I’m not sure where to start….Addidas Rockstars was a new thing for me, I didn’t do the event last year so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I arrived on the Thursday lunchtime and was picked up from the airport by an addidas representative and driven to the hotel. That was very nice in itself, it was the beginning of a weekend of being thoroughly looked after. We were taken out to a great restaurant in Stuttgart that evening and treated to a meal before being transported back to the hotel in a new addidas coach.

The next day we had a leisurely start before the qualifying round began. At this event it was possible to view the blocs, albeit from a distance, before you went into isolation. This was great for me as I think it removed some anxiety and we were able to share ideas about how to climb the blocs. I didn’t actually climb all of them in the way I thought I would but I think the reduction in nerves really helped. In most competitions, when you do not get to see the blocs beforehand, I think I experience a sort of “rabbit in headlights” feeling when I step out onto the mats and I do not always think straight. The qualifiers went well for me; I topped 3 of the 4 blocs and I was pleased with how I had climbed. I wasn’t aware of how others had done so when I saw that I was in third place I was shocked and, of course, very pleased.

Going into the semi finals I was prepared for that not to happen again. I have never finished higher than 10th before in an international event of this level so I was aware that, although I had proved to myself that I was capable, it may not happen every time! I was pleased already, anything else would be a bonus. I did, however, climb with a new found sense of confidence. Something clicked in my head and for the first time I felt sure of my ability competing in a field of strong competitors. I qualified in 4th for the finals. It was a bit overwhelming to be honest. I have trained a lot and worked hard in many ways to get better and when it pays off it is actually quite emotional!

The finals were great, having watched so many it was brilliant to be in one. This event had a different format for the finals, it was a knock out. So all the finalists tried the first two boulders, then the top 3 from that tried the 3rd boulder, then the top 3 from that raced on a super boulder. I was knocked out in the first round and ended up in 6th place. It was a bit frustrating because the problems were a bit too easy making it a flash competition (on the first two blocs). I topped both blocs but took 4 attempts (including one slip off the start of bloc one). Had I done 2 in 3 attempts I would have got to try the 3rd bloc. But being able to pull something out of the bag first go under all that pressure is one of the skills in competition climbing! I was very happy with my 6th place. Well done to Alex who won the event 🙂

Here are some photos:

Addidas Rockstars Final, Photo Udo Neumann

Sharing ideas in the Addidas Rockstars Final, Photo Udo Neumann


Also some here http://www.adidas-rockstars.com/en/gallery/photos/

From Stuttgart I flew to London to see my family for the evening before Dave and I drove to Fontainebleau. Were were there for 4 days to celebrate our friend’s 40th birthday and we had a great time. Despite the heat (up to 35 deg on one day!) we climbed as much as we could. I managed to do a few things that I hadn’t done before including l’Arrache Couer, El Poussah and Rataplat, all very cool problems. We also tried l’angle parfait which I want to finish sometime…

Attempting l’angle Parfait, Photo David Mason.

Benoir, resident cat at The House, Tousson. Photo David Mason


Highball problem at Elephant, Photo David Mason.


Photo David Mason

Nap time in the forest, Photo David Mason.


After a hot drive home I am glad to be back. A bit of climbing this week  before heading back to Germany for the IFSC World Cup in Munich….