Brunel Climbing competes two main competitions; L.U.B.E. (London University Bouldering Event) and BUCS (British University and Colleges Sport). These will be arranged by Lauren, our club captain. If you want to get involved get practising and let her know you want in!
Further to these the club is looking into the possibilities of attending bouldering festivals and other events where competiting is an option but there is also a strong social side where memebers who are not so confident can go along and watch other university clubs and socialise with them.
How A Climbing Competition Works:
First let’s get one thing straight, A Climbing Competition is NOT who reaches the top first! If I had a pound for every time someone said that, I’d be buying a new pair climbing shoes right about now. Climbing competitions, also known as bouldering competitions are all about route difficulty as opposed to speed although there is an element of time involved.
So how does a Bouldering Competition work?
It usually involves contestants trying to complete a set number of problems/routes within a time limit (usually about 2 hours). These routes are boulder problems that are about 10 – 15 moves long and get harder as you get to the end of the list of problems. Contestants are allocated points based on the number of attempts they take to complete the problem. For example, if you complete a route in your first attempt you get 10 points; second attempt gets you 7 points; and your third attempt gets you 4 points. Then lo and behold the one with the most points wins!
Does Brunel Compete?
Yes we do! Albeit only for the last 5 years or so. As a university, our main competition is run by BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) once a year in March. This is the biggest and most challenging competition of the year involving 350+ participants from 70+ universities competing for male, female and mixed team titles. The only downside to this is that it only happens once a year.
For this reason we also compete in LUBE (London Universities Bouldering Event). This competition has 4 rounds beginning in November and ending in March. This event has a league table style scoring where the final winner is decided at the end of the 4th round.
The best parts of a bouldering competition, bar the fact that you get to climb, are the people and the atmosphere. In no other competition will you find your opponents cheering you on the wall urging you to complete that last crucial move – a true sign of good sportsmanship. The atmosphere is so pleasant, and enjoyable that it almost fuels your desire to climb. This year the interest in bouldering from our club is more than ever and I hope this year’s competitions will be better than ever.
More information and competition dates will be put up on the website and facebook, so keep an eye out for them. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to find Lauren (Club Captian) at the climbing wall on Tuesdays or Thursdays.