BMC Youth Climbing Series 2019 so far…

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BMC Youth Climbing Series 2019

So, we’re now half way through the 2019 BMC Youth Climbing Series, and thought what better to celebrate, then to give you the low down on what changes have occurred for this year’s series!

The BMC Youth Climbing Series has seen some big changes in the past, but none as big as the new format that has been introduced this year. Previously the series has included 3 regional rounds & finishing off with a 1 day national final, each day comprising of 3 boulders with 3 attempts & 3 routes with 1 attempt, all pointed on progression. This year the format is now 4 regional rounds & a 2-day national final with each round/day broken down into a single discipline of bouldering or routes.

Well, that’s enough about the new format, with 2 rounds gone, how are we getting on in the London & South East, North region?

Round 1, was held on Saturday 12thJanuary at Big Rock Bond in Bletchley & was a boulder only affair, each competitor having 10 blocs in which they had 5 attempts, pointed on tops & zones. In addition to this change it was a scramble format which means you can chose which order you tried the blocs with each category having staggered start & finish times.

142 attended the first round with 21 competitors representing Reading, 4 of which were first time YCS competitors. The day ran well with the staggered start times easing congestion in the good-sized bouldering venue, helped along with increased number of attempts. This all reduced the pressure on new competitors, giving the everyone plenty of time on the wall. Reading managed to pick up 3 podiums in this event, Oliver Janes 1stplace Male category A, Ranulph Carlill 1stplace Male category A & Amelie Jacobs 3rdplace Female category C.

Kaia Marston narrowly missed out on a podium position, coming in 4thplace in category Female Cat. C, along with Ben Marsh in Male Cat. D showing good composure in a nervous first event, were not only was he physically challenged, with some hard blocs, but also learning to deal with the mental aspects of competition climbing. After an early drop on one of the hardest blocs of the event, he regathered his thoughts & went on to top it towards the end of the day.


Round 2 was held on Saturday 26thJanuary at The XC in Hemel Hempstead. This round was focused on the routes with each competitor having 1 route in which they had only 1 attempt. This too was pointed on progression, along with the new scramble format with staggered start & finish times.

Due to a revaluation of competitors regions, from the BMC, round 2 saw 156 in attendance with an increased 26 competitors from Reading with Little Daisy Best being the only rookie in Female Cat E. The venue was packed from the start with an increased amount of belayers being needed due to the new format & this time there was some congestion on a few lines due to the closeness of routes which resulted in a very long day for some competitors.

Reading yet again picked up 3 podiums with 2 of the squad flashing all 5 of their routes & earning 1stplace in a tremendous display. Podiums included Isla Thompson Female Cat. B, Amelie Jacobs in Female Cat. C, plus Joachim Buche placed 2ndin Male Cat. B. Isla Thompson showed great composer in getting her first place, after waiting nearly 3 hours for her 5th& final route after a mix up with the score cards.

Anna Brigden narrowly missed out on a podium with 4thplace in Female Cat. C & Evie Frew had a good result in her first season with 8thplace in Female C.

All in all, the season looks like it’s going to be an interesting one with some good depth in the Reading squad! Roll on March with rounds 3 & 4 located at London centres Mile End & Westway in London.

Full results so far can be found here…