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General Climbing Discussion

National Difficulty - dissappointing
9:39:44 AM
Being a competitor in the under 18's competion i was disgusted at the way the competition was run on the saturday. The gym was great and the routes were very challenging, but there was alot to be desired about the belayer of the u18 males red qualification climb. The organiser, who i think was the ACT coach was crap. If were suppose to climb at 12 30 why did we start climbing at 2 30 and after he said no question is a stupid question why did he have a go at me for asking one question. did everyone else have a shit day and experience or did they enjoy it. Congrat to all the winners.

9:55:37 AM
If you don't mind me asking - where was aforementioned event held?
10:07:49 AM
sydney indoor climbing gym
10:27:16 AM
Phil, Im sorry to hear you are so disappointed. Your feedback is very important though - so that they know what needs improving.

I was about to start a thread this morning to congratulate the organisers, and especially the route setters, for doing a fantastic job overall. Personally, I was absolutely delighted to see a great onsight-lead competition in this country. First time I'd seen such a comp in many years.

This is not so say some organisational aspects couldn't be improved. My girlfriend competed in the Womens Open and her competition also ran late, which makes it very hard to time your warm-ups, but overall I thought the comp was actually run really well. Please bear in mind that organising these things is usually a thankless task. I'm sure some of the bugs will get ironed out when these sort of comps get run more regularly again (as I very much hope they do).

I agree with you about the belaying, some I saw was good, but some definitely had a lot to be desired. These people are volunteers though, so the problem is more how to get more experienced belayers to help out. More notice of that being a problem might help there.

IMO, the long routes and fantastic route setting far over-rided some of the problems on the day.

Well done everyone!

(Essentially I was just a spectator so it'd be good to hear what other competitors had to say about it too).
10:33:51 AM
Having been both a competitor competing for Australia and also been involved in the route setting and running of events whilst working at Hardrock for many years. I have seen both sides.

I know the frustration of sitting in isolation for many hours waiting to go out and compete. With an uncertain start time it's near impossible to warm up effectively and perform at your best.

But also having been involved on the other side - they are amazingly difficult events to organise. There are many factors which can add minutes if not hours to a schedule. Spinning /broken holds, flipped carabiners and route changes during the day all add up. So a two hour wait under the circumstances is quite minimal for an event such as the Nationals.

Gyms don't gain out of running events such as these - they are doing it to progress the sport. Closing a gym days earlier for route stripping and setting. Loss of earning from having the centre closed for an entire weekend on top of staffing still required to try and keep the event flowing smoothly...

With your complaints - Remember as a competitor, you have the right to voice your opinion. On the day did you make a comment to the organiser about said persons belaying? If unsatisfactory always make a formal complaint and get them moved to another role away from belaying. As they are usually volunteers their ability can vary considerably.
As to the organisers response to your question, it is dissapointing. As an Under 18 competitor, juniors are the future of the sport and therefore anything which makes the competitor jaded at this stage doesn't help the progress of the sport of competition climbing.

10:35:26 AM
Vater, before you completely condemn the running of the event, you might want to reflect on how lucky you are that the event happened at all. The ASCF is a non-profit and voluntary organisation.

Nobody gets these things right the first time. No doubt Mitch (that Canberra guy) would have worked quite hard to pull this together - maybe he was stresssed. Who knows.

The lesson to take home here is to make constructive criticism.

10:57:37 AM
Just so I know, what was wrong with the belaying?
11:00:20 AM
i wasnt condeming the whole event just some of the running of the event and you say constructive critism i said a couple of things that were good, and the gym making no money, i said that they gym was great and also the routes so isnt that good for the gym.
11:01:07 AM
and how long have we had nationals so ts not the first time
11:05:06 AM
On 30/08/2004 rodw wrote:
>Just so I know, what was wrong with the belaying?
the belayer let go of the brake rope a couple of time seen by me and others, i know falls are part of the game but some of the falls were too big, so the belayer should know that the rslack rope should not be hanging below his knees and the climber should be on top of the belay device. Thanks to the volunteers, but whats the point in volunteering if your not going to do the job properly.
11:25:57 AM
On 30/08/2004 rodw wrote:
>Just so I know, what was wrong with the belaying?

One of the belayers I saw did an excellent job. Another short-roped regularly and did not exude confidence and I know this was a genuine concern for some competitors (as it would have been for me). Generally speaking, competition belaying needs to be very dynamic. It takes a lot of experience to do well.

11:26:07 AM
true. just a thought- in a comp id rather have a loop of slack than a tight rope...assuming that the competitors were well above the ground at the time i dont see a problem with some slack (yer, below the knees is a bit much) but taking their hands off the brake end sounds pretty dodgy...
what belay devices were being used?

as has been said already 2 hours is frustrating for the competitors, but at a (national) competition the organisers are working pretty hard to get it to happen at all, and really the possibility of delays is an unfortunate and inevitable part of competitions that the limber should be prepared for

11:29:52 AM
Every comp Ive watched always has more slack than usually seen outdoors so no drag caused by belayer is possible or can be claimed...whippers are all part of the fun. Not haveing the hand on the brake though could be a problem, but what device was used?

11:34:26 AM
BTW, I should point out that I only watched the opens, whereas Vater is talking about the under 18's, so we'd likely be talking about different belayers.

On 30/08/2004 rodw wrote:
>but what device was used?
Mixture of stitch, gri-gri and figure-8 set dynamically. Only the stitch caused the problems I saw.
12:42:03 PM
On 30/08/2004 Onsight wrote:
>Mixture of stitch, gri-gri and figure-8 set dynamically. Only the stitch
>caused the problems I saw.
Can you confirm what you mean by "figure-8 set dynamically"?
1:36:33 PM
Interesting that all belay devices are allowed. It used to be a requirement that a figure 8 set up in sport belay mode was the belay method used. I just checked the 2004 UIAA rulebook and no mention was made as to the belay method/equipment that must be used.

Steve - sport belay with figure 8 is where the rope is looped through the large eye of the eight from underneath and then clipped straight into the karabiner which is also clipped into the small eye of the eight. ie rope doesn't run around the middle of the eight. Therefore feeds very freely allowing quick belaying. (couldn't find any photo's online to show this)

1:51:36 PM
when i competed in the ACT schools climbing comp last year I saw some shocking belaying, and saw someone hit the grouund (this is top rope stuf) form a way up. I think the problem was It was one the guys who organised and had a big ego so no-one wanted the ensuing argument from " uh dude, your belaying sucks"

In fact the whole thing was annoying, (mainly a lot of dudes with huge egos shitting everyone off_) except chriss webb gave out the prizes, but we didn't get to see him climb
2:12:19 PM
yeh we were having stitch used

There are 18 messages in this topic.


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