Toby Roberts and Hannah Kerr recently achieved podium positions in the annual Youth Colour Climbing Festival in Imst, Austria. The competition is an international event for young climbers not yet old enough to compete in the European Youth Championships. Toby (11) won the Youth D Boys category and Hannah Kerr (11) came 3rd in the Youth D Girls category.
The competition included eight routes over two days and attracted over 220 of the best young climbers from across Europe, born between 2003 and 2006. Competitors had six routes to complete on the Saturday and the top twenty climbers attempted a final two routes on the Sunday.
Toby, of Guildford, had placed 2nd in the same event last year and was determined to go one better this year. He wrote in his blog:
'Immediately after I came 2nd in 2015 I knew I wanted to come back and try and win and it felt so good to know I had done it a year later. I was told afterwards that I was the first British person to ever win at the YCCF.'
A keen sport climber as a well as a competitor, Toby recently redpointed Raindogs 8a at Malham Cove. (UKC news report).
Scottish climber Hannah, of Whitburn - who started climbed aged 6 - was also competing in the event for the second time. Her Dad, Grant, told UKC:
'Hannah had an amazing time at the YCCF. Her attitude and maturity all weekend was outstanding and she prepared and climbed so well. Hannah takes most things in her stride and this weekend has been no exception. She said ‘I loved the routes and had a great time trying to beat the wall. I’m so excited to be 3rd at a European competition, but I’m annoyed at myself for not topping both routes in the final as I think I could have. YCCF is the only 2-day competition I have competed in which is a great learning experience.''
Hannah's highlight of the weekend? 'Riding the alpine roller coaster and getting to the very top of the wall on the Monday after the competition!'
The British contingent came away with a strong set of results overall, including eight finalists across all categories out of the 18 British competitors.
Full results here.
Read Toby's blog here.