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.

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