Saturday, 26 September 2009

Tower + Mantel Shelf Board

Hey guys!

Set loads of new problems today and a new route on the comp wall with master buzz! The new route is the white going up the right hand side of the hangar wall graded at 7a! It's pretty much a jug fest apart from a few crimpy moves and pinches at the start but the roof is pretty crazy. The new boulder problems are in the cave, there are still plenty of problems to come but the current ones are pretty special!

We have on the tower:

Grey V6 (Screw ons)
Blue V6 (Screw ons)
Green V1
Pink V3
Tan V 2

And on the mantel shelf board section:

Grey V5
Purple V5 (Screw ons)
Pink V6
Tan V7
Blue V1
Yellow V7

Tell us what you think of them and if you have any comments, please don't hesitate to tell us! Remember that grades are only subjective opinions and everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, routes and problems will feel different depending on what you are good at. Also, the new problems haven't been climbed by many people so the grades should be off a wee bit...

Try them and tell us what you think!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

New Boulder Problems and Routes

Good News everyone! Like I said 7 weeks ago, the wall was in for a big change in the area of route setting. The plan has been going well, for 5 weeks straight we managed to re-set a different part of the bouldering wall until every ratho bouldering wall had been re-set. We where going to restart the re-setting if the bouldering walls again after the 5 week period and begin anew, but me and Buz both felt that 5 weeks wasn't very long and there where tonnes of new problems to get at so we left a 2 week gap at which more new problems can be set on all bouldering walls and then we would begin anew. So 7 weeks has passed and today I stripped the left hand side of the bouldering cave! So lots of new problems on their way, YEAH!!! Psyched!

Also, today Buz and I set a new hard route through the hangar wall, we think 8aish? The grades of the new routes are as follows from Left to Right:

White 6b
Blue 7c+
Grey 8a
Tan 7b
Yellow 8b
White 6b+
Blue 7b+
Purple 7a+/b
Yellow 7c
Ripple 7b+
Yellow 6c+
Purple 7b+
Green 7a

These are not official, as we haven't had too many people check the grades as yet, but as soon as we get a consensus we will stick the grades up on the white board left of the hangar wall. So everyone, get on the routes and tell us what you think yeah?

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Pics from the weekend

Paul giving it biceps on the 2nd qualifier

Sam Brannigan showing us some fight!

Jonny Stocking showing determination

Nat... cruising...

Jonny Field looking solid on the 2nd qualifier

Brand Spanking New Routes!

So guys, the EYS is over and the finals and some of the qualifiers have been left up. So why not test yourself against the best in Europe? Not only that but Neil Busby, Neil Mcgeachy and Mark (Zippy) Pretty have all been working hard and have set a good number of new routes on the old comp wall and the hangar wall! We aren't 100% on the grades right now and are still tweaking them slightly but there should be a good range from 6b - 8b, plenty for everyone to get there fingers into.

On another note, for you boulderers out there, left side of the cave is getting re-set this week too so you'll have a god number of new problems there to get stuck into as well! All our problems where very well appreciated by the strang euro wads when they came over for the comp. On saturday and Sunday the boulders and cave where mobbed with young climbing beasts crushing everything in sight and they only had good things to say about the quality of the problems (certainly good to hear when your work is appreciated).

And as well as that, we have brand new rungs for the campus board and this time they are exactly the right space apart, identical to that of the moon board! We've also ordered a beastmaker and as soon as the supplies increase we'll have it set up in ratho too. PSYCHED!

Get down to ratho guys and lets see what you've got!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Local Talent: Jaime Davidson

This weekend sees EICA: Ratho hold the Edinburgh Round of the IFSC European Youth Series (EYS). One local climbing star that will be hoping to make an impact on her international debut is Cowdenbeath based climber Jaime Davidson. Jaime is a product of the EICA: Ratho Youth Program and has been rapidly progressing through our various kids climbing clubs on her way towards international competition over the last 6 years.

Jaime is still only 14 years, but has already build up a sports climbing competition C.V. to be proud of, with a long list of achievements most climbers could only dream of. See below;

2009 South Scotland Champion (14-16yrs) – Youth Climbing Series
2009 Scottish Champion (14 – 16yrs) Scottish Youth Climbing Championships
2009 Scottish Champion (11 – 13yrs) Scottish Youth Bouldering Championships
2009 Kirkcaldy District Sports Council- Junior Athlete of the Year Award
2009 2nd Place (Senior) - Dundee Bouldering League
2009 British Junior Climbing Team Squad Member

2008 South Scotland Champion (11 – 13yrs) – Youth Climbing Series
2008 British Champion (11 – 13yrs) –Youth Climbing Series National Final
2008 Scottish Champion (11 – 13yrs) – Scottish Youth Climbing Championships
2008 1st Place (Youth C) – British Team Trials
2008 1st Place (junior) - Dundee Bouldering League
2008 British Junior Climbing Team Squad Member

2007 South Scotland Champion (10 – 12yrs) – Youth Climbing Series
2007 Winner (juniors) – East v West Bouldering Series

2006 South Scotland Champion (10 – 12yrs) – Youth Climbing Series
2006 Winner (junior) – Art Bloc Nice Open Bouldering Competition

2005 2nd Place South Scotland (10 – 12yrs) – Youth Climbing Series
2005 Winner (under 14s) – Alien Rock Bouldering League
2005 Finalist (senior – at an age of 10yrs) – Scottish Mixed Masters

2004 2nd Place South Scotland (7 - 9yrs) – Youth Climbing Series

This weekends EYS presents Jaime’s biggest competition challenge to date, with the prospect of testing her skills against all of the top junior climbers from across Europe. As her coach and someone who has witnessed at close hand how well this talented young girl deals with pressure, I have every faith that she will rise to the occasion and make everyone proud! Jaime is definitely one to look out for, not just in this round of the EYS, but in next years Youth World Cup in Edinburgh and other international climbing competitions in the future. If you want to show your support to British Team this weekend, make your way down to EICA: Ratho and cheer them on.

Spectators pricing is as follows;
Sat (qualification rounds) £3.00
Sun (Finals) £3.00
2 Day Ticket £5.00
Under 16s – half price
Under 8s - free
* Climbing will commence at 8.30 am on the Sat morning!

Monday, 14 September 2009

2009 Youth Development Events - Thank you MCofS

This year saw 4 very successful youth climbing development events take place at EICA Ratho. These events were designed to support and motivate young Scottish climbers of all ages and abilities. As well as promoting participation pathways into the sport at all levels. These events could not have taken place without the support of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS), who provided funding to assist with the organisational and operational costs of running these events. They also assisted with the expenses cost of volunteers assisting on these days.

This continued commitment from the MCofS to supporting Youth Climbing within Scotland is very much appreciated by all of the kids, parents and volunteers, who benefit. As a coach, instructor and volunteer, who gains a lot from being involved in such initiatives, I believe that the level of enthusiasm and standard of climbing on display from young climbers in our country is truly inspiring. The MCofS is largely responsible for helping these young climbers through providing a network of support (i.e. coaching, competition, outdoor/indoor instruction and information).

2009 Mountaineering Council of Scotland Youth Development Event Details

Event 1 – Young Climbers Introduction to On-sighting (26.04.09)

Aims of Event
- To offer coaching and assistance to young climbers, who want to develop their route reading and on-sight climbing skills.
- To create more awareness of the sport & generate interest in what can be achieved in climbing.
- To show current pathways in place to assist young people in becoming more active within climbing

This day was a huge success with 3 separate work shops taking place aimed at supporting climbers from entry climber level, through to national competition climber.

The day started with a 4 hour mock competition for Scottish Based British Team members and young Scottish climbers on the MCofS Scottish Climbing Team. These talented climbers spent time practising the skills required for route mapping and putting this knowledge into practise on the wall. As a coach, it was truly humbling to watch the standard of young climber Scotland has to offer at the moment.

The afternoon activities were split into two separate sessions with British/Scottish Team members staying back to provide coached sessions on route reading to Youth Climbing Series climbers and Quick-draw volunteers offering introduction to climbing sessions to beginners.

Every climber to attend the event was given information about ways in which they can access outdoor climbing sessions, through initiatives like ‘MCofS Real Rock’ and
‘Adventure Edinburgh’.

Event 2 – Young Climber’s Introduction Demonstrations & Flash Based Climbing in Competitions (14.06.09)

Aims of Event
- To help prepare young Scottish climbers for this years 2009 Youth Climbing Series finals.
- To create more awareness in the activity and generate interest in what can be achieved within the sport.
- To show current pathways in place to assist young people in becoming more active within climbing.

This was a great day for every one who attended. Again the days activities were split into three workshops catering for complete beginners, Youth Climbing Series Climbers and National Competition level climbers!

The day started with a Mock Youth Climbing Series(YCS) competition for all of the young Scottish climbers representing their region at this years’ final. This event was also attended by various other YCS competitors from throughout Britain that wanted to test their skills against the Scottish youth! British Junior team members were on hand to offer tips and advice on competing to all of the youngsters.

The afternoon consisted of two sessions; with British & Scottish junior team members taking part in a workshop looking at gaining helpful information from watching route demonstrations. Top British competition climber- Alan Cassidy was on hand to demonstrate the routes and also offer tips on watching and learning from demos.

The mobile climbing Tower was also on hand throughout the afternoon to offer complete beginners the chance to try climbing. These future young climbers were also given the opportunity to observe the top level competition climbers in action and draw inspiration from what can be achieved in the sport!

Again every climber to attend the event was given information about ways in which they can access outdoor climbing sessions, through initiatives like ‘MCofS Real Rock’ and ‘Adventure Edinburgh’.

Event 3 – Introduction to Climbing – Summer School (04.07.09)

Aims of event
- To offer a full day of free climbing activities, aimed at introducing young people to the joys of climbing.
- To increase awareness of pathways into the sport through indoor climbing centres, Adventure Edinburgh and MCofS.

This event consisted of 3 climbing based workshops aimed at introducing novice climbers to bouldering, top roping and abseiling. These sessions were ran by EICA instructors and MCofS volunteers. Resident British Team Member Ross Kirkland was also on hand to offer encouragement and top tips to the kids throughout. The 30 youngsters that attended the event were also given the opportunity to attend a lecture & video by Pamela Miller on ‘Life beyond the Climbing Wall’.

Every new climber also received a goodie bag stuffed full of free gifts and information on climbing walls throughout Scotland, coaching programs at Glasgow climbing Centre, EICA: Ratho, Alien Rock, Extreme Dream, Avertical World and Inverness Climbing Centre, as well as initiatives such as Adventure Edinburgh and MCofS Real Rock sessions.

Event 4 –European Youth Series (EYS) Preparation Event (06.09.09)

Aims of event
- To prepare British competitors for the Edinburgh EYC. This takes place on 19th 20th September 2009.
- To create more awareness of competition sport climbing and generate interest in what can be achieved in the activity at international level.

This event was attended by all 34 British Team members representing the United Kingdom in this year Edinburgh Leg of the European Youth Series. MCofS and British Team coaches were on hand to run workshops on warming up within competition, dealing with isolation, watching demonstrations, route mapping and preparing your self mentally & physically. The event also consisted of a mock run through of an EYS, providing the competitors with valuable competition experience and time on the new competition wall at EICA:Ratho. Hopefully this day has played a part in helping our country’s young climbing super stars for their big day.

Running in conjunction with this event were reduced cost mobile tower slots and introduction to climbing sessions, ran by MCofS volunteers. New climbers were also provided with information packs and encouraged to watch the top British climbers in action throughout the day.

All of these events have been great fun for the 100’s of young climbers and numerous volunteers involved! Hopefully some valuable tips, advice and motivation has been passed on along the way too! Again a massive thanks has to be made to the Mountaineering Council of Scotland for making these events possible!