Started in 2009, our Comp Squad has focused on developing the best young climbers at The Castle Climbing through a comprehensive training and competition programme. The Castle Squad is proud to be sponsored by Prana, Metolius and Evolv.
Castle setter and British Team member, Leah Crane, has a new video about one of her favourite bouldering areas in the UK: St Bees Head in West Cumbria. This is the first of a a new video series featuring Marmot sponsored athletes. The series, "Hand Picked" features the climbers' favourite places to climb and is part of the publicity leading up to the Kendal Mountain Festival held in November. Leah was at The Castle in October for the Loft Launch event.
The Castle sent 9 members of the Comp Squad to the national lead climbing championships, this year held in Sheffield on Saturday the 5th of October. Although this was the first national final for many of the 9 climbers, we still qualified 4 for the final with Yasmin Roberts missing out on her final by the narrowest of margins. Of special note, in the highly competitive Youth B male category, Castle Squad members (Jim Pope, Cameron McLoughlin and Stan Harris) made up half the final.
Castle Comp Squad and British Team member Jim Pope had his best international result to date with a fantastic 9th place overall at the European Youth Championships in Imst, Austria last weekend. Jim qualified for the finals in 9th place (10 make it to the finals) against a very tough field in the Male Youth B category. He maintained his rank coming 9th in the finals as well. This was his first (of hopefully many!) international finals.
The 2012/3 competition season wound up with great success. Half of the squad qualified for the national finals of the BMC Youth Climbing Series, held the 15th of June at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena. Out of over 300 of the nation's best young climbers, alll of our squad members performed exceptionally well. Grace Spence-Green (pictured above with top British climber Steve McClure), our co-captain, won her category (Girls Youth A). This achievement is all the more remarkable because it's only Grace's second year competing.
Ben Grubb has been putting together some great videos of the Blocfest series. The final instalment - round 5 at the Biscuit Factory- has been released. Check it out and see how many Castle Comp Squad members and regulars you can spot. The Squad was amazing, taking 5 of 6 podium places!
The Castle hosted the third (and final) round of the BMC Youth Climbing Series on Saturday (20 April). On a lovely day, we had 129 competitors inside cranking it out on three routes and three boulder problems. The Castle Squad put on a great show as usal with a record 5 competitors selected for the National Final in June at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena. Big congratulations to Jo and Sam who placed first in their categories on Saturday.
I woke up early on Saturday morning and headed off to Reading with my Castle Squad team mates. We were psyched to check out the problems, as BlocFest always delivers amazing climbing. I was in the open category so got a chance to have a good look at all the blocs before I started.
The Reading centre had stripped the entire boulder area of problems so the only routes were the blue Holdz ones. This made it much easier to scope them out.