The fourth round of the SIBL took place on 12 December at The Castle Climbing Centre in London, with a record number of competitors turning out to try their luck at the 20 set problems. This round saw over 160 competitors spread over four categories compete on problems ranging from V0 to V9.
Head route setter Mike Langley and his team had set a great round including a very popular moving volume problem. There was also the bat-hang problem were competitors had to hang the last hold with their feet to get the tick.
The strong guys and girls were there including a fine effort by Barnaby Ventham on a tricky V7 as well as Bodley Zhang who performed very well. After the results had been complied it was time for the head-to-head. This time we had a break from the usual head-to-head problem with The Castle spicing it up by including an extra difficulty: a rope swing. To add to the suspense, third place in the Male Open Category and Female Junior Category were tied, so extra head-to-heads were needed.
The head-to-head proved a difficult little number with both Diane Merrick and Duncan Campbell putting in a great effort only to reach the half way point. Richard Bartlett was next up and made it through to the rope swing landing on the other wall but fell from the hard move just before the finish dyno. Last up was Greg Karolak who fell almost exactly at the same point as Richard. With time being the winning factor to separate third place it ended with Richard landing third place with a time of 1 minute 32 seconds, 13 seconds quicker than Greg. Finally to separate the Female Juniors, first up was Izzy Cooke who made a brilliant effort getting to the midway point on the route, but she was just piped by Becky Whaley who managed to get one hold further up the route.
The final results for the competition were:
Head to head winner
Richard Bartlett –1 Min 32 seconds
After the competition food was supplied by Pangea Project and The Castle Cafe after which there were some films and lectures. This started with a talk from a British Team who made first ascents in Kyrgyzstan and ended with Steve McClure explaining how he got to be so damn good. To end the evening the Castle held its annual Christmas Party with the upstairs cafe area being turned into a club/bar complete with DJ and lights. The night went really well with a good turn out of partygoers eager to hit the dance floor. By 3am the crowds were danced out and The Castle closed its doors on a very busy day.
The SIBL would like to thank Audrey Seguy and Mike Langley of the Castle and all their hard working staff who made the day a great success. SIBL would also like to thank Metolius and Evolv who sponsored the round and supplied the brilliant prizes. Check out the SIBL website for the full results - www.sibl.co.uk.