I've been a member of Alter Rock for about two months. Mainly, I joined so that I could belay Ben on the high lead climbs while Mark is away at Uni. Sometimes, Ben can find a partner, sometimes not, so me belaying means that he can go more often than would otherwise be possible.
This last week though, I've actually climbed a couple of times; simple top roped stuff, but fun.
Today, there was a bouldering competition. Bouldering is climbing without the use of ropes, so lower level above a big crash mat. I don't really like bouldering much. It's nearly all overhanging stuff and really hard on the arms and shoulders. Maybe 30 years ago!!
Of course Ben entered and when we arrived, I somehow found myself being talked into having a go; the real draw being that there was a 'Veteran' category into which absolutely no one had entered! Bottom line, climb one route and I've won! So I went home, got my gear, came back, paid my entrance fee, climbed 3 routes and won. What a joke!!! But it was good to be a part of it and, frankly, I thought I was doing pretty well to manage three!!.
When I was called up to claim a 'first prize', I was careful to choose something small (feeling that being the sole competitor made winning a bit of a cheat!), but was promptly handed this hoodie because it "Goes with the chalk bag you've chosen".
Personally, I think I'm gonna look like a traffic light!
A word about Ben. Being over 16 means he was in the Men's Open Category; a tough division with some seasoned climbers, including an ex-member of the Slovakian National Team (a really nice guy who strolls up routes which other people fall off). Ben came a very creditable fifth. Maybe he'd like the hoodie?