15 year-old Emma Powell recently came 3rd in the UIAA Ice Climbing World Youth Championships in Rabenstein, Italy - despite being one of the youngest in her under-19 category. Fellow Team GB member Adam Willison came a commendable 15th in the under-19 male category.
Commenting on her move to the older age group, Emma told UKC:
"When they handed out the startlists and I found out that I was in the older category, I was nervous about the girls I was going up against as I knew some of them had already competed in the senior competition. However, as the night went on I found that I shouldn't worry as much as it was a first time in the under 19's and leading and that I shouldn't expect too much of myself."
Emma qualified for the final in 5th position, in what was her first lead-climbing competition on axes. She told UKC:
"The final route looked hard and I was up for the challenge. I was hoping to keep my 5th position and try not to fall low. Walking out to the route I just wanted to do my best. Pulling onto the ice start my nerves vanished. As I neared the top of the first board I struggled on a big move. I was running out of time. Trying fig 4's I felt my hands loosening on my axes and I decided to throw for the move with one last effort. As I reached the hold I was happy that I made the long move. Moving onto the ice barrel I flung my leg over my hand into a fig 9 and moving round I felt my grip going. Next thing I knew I was hanging in midair. Pleased with my performance I untied and gave my dad a big hug."
When asked how she felt upon hearing her result, Emma commented:
"The results came out. Excitedly I thought maybe I had come 4th or 5th. I read the results and I was super pleased to have come 3rd in the World! We all were delighted and my mum even screamed down the phone!"
Emma adds this achievement to her previous 3rd place at the same event in Champagny in 2014, as well as finishing 2nd in the British Tooling Series in the Senior category in both 2014 and 2015.
Follow Emma on twitter: @Emma_climbs
Photos by andrewrutherfordphotography.co.uk
Emma is sponsored by: Krukonogi.com and Lyon Outdoor