Last Saturday the Blokfest league continued, this time held at Boulder Brighton. Highball was well represented, with nine of their junior members competing on the tricky problems alongside some of England’s best boulderers. The qualifying round consisted of over 30 problems, from a few powerful, dynamic overhangs to a shin-scraping slab, all organised into four sets – 25 for each category. A slippery mantle problem on the top-out boulder proved to be quite interesting, as most of us were not particularly familiar with the technique, however, the beta was quickly cracked and ascents were made. Another route consisted of a series of triangular volumes; starting with a dyno and then leading into a series of moves requiring some nifty body position to make edges holdable.
Once the scores had all been entered, some great results for Highball were revealed: notably Oscar who crushed once again, securing a 3rd place on the podium in the Youth E boy’s category. In the Youth C category Alissa scored 12th out of 31, closely followed by Katie at 14th, and then Jessica and Lydia, placing one after the other. In Youth B, Maddi positioned 12th with a great score of 182, followed by Alex with a score of 167 on the slightly different junior boy’s set. Myself and John were competing on the senior male blocs- scoring 191 and 202 respectively on the 25 problems.
As always the professionals made a good show in the finals on a selection of dynamic problems, including a toe-jam bat-hang and a parkour style move along a number of volumes- and as always it was intriguing to see how they attempted the stranger moves. Matt Cousins took the win for the men (despite being injured), however Jim Pope and Louis Parkinson were close behind, also topping out all three problems. In the Women’s Molly Thompson-Smith gained 1st place on the podium, while Jennifer Wood got pushed to 2nd, based solely on attempts.
Overall, it was an enjoyable event with a great atmosphere, full of motivated climbers from all ages, working together to send some really tough blocs. There is no doubt that everyone is already psyched to compete in the next round, and I would definitely recommend giving it a go if you haven’t already.
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