Three British youngsters returned home from the Youth Color Climbing Festival in Imst, Austria this month with trophies in hand. Hannah Kerr (born 2005) and Hannah Toward (2007) both placed 2nd and Valissya May (2007) placed 3rd in their respective age groups.
The annual festival attracts young climbers from across Europe and serves as a stepping stone toward the IFSC junior circuit, which begins from age 12/13.
Hannah Kerr told UKC:
'I love climbing in Imst, I have so many good memories there, and I had another amazing weekend. I topped 2 routes in the qualifiers and got timed out on the other 4, living up to my reputation as The Sloth but delighted the wall didn't kick me off. I was in 6th position and through to the finals on Sunday. The final routes were from last weekend's European Youth Cup and they were awesome. I topped the first route but got timed out as I was clipping the last draw but put myself in a strong position before the final route. Route 2 was volumetastic and tough but so much fun. I got the 2nd high point on this route too. I was super psyched to finish 2nd at my final YCCF and secure my position in the GB squad for 2019. GB climbing's future is looking bright with some great results: Edie Carr 10th, Maya Patal 15th, Gwen Morgan 16th, Willow Petrobelli 18th, Toby Roberts 6th, Kai Main 13th, Jamie Jenkins 17th and Rhys Conlon 20th. I would like to thank Mike Mullins for all his support.'
Hannah Toward - who recently climbed her first indoor 8a - commented:
'I had a brilliant weekend and was really pleased with the way I climbed. I qualified for the final in 3rd place on Saturday, topping 4 out the 6 routes and getting a few holds from the top on the other 2. On the Sunday, I put in a solid performance on the two final climbs, securing second place. The setting was superb with lots of interesting moves and holds I had never seen before. It was an amazing experience to compete against some of the best climbers in Europe and it was cool that so man Brits made the final – Valissya May 3rd, Lily Kinnersley 5th, Lucy Garlic 6th & Ava Gracie Hamilton 11th. I am looking forward to getting back outside over the summer to do some bouldering and trad. Thanks to Filip Donchev and Neil Gresham for all their support.'
Hannah Kerr is sponsored by: Psychi and Scarpa
Hannah is supported by: Boulder Shack Climbing Gym and DMM