After Ratho I managed to fit in one session at Westway before the next European round at Imst. It felt good to be back at Westway after so long away and I was psyched to do a Liam 8a+ there.
Early flight next day, a long wait at Munich for the rest of the team and crazy storms on the drive through the amazing Tirol to Imst. Next day after that, the rest day, was spent on the Alpine Coaster, a 3,500m long roller coaster on which you control the speed. I learnt how to kill the brakes with my feet. Cool.
Later that evening we found out our start positions. I was 8th first round and 30th second, which meant, I reckoned, a seven-hour gap between climbs. I had this before in Linz, where it was also very hot. I’d learnt how to prepare - stay cool, drink lots and relax. I was so psyched that I woke up feeling very tired due to not getting enough good sleep. Comps in Austria are always really well run and Imst being no exception the comp started exactly on time. All the routes were on the big outdoor wall leaving the huge indoor lead wall for warming up, which is one of my favourite things about Imst.
After watching the seven climbers before me there were some interesting results. I was up. After sketching my way up the bottom slab I climbed pretty fast up to what seemed to be the crux section. Really cool moves on small but positive holds! My style! I got past the big move and then to a complicated foot sequence where your body is horizontal. I got my feet sorted and just before I pulled up to the next resting jug my feet ripped off the wall! I was a little annoyed but psyched as I felt I had climbed well on the route until that point. I came 23rd on that route. Need to do better in the second round.
My second route was shared with the Junior category (apart from one changed hold) and I went after Jonny W, so I got lots of beta from the two Jonnys and Luke. The route began up one of the long slabby sections of the Imst wall with a jump start. I was pretty nervous for this but allowed myself to be as I knew once I caught the jump I would be relaxed for the rest of the route. The route had some big moves on poor holds until it turned into the roof where there was some funky 3D climbing. I got up to the roof and a few moves in I decided to try a different sequence and missed the hold that had been added for my category. I slapped to a volume, almost held it, and was then flying through the air.
I was happy about how I climbed on this route. I was 15th, so an improvement on the first round. (I noticed that I had been scored lower than I thought so after a word with the judge I was moved up to the correct score.) I had finished 19th overall.
Imst is a very popular comp and often has some interesting results, so I was not to annoyed and got psyched now about the Worlds at the end of August!
Overall the team did well with Luke, William and Alex making the finals and others very close!
Time to get back out on rock.