Coaches mini Blog: Petzl Lead Climbing Championships – The Results

A massive thank you to everyone for attending, it was a great day and we hope you all enjoyed!

From the start the day was set to be a great event, competitors gave it their all with every Final coming down to the final points! Veteran Males even forced a Super Final!!!

Congratulations to all our finalists.

For the final results please click here, please note that results are based off of Final climbs, any ties then went to count back, then time.

The Qualification routes and Final routes will be up until the new year so make sure you get down in the next few month to tick of those projects…

Keep an eye out on our blog page of the website for our Coaches blog on the event coming next week….

Male Open FinalJames Petzl




Petzl Finalists

Coaches Blog: RCC Academy at the Welsh Climbing Championships 2014

Article written by Tom Vaessen, RCC Manager and Coach, Photos by Tom Vaessen and Paul Rose.RCC Academy 2014

With the winter nights drawing in and the competition session well and truly underway, the last few months have seen the RCCAcademy preparing with hours of competition preparation training. With sterling performances at the BMC British Lead Climbing Championships and RCC’s very own Winter Bouldering League Round 1, our attention turned to the Welsh Climbing Championships and the Climbing Centre Groups Petzl Lead Climbing Championship.

First up, the Welsh Climbing Championships at Boulders Cardiff. It was an early start Saturday morning, but with a BBC Radio 1 shout out showing support for the RCC Academy, the drive went quick and before we knew it we arrived at Boulders!

9am came, and after registration the team joined for a group briefing with myself. With 2 of the RCC Academy returning to retain their championship titles, plus a further 7 members all wanting a piece of the action, psyche was high! With only an hour until comp kick off, it was time to put all those hours of route reading into practice! The team split into their categories and set off to find their routes. As a coach of over 10 years, I have to say I have never seen a group of kids work so well together to not only ensure they saw every hold, every move, every clip and every rest but they supported each other and their confidence just grew! Once they had discussed every element of their routes, including sequence options, clipping positions etc, it was time for me to have one last run through. The layout of the day was as follows, each competitor had 3 qualification routes to attempt. After these the top 10 go through to the Semi Finals where they have 5 minutes to view their routes as a group. After this they are sent to isolation, to then 1 by 1 try their route. The top 5 competitors from the semis then progress to the finals! Then it’s all down to the final route!!!! Scores work by each hold getting a point, then additional points for move off of, and then touching the next hold i.e. each hold is worth 3 points. Topping the route for bottom rope, or clipping the chain for lead climbs, gains competitors the full 100 points..

Welsh Open HarryWelsh Open SamWelsh Open Saviley  Welsh Open Tom

Qualifications up first and reigning champion and GB Junior Team member, Catrin Rose was up for girl’s category B. As always Catrin was calm, collected and knew exactly what to do! She completed route 1 without breaking a sweat! Next up was boys’ category B, and this saw Ewan, Joe and Sam follow suit with 3 awesome first climbs. Boys’ category C was a really exciting group for RCC. James Bateman, as Catrin, was returning to retain his title, plus Tom Wenzcek was making his first ever non RCC major climbing competition appearance and boy were these two psyched. Again, all the hours of training paid of and route 1 was completed by James, with Tom just missing out dropping the penultimate move. At this point I took Tom to one side to discuss his climb, see how he was feeling and to remind him, that yes he had dropped a few points, but he had to compose himself, think there where still two other routes left, and the semi finals were still within reach! Tom did exactly that, went grabbed a drink and off he went to route 2. In the mean time our last 3 competitors were up. All in category D, Saveliy, Harry and Molly started their 1st route. Saveliy and Harry up first and they didn’t disappoint again solid climbs both gaining a comfortable 100 points. Molly, Harry’s, sister was a 1 day guest of the RCC Academy, taking part in her first ever competition! She did amazingly, after spending a bit of time figuring out the crux, she just missed out on full points by a tricky top section. So route 1s down, great efforts, time to turn the attention to routes 2 & 3. Again, I couldn’t have asked for more. All members gave it their all, and just to mention few climbs, Joe, Ewan and Sams ascents of route 2, was amazing. Joe was first in his category, and with great route reading and team work all 3 boys completed. Sam was last up out of the three and with 50% of the moves being max span for him, it just goes to show no move is too big!

Welsh Open Joe

Qualis completed and I was proud to see that 6 of the team members had made semi finals! Catrin, Joe, Ewan, James, Tom and Saveliy had minutes to compose themselves, read theirs routes and then get to isolation! If you’ve never experienced competition isolation, it is intense. You can hear everything, but never sure as to wants happened, did the previous climber top, do you have to send to reach the finals and even worse, when it is your time to climb, it’s all eyes on you! The team how ever did….. well, I can’t think of another word, amazing!

Joe and Ewan unfortunately had a long wait, after 15 reached the semi finals, the day had dragged on and the competition was fierce! Both gave great performances on the comp wall but just missed out on reaching the finals. Saveliy had a similar story, a mid height ‘round the clock’ sequence confused so many, and meant he also just missed out. Tom, bearing in mind it was one of his first ever comps, was up first for his category. When we first read the route we were concerned as to the reach of a low section sequence so a few options were given to Tom. Well… he did need it, from his first step off the ground, every move was considered yet assertive and the first section of the route, he flew up. After completing the crux, Tom was faced by a move, were the setters had forced a tricky cross over, making the climbers trust their feet on a slopped volume. This was a reach too far for Tom, not quite trusting his feet, the move was just out of reach. It was then down to where the rest of his category would get. James, up next for boys C, and he showed why he was reining champ giving an almost flawless performance topping his semi route. I am also happy to say that after all boys C had completed, and I was grabbing time for a coffee, when I was greeted by a gleaming Tom, screaming at the top of his Lungs, ‘I’ve made the finals!!!’ Catrin, although having a fall right at the top of her route, also made finals but was joint first meaning it was going to be a very close one!

Welsh Open Catrin

Welsh Open JamesWhen the finals came, Catrin was up last in her category. We had already seen 3 girls top the route, meaning she would have to top, to be in with a chance to win! When I say she cruised her route, I mean that in the 4 years I have coached her, I have never seen her so relaxed yet when needed just turn the switch, a true comp climber and worthy of her GB place. Unfortunately, as 1 other competitor had matched her climbs, she was tied at joint 1st place meaning there would be a super final between the two girls, and boy did the route looked tough!

It was a tough final, with powerful moves from the start saw so many drops in the first few clips. However I’m happy to say that RCC saw its 2 reigning champions retain their titles and for first time Welsh Climbing Championship competitor, Tom came 5th!

A great day all round. A huge thanks to the Boulders team for running a great event, to all the academy members for giving it their all and lastly all the academy parents for their on going support and dedication.

Well, it’s officially the longest blog yet, but as you can see lots to write about and I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it J

Next on the calendar, Petzl Lead Climbing Championships; 22nd Nov 2014 and Winter Bouldering League Round 2; 27th Nov 2014.

Happy climbing

Picture courtesy of Helen Bateman, a very proud mum, 3 years in a row :)

Catrin & James

Coaches Blog: 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.

Bank Holiday Opening

We will be open as normal over the August Bank Holiday, so why not come & join us for a climb!


With daily Kids Clubs and Taster Sessions for adults & families, there’s plenty to do at Harrogate Climbing Centre this Bank Holiday!

Our opening times are:

Saturday 23rd August – 10am until 6pm

Sunday 24th August – 10am until 6pm

Monday 25th August – 10am until 10pm


See you over the holidays!

The Summer has begun here at Reading Climbing Centre…

Kids' Holidays at Manchester Climbing Centre

Over the summer holidays we will be running a series of courses and sessions designed to make climbing accessible for all ages and abilities. Whether you are after a one off casual session or a half day course, we have it all…

Half-Day Kids Casual Club

Looking for something different and active for your kids to do this summer, if so, why not book them onto one of our ‘Half-day Kids Casual Sessions’.

Our instructors will be there at all times to make sure your kids are both safe and having fun. A short break is included, to ensure they have a chance to hydrate and re-fuel. These sessions are available on:

Tuesday’s 2.30pm-5pm

Thursday’s 10am-12.30pm

Book Now

Kids Intro Climbing Course

An entry level 1 week course (x3 2.5hrs sessions), aimed at junior beginners (7-17yrs), who would like to learn the basic skills involved in the sport of climbing, this is the best way to get your kids into climbing.

The course syllabus is based on NICAS Level 1, which is the UK nationally recognised climbing scheme, after this award you can progress through the levels of the scheme to become a competent climber.

Course price includes; tuition, equipment hire and Level 1/2 Logbook

Book Now

NICAS Drop-in Sessions

Levels 2 & above

These sessions are coached drop-in sessions for people already enrolled on the NICAS Scheme with us. They are available to be booked for children who are completing their NICAS level 2 or above. Please be aware this is a top-roped session.

These are running on a Tuesday (12.30pm-2pm) and Saturday (10.30am-12pm) thorough out the summer holiday period.

Levels 4 & 5

If you are currently completing NICAS levels 4-5 and would like a lead session please contact us as these can be booked on a per session basis for two or more children.

Book Now



Holiday Kids Clubs

We run one off kids clubs throughout the Summer Holidays for kids aged 5-17 years old

Little Monkeys (5 and 6 year-olds)

Little Monkeys is a great way to get your young climbers going and building one their skills in a fun environment. Sessions are taught for one hour in small groups, and give your young climbers the chance to have a go and get into climbing.

Cost: £10 per session

Rock-Its Club (7 to 11 year-olds)

These clubs are a great way for young climbers to progress further and meet other climbers of their age. Come along to a casual session and see how you get on, then you may also want to join one of our 6-week NICAS courses next term!

Cost: £15 per session

Hang Time (11 to 17 year-olds)

Hang Time is a youth club for older kids and teenagers with a real social element. The sessions are relaxed whilst focusing on enjoyment and teaching climbing technique and the safety skills required to progress in the sport.

Cost: £15 per session

Book Now