Over the last month the Cranleigh School climbing team have travelled into London to compete in the first two rounds of the Southern Indoor Bouldering League (SIBL). For the uninitiated bouldering is a discipline of climbing that pursues difficulty of movement rather than exposure. Boulder problems are generally short, about six to ten hand movements, but they do require a great deal of strength and agility, both physical and mental. Each competitor has to attempt 25 separate problems over the course of the event. If the problem is “sent” (completed) at the first attempt the competitor claims 10 points, a successful send at the second attempt earns 7 points, and so on.
After last year’s initial foray into competition climbing, Cranleigh has entered two climbers into the Junior Male category and two into the Senior. After two events Nat McAleese-Park is currently lying in 7th place in the Juniors with Chris Kinally not far behind in 14th. This is impressive given the competitive nature of the field which contains some Juniors who already have sponsorship and a pro-am status!
The Senior Male competition is even more competitive with a field of over 70 competitors that contains not only sponsored professionals but at least one British team member (imagine putting the School’s tennis team into a competition that included Andy Murray and you get an impression of the task at hand). Even so the Senior team of Chris Tolley and Charlie Humberstone are holding their own with current standings of 32nd and 62nd – if Charlie’s position seems a touch lowly it is worth considering he missed the first round with a finger injury so effectively scored zero.
In addition to the highly competitive SIBL the School also attends a local monthly “friendly” competition at Craggy Island in Sutton where other members of the climbing club are offered a less intense introduction to competition bouldering. Short films covering the first two rounds of this year’s SIBL can be viewed at http://vimeo.com/user9028947