Irish Climbing Intervarsities 2018

The weekend of the 23rd-25th was a memorable weekend for the UCC Mountaineering Club. For the first time, we hosted the Irish Climbing Inter-varsities. The turn out far exceeded our expectations, with a massive turnout of 180 climbers registering for the competition, which shows the overall interest and take up of Climbing and Bouldering in Colleges across Ireland. The Irish Climbing Inter-varsities is the biggest competition on the climbing calendar which took place in Awesome Walls, Mount Eden, Cork over the weekend of 23rd-25th February, where all participating colleges come together to battle it out on the bouldering and climbing walls over the two day event.

We begun on Friday 23rd with a talk from one of the biggest names on the Irish climbing circuit, Ricky Bell, best know as a trad climber and for opening some of the most exciting routes in Ireland. This was a highly anticipated talk as Ricky is well known throughout the climibing community and he did not dissappoiint. Showing photos and videos of some of his most challenging climbs, it really created an exciting atmosphere for the competition the following day.

The format of the Saturdays competition ran with all categories, Male and Female, Beginner and Advanced challenging 20 problems on the bouldering wall with points gained for each successful first attempt at the route along with points for multiple attempts. The problems range from easy to near impossible, with the scores setting up a ranking for the Climbing on Sunday. The Climbing competition comprises of all categories completing two routes which contained 20 holds. For each hold a competitor can reach, they gain the value of that hold which increases the further up the wall they climb, with the most competitive athletes being able to reach the top hold on the competition route gaining a maximum of 200 points.

UCC dominated in the Male Beginner category on both competition days, with Isacc McCarthy topping his division on Saturday leading into Sunday in 1st place. In the Male Advanced category, UCC once again dominated on Saturday with both Alexi Vandenberghe and Juan Xiang both finishing in second place. Our Female Advanced performed strongly on Saturday with Aine Hannisa finishing in fourth place. This was a great encouragement for our UCC competitors, who faced into the climbing routes on Sunday with determination to maintain our positions on the leader board.

Once again, UCC challenged the climbing routes with great skill and dedication to complete their routes. Our Male Beginners successfully completed their routes achieving top scores of 200 resulting of an overall final placing of 1st place for Isacc McCarthy and 3rd place for Ben Latimer. Female Beginner saw Aine Hannisa also complete her route achieving an overall 3rd place. With some of the top climbers in the Irish College division competing in the Male Advanced category, the competition was close and we knew only the best would be able to complete the route. With fantastic atmosphere as the last four competitors took to the wall, who were the top Male advanced competitors, skillfully UCCs own Alexi Vandenberghe and Juan Xiang both successfully completed the route to gain joint 2nd place overall. As a result of the high performance of the UCC Climbing Squad, UCC placed second overall in the teams event. We were all over the moon with the outcome of the results and being the hosting college, all the more better.

As a sign off, we would like to thank all individuals, both on and off the committee for contributing their time in the running of the event and for helping out with set up, organisation and take down. Being our first time hosting the competition, we can honesty say we loved every minute of the organizing, planning and running of the event and hope to host another Inter-varsity in the future.

Heres to the UCC Climbing Squad for outstanding dedication and commitment and for achieving successful results overall 🙂