The 12th May signified our 3rd birthday and as we don’t like to celebrate by halves we hosted our first ever Huddersfield Climbing Festival, a day packed with activities including: the HuddCC leading ladder comp, the launch of our summer boulder league, Flash, knotted rope climb, festival of routes, and, as the cherry on top of the proverbial birthday cake, an evening lecture from Doug Scott and Paul ‘Tut’ Braithwaite about the legendary first ascent of the Southwest face of Everest in 1975.
From 10am the centre began to fill with leaders and boulders alike, all vying for a chance to send the routes and problems set by Stef Karek, Debbie Langan and our in house setters.
The first round of the lead comp consisted of nine routes varying from 5+ to 7b. Only one attempt was allowed on each route, if you could made it to the top you get the full points if not… you may have been lucky to reach the bonus hold and score the half points for reaching it. With DJ ‘Spike the punch’ spinning some great tunes all afternoon the stoke was high!
There were full points across the board from a number of competitors in all three categories making for a very interesting final. At just after 4pm the spectators settled in to watch the finalists battle it out on three routes of increasing difficulty, during which some spectacular climbing was showcased, a winner in each category was crowned, and prizes from our fantastic sponsors, Scarpa and Patagonia, awarded.
At 6pm it was time to get ready for the lecture, with ropes and chalkbags being cleared away to be replaced by chairs and projector. Tickets and raffle tickets were hugely popular meaning a full house for the lecture and a great deal of money raised for Community Action Nepal (CAN).
Doug began the lecture by talking about current projects being undertaken by CAN and the continuing work to rebuild communities following the 2015 earthquake. More details of the work of CAN can be found here: Community Action Nepal . Tut then took over and told his personal story of how he became a climber and came to be offered a place on the 1975 Everest expedition, detailing his youth spent on the local moorland grit crags of the Chew Valley. Doug then had the honour of announcing the raffle winners before giving his account of the summit attempt including a very amusing conversation he had with his own feet during the unplanned bivouac with fellow summiteer Dougal Haston at 28,000ft. The lecture concluded with some stunning tales of mountaineers past and present.
This drew a close to our first ever Huddersfield Climbing Festival and a great start to our 2018 events line up.
Blog by Becky
Next on at Huddersfield Climbing Centre DIRTBAG – The Legend of Fred Beckey