Saturday 24 April saw 70 climbers invade the Leeds Wall to fight it out in the three categories of the BMC Leading Ladder Final 2010.
Each competitor had competed in at least three rounds of the Ladder, recording an average score good enough to get them a slot in the final. Choosing which routes they did, in what order, it was all about tactics on Saturday as they had 6 hours to climb five routes. Keeping the energy levels up became more and more important as the day wore on.
There were some very impressive performances from the some of the younger climbers in the recreational and improver categories. The battle between Will Smith and Buster Martin was particularly close. There were some friendly challenges going on in the adult categories as well, especially between Ian Hopkins and his mate Mark Young, with Mark coming out on top in the end.
The tension built throughout the day, culminating with the elite male battle on the main head wall of the F8b route. The bar had been set high early by young Luke Tilley and an impressive effort from Zoe Ogden. However Adam Watson and Drew Haigh had already set high scores on the F8a route, but with neither topping out, it was all to play for.
Adam manned up and got on the route first, in an absolutely amazing effort that had the crowd raising the roof, he took a long fall in the lunge for the final hold, denied at the very last hurdle. This meant that Drew had to get very high on the route to add to his already high score on the F8a. In the end he popped off slightly early and lost out to Adam by 0.25 of a point – soooo close!!
A great time was had by all, in an excellent display of friendly competition, showing that the BMC Leading Ladder continues to go from strength to strength every year. So don’t forget to compete again next year, or if it is your first time, make sure you pull ard!!
Link to results and report by Naomi Buys
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