Competitions – TCA Glasgow Bouldering

Well I am totally broken today, as I mentioned in the Pro Balm Review my hands and fingers are in tatters, but this morning my shoulders, neck and back are stiff as a board. My biceps and my elbows are just throbbing (probably too many strenuous lock offs). I think this is a good excuse to break out the muscle rub that Badger Balm kindly sent to us.

The TCA Glasgow has run a competition before in December. This month’s competition was just as awesome. The competition rules where set around red pointing but with a TCA spin on the usual rules. Instead of flashing the route in one go, you can have unlimited attempts at the route to work it out, however you only get full marks for completing the route from start to finish in one attempt. You can work the crux of a problem until you get it right but you won’t get the points until you do the full route. If you can only get so far, key holds are numbered with a value up to the last hold at a value of 50 points. So even if you can’t complete the route you can still chalk up points. This idea is similar to the GCC’s bonus hold system at their competitions.

We are men we don't need your instructions!

To those who think this made the competition, easy you are wrong. The problems set in this competition were excruciating to say the least, the TCA had set the routes far harder than usual in order to still make the competition a challenge. A challenge it was, many, many people were coming off the wall at all sorts of angles, it seemed that if you didn’t tear something you weren’t trying hard enough. Slight injuries where common, unfortunately one fellow boulder monkey came off an aggressive dyno in a bad way, dropping around 10 feet on to his elbow. He received a quick bit of medical attention then he was sent to the hospital for a proper diagnosis. Be warned, big thick mats do not prevent injuries.

Before you all snap into a nanny state blame culture mindset, let us take a moment to put our brains in and switch them on. The chap who fell followed the route of his own accord no one forced him, and the main reason he got injured was that he wasn’t being spotted, the guy/s he was with stood by and let him dyno, he swung out on the hold to far meaning his body came down sideways. I and many others tried this same problem with adequate spotting and no injuries. Just like belaying in lead climbing, your spotter needs to be on the ball.

Lots of pinch action crossing multiple faces of the wall.

This moment of bad luck didn’t put anyone off going for that dyno though. Instead it just attracted a bigger crowd and higher dynos. In the end I didn’t see anyone take the route (I told you it was hard) but there was no shortage of excellent attempts and airtime that would make the NBA jealous.

TCA Glasgow - cold at the best of times when the sun goes down this place get freezing, so don't stop climbing.


The 1st part of the competition finished around four pm and everyone handed in their score cards. The highest scoring entrants continued on to the finals later in the evening. The TCA competition wall had routes being set on it for the purpose of destroying the finalists. The comp wall is impressive enough but the routes set involved tricky overhangs, powerful pinches and awkward slopers, enough to test anybodies metal. The finals consisted of juniors and adult rounds with male and female categories. The wall had been split to 6 routes one set of 3 female and one set of 3 male routes, these where then rotated between the 3 finalists from each category, gruelling.

A totally exhausting and exciting day, I got to do some routes I didn’t expect that I could do and try my hand at routes that I couldn’t. It was a learning experience and a fun day out. As I type this I discovered that I also have sore ribs. In my view if you come back bruised and sore it must have been a good day. For more pictures of the event, results and to find out when the next event will be held jump over to the TCA Glasgow blog.

In the mean time I’ll be working my pinches and leg flexibility in prep for the next comp, any tips on this would be greatly appreciated.


One Response to Competitions – TCA Glasgow Bouldering

  1. Proper hard circuits this time, totally ripped my fingers to shreds

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