The UK’s competitive climbing scene is booming, and many young indoor climbers are channelling their talents into organised competitions.
The BMC / GB Climbing usually runs seven national and one international competition in the UK most years. These range from youth-only events to the national championships in Lead, Speed and Bouldering.
The year starts with the regional rounds of the BMC Youth Climbing Series which are followed by an amazing Grand Final – the culmination of the rounds held in ten different regions of England and Wales, as well as in two regions from both Scotland and Ireland. The top three from each region in each of five categories go through to the national final (that's about 330 competitors).
In the spring there are a number of open youth events in both Lead and Boulder as well as a Welsh Climbing Championships.
The summer brings our national bouldering championships. Firstly, the Junior British Bouldering Championships (JBBCs) and then the senior British Bouldering Championships (BBCs), often held as part of the Cliffhanger Festival in Sheffield. Up to a hundred boulderers line up to battle it out on the qualifying problems, with the best going through to a hotly contested final to decide the British Champions in the junior and senior categories. This competition is also used as part of the selection process for the GB Senior Squad.
The start of October signals the British Lead Climbing Championships and British Speed Climbing Championships. The British Lead Climbing Championships is undoubtedly one of the most challenging events of the calendar, while the Speed Championships step it up a notch to decide the fastest climbers in Britain up a prescribed track of holds. This event sometimes also hosts an IFSC Paraclimbing Cup event as well, which brings in the best para climbers in the world and adds an awe inspiring element to the BLCCs.
However, there is also the UK Para Climbing Series. Categories include physical and mental disabilities. The results from the series are also used to select the GB Paraclimbing Team for the following season.
November is usually when the GB National Development Squad is selected for the following year. More details here
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GB Climbing is supported by the BMC, Mountaineering Scotland and Secur-it. The GB Ice Climbing Team is supported by Montane. Many UK walls also support the GB Climbing through free or subsidised entry.
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