Scottish Lead and Speed Climbing Championships & Junior Lead Cup Round 2

Scottish Lead and Speed Climbing Championships & Junior Lead Cup Round 2

As usual we drove up on Thursday afternoon and arrived late and stayed the night in the Premier Inn. We got to Ratho for 10:00am the next morning for a quick speed climbing practice as there are no speed climbing wall in Wales! (hint!)


My first time was slow but I had about 15 attempts and managed about 17.50, I was not happy with this as my PB is 16.49 but I hoped this time would be low enough to qualify. After this we went over to Snow Factor in Glasgow to try out some snowboarding because it was my brothers birthday. It took my mind off the comp and I learnt the basics of snowboarding!

We went back to the hotel for tea, watched the rugby and got an earlyish night.

Saturday morning we got up early and arrived at the EICA just after 8. I like to get to the centre early so I have a lot of time to read the routes. Registration wasn’t open yet so we went straight downstairs to read the routes. I threw my stuff on a bench and saw that only the first qualifiers were up. My qualifier was on a vertical wall. It had lots of small crimps and black tape all the way to stop bridging.  This made a lot of the moves look awkward.

Before the climbing started at 10, my dad signed me in and I was number 70. The running order was then posted and I was up 7th. This was an ideal position because it was around the middle of the group.

The route didn’t seem to suit a lot of the group and quite a few fell off fairly early. I got ready and watched Katherine climb as she was 6th up. She took her time but managed to top it – she was the first in the group to top it.

This made me more confident that I could top it, but nervous as I didn’t want to make a mistake. After asking the judge a load of questions I pulled on.

Here is a video with commentary of my first qualifier:

Pretty much as soon as I had topped the first qualifier my second qualifier was posted. It was female A’s first qualifier (pink). It looked really hard so I had a longer look with my binoculars for ten minutes before doing the speed qualifier.


After the speed, I read the pink again and watched some of the other girls climb it. I was second to last so I had a long wait. When it was my turn I was a bit nervous because Katherine (who climbed just before me) had trouble when she clipped in the second roof clip and I thought it was twisted but she said it would be okay and decided I would sort it out when I got there.

Here is a video commentary of my second qualifier:

When I topped the route I knew I had made the final because no one else had topped both routes. I was happy to have made the final so I had some popcorn and crisps.

We went into isolation 2 minutes before it closed at 3:15 and bagsied a corner of the bouldering room. We were in isolation for about an hour and three quarters before coming out to read our routes. The organizers seemed to take a long time to pick these routes. The routes were as follows (all on the main comp wall) :

  • Girls C – Blue (Girls B Q1)
  • Boys C – Green (Girls B Q2, Boys A Q1)
  • Girls B – Pink (Girls C Q2, Girls A Q1)
  • Boys A, B,  Junior – Yellow 
  • Girls A, Junior – Green (Boys C Q1, Boys B Q2)
Some of the final climbs didn’t really make sense e.g. Girls B had my (Girls C) second qualifier and three of them topped it.
After route reading I noticed that the top two clips were clipped up, so I checked that they were going to be unclipped when we climbed but they hadn’t noticed so they said they would unclip them with the cherry picker when we went into isolation. When the first person was sent to climb, the next person was sent behind the wall so they could tie in, but not view the other climber. I was out last, tied in and put my shoes on behind the wall. I was a bit nervous at this point. When I walked out I double checked that the clips were undone and they were so I less nervous. As I was last out I had a final route read before I got on. 

Here is a video of the final:

It felt awesome to have topped all the routes and just to put me in an even better mood I found out that I had qualified first in the speed with a time of time 18.41. I knew I had a while before the speed finals because the lead finals hadn’t finished and the mini kids speed finals were first so I had a cake and a chat. When I arrived at the speed climb I was told that my competitor had gone so, as it was knockout, I just had to hit the buzzer to get to the semi finals. I didn’t go my fastest as my time didn’t matter and I managed to hit the buzzer under 20 sec. After this I had to wait for the rest of the quarter finals to finish for the B&C boys and girls. I was against Emma in the semis – last year we were the two finalists. I was nervous as I wanted to make the finals. I stood on the line and clipped into the left side. My time was just over 17 sec and I made it to the final. It felt great to be in the finals and I had a break which the others completed their semis. 
I was in the final with the second fastest qualifier who qualified half a second slower than me. I was excited for the final and knew I would have to climb my fastest to win. I really enjoy going head to head in speed. This makes me climb faster because I can see where the other climber is and push myself to go faster. In the final I managed to get a new PB of 16.32 seconds!!

Speed Final;

Apart from the amount of time we spent in isolation, I thought the competition ran very smoothly. I loved the routes and was really pleased to have won. Although I am very jealous of the trophies the Scottish champions get – maybe we should have special trophies in the Welsh Championships!

Results are here.

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