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Tri Service Bouldering League

On Wednesday 12 November 2014, eight members of The Band of The Parachute Regiment took part in Round 2 of the Tri Service Bouldering League (TSBL) at The Project Climbing Centre in Poole, Dorset.

Bouldering is rock climbing stripped down to its raw essentials. It can be done inside or outdoors, leaves behind ropes and harnesses and just uses climbing shoes and a bag of chalk over safety mats. The challenge is to climb short but tricky "problems" (a route, or sequence of moves) using balance, technique, strength, and your brain.

The league is organized by the Army Mountaineering Association and brings together climbers from all three services; the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force and is open to Regular, Reserve and Cadet Force personnel.

The day consisted of over 70 climbers competing to accumulate as many points as possible within 4 hours. 25 problems were set ranging from ‘easy’ to ‘hard’ with 10 points for completing the route on a first attempt, 7 on a second try, 3 for just completing and 1 for reaching any marked bonus holds.

By the end of the day the classic climbing clichés were in full flow, “It would be fine in my other shoes . . . if I had tried that when I was fresh . . . I’m just so ‘pumped’”. After a disproportionate amount of time spent gazing quizzically at the hold working out how best to make it ‘definitely do-able’, using a team member’s weight in chalk and many cups of tea, everyone was glad to have some time to rest, wish they had trained harder and look forward to the next round. Out of 6 rounds, an individual’s best 3 scores count towards the final result that is announced at the headline event at HQ Joint Service Mountain Training Centre, Indefatigable in Anglesey.


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