Reading Climbing Festival Blog

So it’s 8pm on Sunday evening and we’ve just got home from a celebratory beverage after yet again another successful Reading Climbing Festival. I sit at my laptop planning to summarise this incredible event thinking firstly where do I start? And secondly there aren’t enough words or time to get all of our thanks to all the incredible people involved.


Let’s give it a go…

To start with we were excited to announce in the middle of last year that the legendary Scarpa were our new sponsors for both our Winter Bouldering League and Elevate Climbing Series. From the get-go when we were talking about various competitions and events including the Reading Climbing Festival and we knew Scarpa would be the perfect company to join us in our vision to create incredible events for our locals.

Once we announced the date of the festival we submitted our wish list of prices for the WBL and Elevate Finals. We crossed our fingers and hoped Scarpa would would come through, and we were not disappointed! Not only did they hugely support the RCC Festival, but also the MCC Festival of Routes which is running this weekend and the other WBL & Elevate leagues at our other centres! From Scarpa shoes to organic pads, mountains of Friction Lab chalk, hats and tees, we were treated to a whole array of epic prizes. We can’t thank Scarpa enough and can’t wait to work together on the next event!


Secondly we have to thanks our on-site shop and continued sponsor Cold Mountain Kit. Every year they continue to surprise us with hordes of goodies that we can then treat all you lovely climbers to after working so hard and competing. A massive and special thanks go to Reading CMK Manager Ed aka Jimmy for not only putting up with our last-minute ordering but also being able to magic extra prizes at the drop of a hat. He truly is a little legend.

Next up we have a new partner in Patagonia. Over the past twelve months we been treated to variety of Patagonia events including some incredible guest speakers such as Jerry Moffat  and  some newly released films such as Fish People. In late 2017 we spoke to Patagonia to see if there would be any Films due to for release in March that we could screen at the festival. As it happened there was and we were treated to a sneak early screening of DIRTBAG – The Legend of Fred Becky.  Anyone who didn’t manage to make it down, Manchester Climbing Centre will be screening this epic movie at the Festival of Routes this weekend. Patagonia were also kind enough to give us a series of mega prizes to support committed individuals from the league! The first was WBL’s Most Improved Climber and this went to Lee Clayson, secondly was a prize given at our Elevate Competition which went to Tanya Sage who over the last eight years since RCC opened has been a huge support.


Lastly of the sponsors, we have to thank Pongoose. Not only did Rob and Kate join us on Day 2 of the Reading Climbing Festival Elevate Final for a Clipstick Demo, but they also ran their first ever 6 Draw Clipstick Showdown and gave away their first ever Climber 700 Clipstick! After a gruelling competition, which the staff got unhealthily competitive in, we had our finalists David and Monika. It was tense, it was quick and the valiant winner was David Kemp! Well we couldn’t let Monika win everything this weekend!


If you’ve not yet had the chance to check out one of these great products, make sure you follow the Pongoose team on Instagram or Facebook to see when they will next be on the road for a demo. Alternatively get up to MCC this weekend for their Festival of Routes were Pongoose will be all weekend!


Before we get to the meat of the Festival, the comps, the winners and more mega pics, a final thanks to all the RCF sponsors!

Winter Bouldering League Final

10am Saturday morning and in ‘bounce’ the juniors. 3hrs to complete 25 blocs and their chance to compete in the WBL 2017/18 Final. Shapes were pulled, sends we made and spectacular beta was created!


The benchmark was set, bring on the seniors! Before we knew it, it was 11am and the senior qualification round begun.


Once Junior and Senior Qualifications were complete, Rob tallied the scores and our Finalists were announced! They were brought out to the comp wall, the final blocs were shown and route reading began!


After a short while, finalist went into isolation and the Junior male and Female started the proceeding!


After 5 competitors and 3 blocs, we had a tie for 1st place Boys, so an epic Super Final took place…


Next up, the Seniors and our brand new Cheeta volumes came into their own! What great grips…


Again, a Super Final was required for the Senior Male category but we had our victor and it was time for the podiums!

Junior Female


Junior Male


Senior Female


Senior Male


A huge thanks to Will Hatt and Freya Johnson for helping judge and time the finalists, plus Andy Fleming for the mega photos of the events. The full album of the WBL Final can be found on our Facebook site along with more snaps from Oli Cheetle, Ant Pough and Paul Jones!


Full WBL results including yesterdays final can be found here…

Elevate Climbing Comp Final

With Qualifications kicking off from 10am, from the first climb we knew it was going to be a mega final!

Elevate 8

To keep this a little shorter and sweeter, due to some epic climbing in the qualifiers, we ended up with a Super Final for Junior Boys. After two great climbs, we saw Cameroon Kemp securing first place due to progression with a clip.

Elevate 5

Next up we had the Senior Male and Female finals with a few first time finalists and boy did they climb their socks off!

Elevate 7

After 5 competitors and 1 route, we had our winners and it was on to the podium with prizes given out by Kate from Pongoose!

Junior Female

Elevate 1

Junior Male

 Elevate 2

Senior Female

Elevate 3

Senior Male

Elevate 4

It was a great day and once more a huge thanks to all the competed and again to Tanya for helping judge!

Full Elevate results including finals can be found here…