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Youth Climbing Series


The Castle is proud to be hosting the third round of the London & South East North Youth Climbing Series (YCS) on 25th March. The routes will be harder than before and competitors will be putting in their best efforts to see if they can gain a top three placing overall which will have them heading to the Grand Finals in April up at Ratho Edinburgh. Here's the low-down on how it works and what happened in the past two rounds.

The Youth Climbing Series is a BMC competition run for youth climbers from the ages of 8 -17. The series offers a fun competition climbing experience for youth climbers across the country. It is open to all young people of all levels so the mixture of participants can range from someone who’s only recently taken up the sport to someone who’s been climbing for years.

How does it work?

  • 5 age categories, split into male and female categories
  • Based on the IFSC (international Federation of Sport Climbing) system
  • Each competitor will complete 3 boulder problems and 3 routes at each round
  • The competition has 3 regional rounds with the top 3 in each category heading to the finals. 

These events are coordinated by AYC’s (Area Youth coordinator) who volunteer their time to the BMC to run each round. In the London & South East North region we have Juan Avendano and Lisa Farris who both work for The Castle. Juan has volunteered as an AYC for 7 years so has a wealth of experience and has seen YCS grow as a competition. Lisa is in her first season as an AYC. On the day these events run using volunteers from the walls and parents to assist with belaying, judging and chaperoning and without their continued support the events would not be the great days that they are. 

The season started in the London & South East North region on Saturday 28th January at The Reach Climbing Centre. At 10am 130 competitors gathered for a briefing before climbing started. The buzz in the room was amazing and the youth climbers were very eager to get the season underway. The day saw some great efforts and achievements and was filled with a lot of happy faces and support for fellow climbers. 

One month later and the London & South East North region headed to The Reading Climbing Centre 138 youth climbers arrived ready to tackle their routes and boulder problems knowing that this round the difficulty had been ramped up. The day went very smoothly with the youth climbers putting in maximum effort to get the highest score they could. As climbing came to a close there were many saying the routes were quite a bit tougher than the last round but the field had been split. And it was time for the podiums. The route setting team of Rob Lloyd, Max Ayrton & Gav Symonds had set the routes and boulders to just the right level.