UCR Climbing Festival Report

In our 22nd year the UCR Climbing festival swung into action again on Saturday 2nd November.

We had fantastic boulder problems and routes for all our friendly competitors to throw themselves at. From the start the bouldering wall was a hive of chalky activity but the really spectacular challenge were the huge hanging volumes on the first open lead competition route – or the ‘wobbly blocks’. Although furnished with jugs these gave plenty of upsidedowny, swingy puzzlement for all who ventured on to them. Below there were trade stands from DMM destroying gear with their nasty machine and a La Sportiva boot demo from Lyon Equipment with Whilst all this was going on the DJ on the pulpit was beating out the motivational sounds!

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Upstairs we had a bargain gear shop provided by Taunton Leisure, our trade partners and sponsors of the centre. There were also free technical workshops run by JP Edgington MIA who taught many attendees about the black arts of gear placement, anchor construction and other rope trickery including how to cut your rope in seconds with only a prussic!

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Back on the main floor there were free taster sessions taking part for anyone who cared to give climbing a go for the first time whilst the competition raged on. In the afternoon boulderers and climbers alike were sustained by the UCR BBQ battling valiantly with the gale outside. About 150 burgers and hot dogs were served up to hungry people.

By 430 all the results were in and the finalists for the bouldering comp took part in a head to head final with fresh ‘ard blocks to smash. A thrilling session saw the strong Cailean Harker win the men’s and Undercover Youth Squad member Hannah Slaney win the female comp. After this all the prizes were given out in a ceremony that saw well over £2000 of prizes given out all generously donated by Taunton Leisure as well as DMM and Lyon Equipment.

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Finally the evening was rounded off with an inspirational talk from Neil Gresham showing some serious deep water soloing in Pembroke and his successful Triple Crown Challenge in the Llanberis Pass – Jerry’s roof, Lord of the Flies E6 and Central Icefall Direct VI – all in a day!

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