too, but to also make sure that some of the climbers who maybe entering a comp for the first time at least do well on a couple of the qualifiers, so they feel that they can go away and train and come back and do better.
For lead comps. I would say qualifiers would be around 7a+ to 7b+, semis around 7b to 7c+ and finals 7c-8b depending on the quality of the field. Bouldering wise - qualifiers would range hugely from V2-V7/8 and finals would be around V6-9.
If there are any of the national route setters out there following this thread please feel free to jump and correct me on those grades.
In reply to crikeyorikey: There is only one brand of auto belay that has been withdrawn from the market - that is the redpoint auto belay which up till now was the most suitable for use in an indoor climbing wall.
There are other brands out there but none that have been designed specifically with wall use in mind, and they tend to be very expensive and hard to service which seems to put most wall users off.
However there is a new brand called Tru-Blu auto belay that a few walls have purchased and will be installing soon - http://www.climbtru.com/ - they use magnets as there breaking mechanism and are supposed to be very effective and safe, but only use in the industry will tell.
But expect to see a few of these popping up in walls around the country. Entre-Prises Climbing Walls will be distributing them and they have orders for 100.
Just wondering if you've considered changing the competition format of the BBC's to a world cup style format. I think in the past couple of years the competition has outgrown the current format for the qualifiers, with just too many people on the stage at once. Perhaps a seeded system, with members of the team out first, to avoid a first time comp climber going out in front of the crowd at the beginning and then the unseeded people. I think this would also give perspective team members a good look at what competing in a world cup in front of crowd would be like. Furthermore, it would be easier to plan your climbing - in the other format, it's impossible to tell when you're about to be called, whereas in the other format, you could plan how you keep warm accordingly.
In reply to like__a__fish: We did a world cup style final at the BBC's last year, which has its pros and cons, but I don't think it was particularly specatator friendly, especially for the juniors. We will definitley be looking at this for next years BBC's and would possibly look at a world cup style qualifiers and a standard format final.
However the only problem with the world cup format qualifiers is that you have to split a large field on only 5 problems, and the climbers at the bottom end of the field may go home without topping anything, which may discourage them from entering again, and that is not what we are trying to achieve.
Anyway it is something that will be discussed at the very next comps. committee meeting at the BMC in 2 weeks time. I will let you know what the outcome is after that.
Glad to hear that it's being talked about. What I meant was that you consider the world cup qualifier format for the qualifiers. I think this format is perfect and you can keep people up-to-date with scores as the qualifier progresses. Also, you could increase the number of blocs in order to make it easier for the route setters to split the field.
The format for the finals 2 years ago where everybody ended up climbing at the same time, in my opinion is the most spectator friendly format.
I totally agree that the final format didn't work for the juniors though. It was a strange atmosphere in the tent.
In reply to like__a__fish: I agree at a national level the standard works best for the finals. The only problem with increasing the number of blocs in the qualifiers is that we won't have time to get through everybody with them coming out individually. Don't forget in a World cup the qualifiers take all of one day, and the finals happen the next day. In the BBC we have to get through qualifiers and finals in one day to have juniors and seniors in the same weekend.
I am sure we will work out some sort of new system though.
In reply to The third: In terms of actual competitions, they always lose money, we have never made money on a comp. in my time at the BMC. This year the BMC will spend £21,000 on comps. and £35,000 on the British Team. It is normally only £15,000 for the team, but we managed to secure some extra funding from the BMC surplus for the team this year as a one off, thanks to some persistent work by the committee.
astley00703 Sep 2010
In reply to UKC News:
See they keeping you busy!!!!!! There doesnt seem to be many questions regarding climbing walls so I guess that the BMC is doing an excellent job in this area??
In reply to crikeyorikey: A quite often get calls asking me this sort of question, and a can give advice, but the BMC does not dictate policy to climbing walls. The walls must make their own policy which depneds on how the wall is run, designed and managed and what is dictated to them by their own insurance.
I definitely recommend some sort of comeptency testing, and some walls will find that a quick questioning at the front desk is usually good enough to decide that the climber knows what they are doing or not.
However some walls prefer to test the climber by some sort of demonstration. Like I said this is down to the wall and how they manage themselves. Doing individual tests might be prohibitive in a really busy wall as there just wound not be enough time to test everyone, however they have the advantage of lots of people being around to spot other mistakes before an accident happens.
Smaller walls might not be as busy and a mistake may go unnoticed, so they may prefer to test to make sure all their users are competent. There is nothing wrong with having a chat with someone at the wall you are in if you think they are doing something dangerous, as you could save their life.
There seems to be this stigma in walls against apporaching someone, just in case you get told to bugger off, but if you think an accident may happen please do intervene. I do it all the time, and I am met with a variety of reactions, but I am sure I have prevented a couple of accidents.
In reply to dirtbag1: The World Youth Championships being held at Edinburgh International Climbing Arena from the 9-12th September i.e. next week will be totally live streamed. I will post a link on the BMC webiste and UKC when I have it.
There is not plan to stream the injury symposium, but we could record it I am sure. I will look into that.
In reply to airbournegrapefruit: As we do not really have any products that we produce or can sell, we don't have anything we can donate unfortunately. I sometimes struggle to get prizes for some of the competitions I run, but I would suggest approaching some of the gear manufacturers for prizes.
In reply to shark: The team management which is Ian Dunn, Jane Newman and Drew Haigh for the Junior and Senior lead team and Nic Clement and Tom Sugden for the bouldering team. They are all volunteers and do a huge amount of work for the team.
In reply to Rob Adie: Ok signing off now. But if anyone has any other questions please feel free to post them and I will try and answer them on Monday. Thanks for some great questions today and I hope I answered them ok.