Thursday, 24 March 2011


I'm heading off to Spain next Tuesday for a few weeks to meet up with some friends and hopefully climb some sick routes. I'll be in Siurana first to meet up with Neil Mgeek and some other climbers then who know where I'll be going, hopefully Santa Linya and Margalef, why can the UK have crags like that! There's already a squad of climber from Edinburgh out there having a successful trip, I'm kind of relying on Mgeek to pick me up from the airport or I'll be sleeping there again! I don't have any routes in particular I want to try so there's no pressure just chillin in the sun doing some routes sweeeet!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Scottish High Schools Climbing Competition 2011

Saturday 12th March 2011

Another weekend, another climbing competition. This time I was competing on behalf of my school – The Royal High School.

The SSCC is only in its second year. It was the idea of a teacher from St Aloysius College and is supported by Mountaineering Council of Scotland. It aims to encourage schools to take their pupils along to indoor walls and give climbing a go either as part of their PE class or as an after-school activity. This year 75 S1-S6 pupils took part in the qualifying rounds in Stirling, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow and the top 16 went forward into the final at Glasgow Climbing Centre.

With last year’s winner, and fellow GB team mate, Eleanor Hopkins still out with injury, there were only 6 girls taking part. In a deviation from the norm we all went into isolation from the start and boys and girls climbed the same routes. The first two were easy and all but one climber topped out; but I never take anything for granted. It only takes a moment’s lapse in concentration for a foot to slip. The third, and final, route was on the feature wall and a significant step up in grade but even so 5 of us flashed it. The organisers called a super final and told us it would start in 10 minutes. The didn’t tell us which route it would be but there was only one tricky one on the wall so we all stood and talked it through then it was back into isolation. I was last out to climb but could hear the audience cheer when Angus Davidson reached the top. I also heard the gasps when my competition Rebekah Drummond fell. I couldn’t let Angus get one up on me so I had to top. It was challenging with lots of slopers and some tricky footwork. The last few moves were nasty but I made it.

Alan Cassidy was there to present the prizes which included a very fancy silver trophy. Unfortunately I was told this was for my school so I won’t get to stick it on my bedroom shelf. It was a good day and I hope next year there are more people taking part.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Scotland South YCS Round 1

Saturday 5th March 2011

I was back at The Peak Climbing wall in Stirling again for round 1 of the Scotland South YCS. We start in March to avoid the worst of the Scottish weather. Being on the GB team I can't compete so thought I’d give demo-ing another go. It's good to keep involved in the series and some of the younger climbers I work with at my club were taking part so I wanted to be there for them too.

Angus Davidson and I spent most of the morning choosing who got the easiest routes. I still ended up with the hardest routes. We both managed to fall off at least once though.

The routes were set by Simon Tait, Gary Vincent, Robbie Phillips and Calum Forsyth assisted by Eleanor Hopkins and Ross Kirkland; a lot of different styles to climb. Have to say it was yet again Robbie’s route I fell off. He picks the worst holds and puts them right at the end of routes, just to be mean. It doesn't help that I have to climb as an 8-10 year old would. No missing out holds or making big moves. Demos are mean't to show the participants the best way to climb a route so I had to 'think small'.

The kids were all really psyched for it and some of them climbed amazing. They all seemed really professional in the way they acted between climbs, sitting watching and shouting each other on.

Can’t wait till the next round at Edinburgh University, The Pleasance on 2nd April. Haven’t climbed there before so should be interesting. Wonder if Natalie Berry has any beta?

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Team Assessment

Looking forward to the Assessment weekend on 26th March at Leeds Wall. Some great Seniors attending such as Dave Barrans, Adam Watson, Nat Berry to name a few. This will be the starting date to select and reinvigorate a new Senior Team.
Tom Randall will be organising the training on Sunday at the Depot and here we will be introducing the new Senior Team Coach, Martin Lindley a Sports Science lecturer from Loughborough University.
The Junior Team season doesn't really get going till May with the first EYS of the year to be held at Ratho, so the Team members once selected will be in full training mode till then. Ian Dunn (Team Manager), Tom Randall (Team Coach) and Carol Hayes (Team Physio) are also taking a very small group out to Imst, Austria in April (Ed Hamer, Luke Tilley, Edd Mowbray, Tara Hayes and Molly Thompson Smith) in preparation for the EYS's and the World Championships in Imst later this year.

The international competitions calendar can be found at;

The Youth C category can find the important Youth Colours in Imst and Arco on this site too. As they state, these events are Open so any young climbers from the UK can register for these events.