A TOTAL of 211 climbers from across the UK flocked to the Cardiff last weekend for the Welsh Climbing Championships in Splott.
The competition, now in its fourth year, is run by climbing coach Simon Rawlinson at the Boulders centre and is open to climbers of all abilities from across the UK.
Entrants in six age categories competed in three qualifying lead climbs to fight for a chance to enter the final against some of the UK’s top climbers.
Each competitor was given a score based on the highest handhold they managed to reach on each climbing route. A maximum of 100 points were given for completing a climb then two points were deducted for each hold the climber fails to reach.
In the men’s seniors, veteran climber Stuart Littlefair, 40, conceded defeat to Kallum Butterworth, 17, after their tied score of 84 points in the final route was eventually decided by Kallum’s faster time.
This is the first victory at national level for the Manchester teenager since he began competing at senior level last year. Kallum said: “I’m pretty chuffed to be honest. I didn’t expect this. I found the last route really fun, I’m just annoyed I didn’t get any higher. I wanted to try the really fun bit at the top but what can you do?”
In the women’s seniors, Julia Littlefair beat Anna Gibson and Rhiannon Jacob with a single point lead in a tough and very close final route. Littlefair had taken a massive 16-point lead in the qualifiers, gaining ground in a third round climb that got the better of many of her competitors.
With fewer competitions over the coming months many of the climbers will be looking to use this time to take their training outside on to natural rock faces.
Kallum said: “There aren’t many competitions at the moment. I really want to get on some rock, get outdoors. There are a few projects outside at the moment, so I want to get those tips.”