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Sunday, 5 June 2011

Climbing Comp at Rockover Manchester

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Had a great, if tiring day out at Rockover Climbing wall yesterday. It was their First Birthday bash, and they were celebrating in style. The wall had been closed from Thursday, setting up problems and planning the final part of the competition - which was to go up at the end of the day while the competitors were in isolation.

We arrived early - at about 10 or so, and were astonished to learn that people had already tried to register for the comp - an hour before - it wasn't even going to be open until 11!

The wall looked great, DMM were there with the gear testing rig, Maverick Slacklines were going to be setting up later in the day, food was being prepared and the atmosphere was great. We lugged our stuff upstairs and began setting up - trying not to get in the way of where the slacklines were going to be, and after a short time had got our area prepped and ready to go.

Soon the climbers started arriving, and we had been briefed that it would be pretty quiet for the first hour or so while they all got on with the problems, and then more and more people would wander up.

However, at the beginning of the competition, as the competitiors wandered around looking at the problems, we did get a couple of guys wander up for a pre-climb massage, which was good. There was a box for donations to Oldham Mountain Rescue, so everyone that we treated was encouraged to give a small donation to them. Everyone was very generous and the box was quite heavy at the end of the day. Thanks Everyone!

Soon enough midday came and the air filled with chalk dust as 200 or so climbers launched themselves at the walls around the centre. It was not long until the first few people started trickling in.

Forearms, backs, shoulders, everything that we expected, but also some legs and calves which were hurting from lots of landing on them. The trickle turned into a flow and soon we were going all out, and time flew. I have no idea how long we went for, or how many people we treated, but all of a sudden it was 4pm and the top climbers were going into isolation - so that they could not see the final problems going up on the walls.

I left Lynne up with a small queue of people and made my way down to the "cave" where they were waiting to offer my services.
The isolation "cave"
Again, as expected, it was all forearms and shoulders, getting blood out of the pumped arms, and giving them a bit more life in the fingers. I was expecially careful not to get any lotion on the hands - friction being pretty important for climbers, and lotion really doesn't help all that much with that.

Once the finals had begun in earnest, I wandered back up to the top to help Lynne out, and spent the last few hours splitting my time between upstairs with Lynne and downstairs behind scenes, helping out with the competitors, forearms, cramping legs - and at the end, medial epicondilitis of the elbow. (yes, he was a trainee doctor and knew exactly what he had).

While I was doing that, Lynne was busy helping prepare the band for their evening of drumming and strumming - massaging sore arms and hands - with the drummer proclaiming that he felt like a new man and ready to play after treatment!

At the end of the day we were pretty tired - more tired - I would venture to say - than some of the climbers who we treated. We didn't stick around for the post comp party - having to drive back home in the state we were in was just about fine - but a couple of hours later and it might have been a much more tired version of us that would have to negotiate Manchesters bizarre set of roads around and out of the centre.

We packed all the stuff back down into the car, said our goodbyes, and headed out.
What a day- treated a goodly number of people, raised money for mountain rescue, had an excellent time, and made a load of new friends.

And today is a day of rest - and boy do we need it. I'd forgotten how much event work takes it out of you - doesn't feel like it at the time - I was full of energy and running around for hours on end, but today is the catch up day, chill out time.

Thanks muchly to Tom and Paul who invited us over to help out with the Party, hopefully we can fix something up in the near future where we come to the wall every week treating climbers and helping them get better.

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