News 2013

Title: Youth Climbing Series final report
Date: 01/05/2013
System Date: 01/05/2013
The final Irish round of the 2013 Mountaineering Ireland Youth Climbing Series took place at Awesome Walls, Dublin on Saturday, 27th April.

Prior to the final round, competitors from the North region and the South region competed in their own two preliminary rounds. However it is the final round that decides which climbers get a place to compete in the Youth Climbing Series Grand Final, which this year will be held, at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, Ratho, Scotland on the 15th of June. 

Eighty young climbers from all over Ireland took part in the Irish final. These competitors have clearly worked very hard over the winter, as the standard of climbing at the competition was nothing short of amazing.

Each climber attempts three boulder problems and three routes. Boulder problems scores a maximum of sixty points and the routes score one hundred points each.  The higher the climber gets on each climb the greater their score. The combined score from all six climbs decide the winner in each category. 

There are ten categories in the competition. The youngest are the Boys E and Girls E who are aged about eight years old. The eldest competitors are the Boys A and Girls A who are aged about sixteen years old. 

Following a group warm up and briefing for competitors the problems and routes were demonstrated for the competitors. Once the demonstrations were over the competition began in earnest. 

The boys climbed their boulder problems first, with the girls taking on the routes. The initial climbs are set relatively easy to allow the competitors settle into the competition. Once the first climbs were dispensed with the level of difficulty quickly ratchets up for the second climb. 

Competitors were challenged to employ all their climbing skills to succeed on the progressively more difficult of the climbs. Hold by hold the climbing gets more difficult, with the final moves of the second climb eluding many competitors. 

For the final climb the level of difficulty moved up again. However some categories were climbing so well on the day that the route setters were forced to adjust some of the routes to make them even more challenging. 

By five o’clock most categories had completed three boulder problems and three routes. A super-final route was needed to separate two climbers in the Girls C category. After a full day of climbing Sakara Thurnston and Anna Nelson were inseparable on points. For the super-final route both girls climbed amazingly well with Anna taking first place by a narrow margin.

With so many amazing performances throughout the day, by so many of the competitors it is difficult to single out any individual efforts. However if there were a prize for tenacity it might have to go to Brohagh Teague for her amazing effort on her final route. From the initial moves on the climb Bronagh battled for every centimeter of progress up the wall. It looked like she might fall at any stage, but sheer determination saw her push on and on, and on.  It was an inspirational effort. 

The prize giving was held on the top bouldering floor, with the massive Awesome Walls roof providing a suitable backdrop for the podium. Thanks to the very generous sponsorship by Great Outdoors and Awesome Walls the winners of each category won a voucher that they were able to redeem to buy essential climbing equipment in the Great Outdoors shop at the wall. Every competitor was also given a voucher entitling them to a free visit to Awesome Walls. 

A huge ‘thanks’ must go to all the volunteers who helped the day run so efficiently. Thanks also to Awesome Walls for hosting the event and to Great Outdoors for sponsoring the prizes. 

Youth climbing in Ireland is extremely vibrant at them moment. Thanks to the tireless work of the young climbers, their parents, coaches and all the volunteers who make it possible. 

The standard of climbing that these young climbers are now achieving is hard for many people to comprehend. Maybe you should visit Awesome Walls and try some of the Youth Climbing Series routes to get an idea of what these young climbers are achieving.

Full results are available at

All photos by Mary-Claire Wooley.