Saturday, 4 April 2015

Thank you TCA!

John and I made it down to the TCA Bristol Competition for a great afternoon and evening with some cool people.

We did the comp together as a VI team, where John marked my score card and and I marked his in between sight calling the problems. John flashed a couple of problems I fell off, and vice versa, and I came 8th and John 25th  out of 36 in the men's open flash category. I suspect John  blindly ticked the wrong box on my card, but hey, I will happily take 8th amongst these guys...

It was great climbing at a comp in this inclusive way and also being able to demonstrate John's mental determination and physical strength in a bouldering competition environment. 

Sight Calling with John in Comp

I was always a fan of the TCA as I was one of the first in the door when they opened their Glasgow bouldering centre a few years ago. I was working with Malcolm Smith  and the 'Dumby boys' on the ropes at the Finnart Oil Terminal as part of a small team of 4, with Malcolm as our team leader. We would do our day job then all speed out the security gates from the loch side terminal and race down to the new TCA in Glasgow about every night until our bodies said 'rest'.Took a few weeks for that to happen!I think it is one of the best bouldering centres in Europe.

Malcolm S on font 7c+ at Dumby, Glasgow
TCA Glasgow

The Climbing Academy prides itself on being as inclusive and accessible as possible: In-house instructors are trained in:
  • Inclusive Communication - using appropriate language to ensure safe, effective and fun climbing sessions.
  • Sight-Guiding - using specific systems to guide people with visual impairments while climbing.
  • They also have a volunteer BSL Interpreter available if necessary.
  • They offer free inductions and life-time registrations, for parents or carers of children and adults with disabilities, which allows you then to climb together independently of an instructor.
I met someone from my past in Stoke on Trent when I soloed at the Roaches with Andy Popp, Alan Williams, Nick Dickson and Johnny Dawes. Turns out he is now the father of Hamish Potokar who won the men's final! A fitting end  for me to a great event ran by kind people; Paul Twomey & Richard Emerson from TCA Bristol and Rosa from BICFest.

For me, the Eiger Paraclimb is all about being kind and inspired as a human being, not too much more, I think.

Thank you TCA and all the competitors for your amazing donations to our quest. Inspired!!!

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