Good turnout for first climbing contest

ON TUESDAY night 21 climbers turned out at Clickimin for the first ever indoor climbing competition run by Climb Shetland. Climbers of all ages and abilities took part in teams of three to face the challenges that had been set out for them. After a warm-up traverse it was on to the main climbing event.

Each team was given 10 minutes to climb on each section of the wall, taking it in turn to climb the routes. The rules were simple: you were not allowed to climb the same route twice in your team, and each climber could only attempt two routes on each panel. This meant that on every panel some unlucky climbers had to attempt the incredibly difficult and awkward routes that had been set to test the very best climbers at the club only a week before. If you fell off the route, you had points deducted for every hold that was missed out. Needless to say, no team managed to get full points for this event, although tight ropes and sneaky extra holds probably boosted a few scores.

After just over an hour, teams finally got a chance to rest their throbbing arms as the slightly less sensible challenges were an­nounced. Three challenges, still unknown to everyone in the room, had been set up to test the teams, designed to mimic “real” climbing scenarios you just might find yourself in on the crag. First was the glove and wellie event. With the clue in the title, one person from each team had to climb the wall while wearing one boxing glove and one wellie. This clearly simulated forgetting one climbing shoe, and also injuring a hand rendering it almost useless. Marks were awarded for the height on the panel reached, but all teams got full marks as they were clearly used to this.

The next challenge was borne from the crofting world, with that age-old scenario of your prize ewe getting stranded on a cliff. Dolly was strategically placed in awkward parts of the wall for climbers, donning full crofting attire, to safely retrieve. Marks were awarded for the style of the retrieval, time taken and the trauma that was caused to the sheep in the process. Harshly judged by Kelly, no-one managed full marks on this event. Andrew, Chris and Murray were docked further marks for using the (inflatable) sheep as a football after the event, assuming that Kelly wasn’t watching.

Last was the blindfold event, to test climbers against those days on the crag where your helmet just won’t stay put and keeps rocking over your eyes. Climbers had to scale the wall blindfolded under the guidance of fellow team members for hand and foot holds. Points were given according to the time taken to get to the top, with most managing the ascent in under three minutes.

With all the events over the scores were totalled for each team and for the events. With an excellent 798 out of 900 points the winning team were Julie, Eve and Ceidiog, each winning a golden karabiner and taking home the Climb Shetland trophy. Second came Stu, Robina and Gwydian with 778 points and third were Pete and Natalie with 760 points.

Prizes were also awarded for the best effort at each challenge. Gwydian won the glove and wellie event with a very quick ascent; Alex then took the prize for the sheep rescue by causing very little trauma and with good style, and Eve won the Blindfold event with a brilliant 1 minute 50 second ascent.

The club would like to thank everyone for taking part in the event and it was excellent to see so many new faces. With such a good turnout, the competition overran by 20 minutes so apologies to those who had to miss the end. Thanks also to Kelly who, due to an ankle injury, volunteered to judge and keep scores all evening.


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