23 March 2023

On Monday, 14 Abingdon students attended the Independent Schools Climbing Championships at the Parthian Climbing Wall in Reading. The day encompassed 12 bouldering, 8 top rope and for those that felt really adventurous 3 lead climbs across the 5 five hours of competition.

Each climb was scored by independent observers and in each category there were increasing levels of difficulty. With the maximum individual score for the day of 230 any score above 180 would be competitive in either the U16 or U18 category especially with over 200 climbers present from across over 20 schools.

With each student choosing which climb to tackle when it was a sea of activity, most of the Abingdon students focused on getting some good bouldering scores under their belts first before tackling the rope climbs. As the day progressed it was clear that everyone was climbing well with Rufus Cox recording a score of 221 to win the U18 category, with Fran Trotter recording 207 to place 5th and Louis Trotter 184 to pace 12th; whilst in the U16 category Daniel Harrison led the way with a score of 205 to claim victory.

Rufus, Fran and Daniel qualified in the top 5 boulders and subsequently took part in the bouldering final with all other competitors watching on as they tackled three new routes set at an extreme standard. Unfortunately Fran injured himself before the final so withdrew before his first attempt but it was clear from the start that Rufus was in control of this competition by being one of only two competitors to ‘top out’ on the first challenge, and then again one of only two on the second challenge (this time Daniel was the only other competitor). The third and final challenge was set at V9 standard and, although Rufus was one move from topping out, no other competitor got beyond the first of five moves required which meant that Rufus also won the Bouldering competition with Daniel picking up 2nd place.

In the team competition, taken from the top 3 senior and top 3 junior climbers scores we recorded a total of 1049 to place 3rd, just 1 point behind Tonbridge and 12 behind the winners Eton. Ultimately an amazing day of climbing with many students competing for the first time.

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