Saturday, 30 May 2009

'Malham-itis'

On the 16th and 17th May EICA: Ratho coaches Neil McGeachy and Neill Busby ran a trip to the sport climbing Mecca of Malham Cove for Scotland South British/Scottish Junior Team members. For all of the kids, this was their first trip to a crag notorious for fiercely technical routes that are almost always hard for the grade!


Over the two days the young climbers tested footwork and route reading skills on a selection of routes and after a bit of time adjusting to the new challenges of climbing outdoors, they soon started ticking of some of the classics the crag has to offer.

Rachel Carr made a highly impressive sport climbing debut , managing to on-sight 'Begozzi and the Ledge Lizzards' 6A+ as well as top roping a selection of 6C's and 7A's. Callum Forsyth also made an impressive start to his sport climbing career, by top roping a selection of classic routes from 7A - 7B. Eleanor Hopkins was on fire as always making swift work of red-pointing 'Frankenstein' 7A+/B, as well as top roping a selection of other 7A & 7A+'s. Jonny Field carried on from a successful debut season to outdoor sport climbing last year, with numerous on sights of 7A+'s & 7B's including 'Yosemite Wall', '7th Aardvark' and 'Something Stupid'.

As a climber and coach, I was truly blown away by how easily the young climbers transferred their indoor climbing skills to real rock with such ease. Especially at a Crag as technical as Malham Cove!

After the weekend crowds had dispersed and the youth had returned home to the joys of exams, Buzz and myself hung around for some more Malham action. We spent the first day on the upper tier where we red-pointed 'L'obsession' 7C+ and 'Toadal Re-Call' 8A, both of which were extremely good quality and well worth seeking out. On the second day we stayed on the cat walk and used our time ticking some classics such as 'Tremalo' 7C, and some not so classics, such as 'Just not in Lust' 7C, 'Angel Gabriella' 7B+.

Despite the terrible weather and huge crowds at the crag, a fun and productive trip was had by all. If you have not been to Malham before, get your ass down there as it is without a doubt the best sport climbing crag in the UK!!!!!!! Plus it has the added advantage of staying dry in even the heaviest downpour!

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