Academy session with James Pearson & Caroline Ciavaldini!

What we learnt in a day…

Article written by Tom Vaessen, RCC Manager and Coach. Photos by Tom Vaessen and Will Hatt.


A very happy, tiered team…

Friday evening our coaching account received an exciting email confirming guest appearances from world class climbers James Pearson and Caroline Ciavaldini. The plan, to work with the coaching team and give our academy members a coaching session they’ll never forget! Emails were sent, academy members replied and the date was set!

At 11am Sunday morning Head Coach Will Hatt and myself were joined by the academy members, all eager eyed and ready to meet their guest coaches where we started things off with a meet and greet.

JP CC AcademyJames started by explaining how his climbing career began. Living in the peaks as a young boy, walking past the crags on a daily basis, James always had an interest in climbing. It wasn’t until he was 16 that his climbing life began and he turned his hand to trad and bouldering. Now these once viewed classic lines would become his training ground. Over the years James continued to develop his outdoor climbing using venues such as our very own Manchester Climbing Centre. Today he is now classed as one of the UK’s best climbers with ticks including routes such as the infamous Rhapsody E11.


Caroline’s background was a little different. As a young girl growing up in France, she was given the opportunity to not only climb on a daily basis, but also encouraged to compete and train. With more of a training focus, she continued to develop these skills into her adult life were she has completed such feats as climbing 8c (Fish Eye in Catalonia) and even finding a bit of time for the odd trad route with James, E9!!!

Although they have different backgrounds, they both agreed that to succeed you have to train smart, you must listen to your body, set goals, the wilder the better, but more importantly enjoy your climbing, judge your climbing on your performance, not others, and don’t be afraid to be critical, even from the smallest mistakes. At the end of the day, that’s how we learn! With the all the above, the academy was in for a treat!

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La Sportiva Winter Bouldering League: Round 1 Next Week!

 Setters Ethan Walker and Rob Lloyd booked and confirmed!

Winter Bouldering League Reading

As the nights grow darker and the weather declines, the La Sportiva Winter Bouldering League returns to keep your psyche levels high and your climbing technique tip-top!

With a social focus, this is a competition aimed to bring climbers of all ages and abilities together, to climb the great problems, improve their skill levels over the season and most of all, have fun!

This year, there is a change to the categories, with juniors age 7-11 and 12-16. The Veterans category has gone, replaced by two adult open categories, from V0 to V4 and V4 to V8+. It is up to each competitor which group to enter themselves for, and can change between categories until their scorecard is submitted for the penultimate round. The centre can put competitors in a different category if they feel it is more appropriate, and must agree the category you choose

The League ends with a grand final event, with La Sportiva athletes in attendance to give advice, hang out with everyone and, all importantly, to award the prizes! The final problems are all worth double-points, giving you a last chance to really boost your overall score.

It’s not all about the final score though, there will be random spot prizes throughout the winter, maybe for being the most helpful to other competitors, the craziest beta on a problem, most stylish ascent, the possibilities are endless!

Scorecards cost £1 per round and are available from reception when you arrive. Each round starts at 6pm, see you there!

October Half Term Courses


This October half term we have a jam packed schedule of sessions and courses idea for giving your kids an experience into the exciting world of climbing.

What’s on:

  • For those who want to get into climbing we have Kids Introduction to Climbing Courses for children ages 7 to 17.
  • We have our ever popular Half Day Kid’s Clubs and Casual Kid’s Clubs. These are for children of all ages to try climbing in a group environment with kids of similar ages. Click Here for more info and to book…
  • Looking for a more tailor made session, why not try one of our junior, family or even adult taster sessions. For details on our taster session options please Click Here


What’s NEW:

  • This half term we are introducing an Introduction to Climbing Course specifically designed for 5-7 year olds looking to make a progress from the Little Monkeys casual sessions.


 All of the above are available now to book online, but please note with limited spaces they will go fast!




BLCC’s 4th & 5th Oct 2014 Round up

Reported by Danny Haynes, Reading Climbing Centre Coach

Saturday morning we woke to a drizzly damp Sheffield, the Team was psyched to be climbing indoors and not out in the Peak!!

We arrived at Awesome Walls Sheffield got signed in and immediately the Team were in awe of the comp wall they would soon be climbing on! Once they were settled, myself and Coach Elliot, went through a basic warm up ensuring that all elements were covered, including simple easy climbing to try and calm any pre-comp nerves. It was clear they were all up for a day of strong climbing, as the competition field look fierce, with a good turn out from Team GB.

The line up was called out and Ewan was up 3rd out of his Category C, he climbed really well and topped his first qualifying route. Luke, Catrin and Joe were then up, putting in great performances all round on their routes. Once the first round of qualifiers were over there was a bit of a wait before the second routes were called out. This gave us time to discuss there second routes. Sequences were read, clips were discussed and soon their second qualifiers were upon us. The team yet again all produced great climbs. Two of the RCC Academy Team members made the finals of their categories, Ewan Walker and GB Junior Member Catrin Rose.

BLCC 2014 CatrinBLCC 2014 LukeBLCC 2014 Joe15439229076_be1aa3ffa4_z

The day was nicely broken up with the Para Climbing Series taking place, this was awe inspiring to watch and to be a part of with some incredible feats of climbing going on!

BLCC 2014 Ewan Route ReadingAt 4.30pm the finals began! As the final routes were announced and the finalists gathered at the base of their routes, including RCC’s Academy members, all the months of route reading practice, onsite preparation and competition training came into effect. Both climbers gave it their all. Reigning BLCC 2013 Champion for Category C, Catrin Rose, missed out on a podium spot by a single hold, and Ewan Walker, current Scottish Leading Climbing 2014 3rd place Medallist for Category C, finished in a respectable 6th place, ending the day with the statement ‘‘You can’t come top 3 in every comp you enter!’

BLCC 2014 Catrin Route Reading



With heads held high the Academy Team had done RCC proud. They had all given it their all, had gained some invaluable competition experience and some great feedback from the coaches to work on.

This week on the Academy calendar, in preparation for the ‘Winter Opens’ this November, “Competition Analysis”.

For full details of the BLCCs results and BMC report, click here…

A huge thanks to all the Academy parents for their support last weekend, Tanya & Paul for the great shots and to the BMC for yet again another great event.

Did You Know? This Sept we have set…

This September we have been busy getting the UK’s best setters in to keep the main hall and boulder fresh with over 130 new routes and blocs!

Pink Circuit


Keep up to date with ‘What’s On’, ‘Events’ and ‘Did You Knows?’ via our social media pages, Facebook and Twitter plus our NEW notice board, located on the mezzanine!



This month to kick things off we’ve had La Sportiva sponsored Leah Crane in resetting the Orange V5-V7 circuit

Orange Circuit

Next week Liam ‘The Hitman’ Halsey returns for a week of main hall and boulder circuit resets!