BMC Youth Series Finals at Ratho

Ben Preston (14), High Sports Crawley Junior Squad member is totally crushing right now! He came first at Brightons 1 year anniversary comp and followed that up with a trip to Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, Ratho for the BMC Youth Series Finals 2015 and came in 10th! Huge Congratulations Ben!

Here he talks us through his competition climbs!

We arrived at Ratho fairly early, so I had time to look at the routes and warm up. I was feeling fairly confident but worried about a few moves on some of the problems!

I was middle in the group for the Lead Route 1. When it came to me I could feel the pressure, luckily though I managed to top the first route. Great start!

Next was Boulder 1, after seeing a few fall off I was a little nervous. The problem wasn't too difficult. Fortunately, I managed a top on my first go!

Up now was Boulder 2. I knew I could top it if I climbed my best, but it was hard! I was first on this problem, first few moves felt good but there was a big dynamic 'pop' in the middle and, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the move on any of my 3 attempts.

The next climb was Lead Route 2. I knew I had to get high on this to be able to reach my goal of top 10. The GB demo climber fell off this route so I knew it was hard! By my turn, only 1 climber had the high point, so I knew where I needed to get to. I pulled through the first crux and got one hold from the high point before falling. I was happy with my attempt


The next 2 climbs we're going to be the hardest!

Boulder 3 next, the crux was two small crimps to an undercut, this route hurt! One climber managed a top, I was second highest on this problem and went in to Lead Route 3 confident.

I was near last on this climb so I had a chance to watch other competitors. The first climber topped out, no-one else did and there was a clear crux where most people were falling. It came to my go. From the first few moves I realised the wall was steeper than I first thought. I got half way through the crux, clipped and just fell. I was disappointed with my attempt and just hoped it was enough!

Luckily I reached my goal, I finished 10th!

Thanks to High Sports for your support along the way!