Ed Hamer Takes First Place at Kendal Wall Competition

by Duncan Campbell - UKC Apr/2014
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Ed Hamer powering up the Petzl 'Super Route' to take 1st place, Kendal's Grand Day In, 141 kb
Ed Hamer powering up the Petzl 'Super Route' to take 1st place, Kendal's Grand Day In
© Kendal Wall

On the 22nd March, Kendal Wall hosted a massive event, named the 'Grand Day In'.

The event attracted top British climbers together with enthusiastic, talented locals, all there to compete for the top spot in various competitions and take part in masterclass coaching sessions. With the total value of prizes up to £3,000 and the event being held in the superb venue that is Kendal Wall, who could blame them.

The main event of the competitions was the Petzl 'Super Route' leading competition, where spectators gathered to watch climbers attempt to flash top climber Steve McClure's 8b route on the main wall.

British team member, Ed Hamer came the closest to completing the route and took home the £300 top prize.

Neil Mawson came a close second and 15 year old Junior British team member Jim Pope showed many older and more experienced climbers how it was done to come an impressive third place. The £500 prize fund was provided by The Lakeland Climbing Centre.

"The style was incredibly pumpy and relentless requiring some top level endurance and strength. The large number of spectators gave lots of encouragement giving it a good competitive atmosphere. Many thanks to the team at Kendal Wall for their support and to Steve McClure for setting the challenging route. I look forward to the next meeting" said Ed Hamer, GB Senior Lead Climber.

There were a number of other competitions during the day, including the 'Marmot Masters' bouldering series. In the men's categories the winners were:

  • Elite - Ben Rowe of Ambleside
  • Premier - Dan Stafford of Grizedale
  • Veteran - Nick Clement of Morecambe

The women's winners were:

  • Elite - Caroline Matthews
  • Premier - Mari Cole of Kendal Wall
  • Veteran - Yvonne Kirkby of Old Hutton

All winners recieved a Marmot down jacket.

La Sportiva also held the conclusion to their leading ladder competition with the winners of a pair of La Sportiva rock shoes being:

  • Stephen Leahy of Kendal
  • Mark Hetherington of Carlisle
  • Arona Morrison of Lancaster
  • Anne Salisbury of Staveley 
  • Callum Robinson of Ulverston

A fun speed climbing competiton was also held with Stephen Leahy speeding up the 18m wall in an impressive 8.1 seconds, whilst Jos Carrick was the quickest junior with a time of 12.7 seconds.

"I was so pleased to win both the speed route and the leading ladder. There was such stiff competition. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed the whole event" said Stephen Leahy, winner of the La Sportiva leading ladder and the speed climbing competition.

Steve McClure delivering a masterclass at the Grand Day In, 2014
© Kendal Wall

Neil Gresham delivering a Masterclass at Kendal Wall, 90 kb
Neil Gresham delivering a Masterclass at Kendal Wall

For those not taking part in the competitions, there were free have-a-go climbing sessions and Easter-themed fun for children.

"The Grand Day In at Kendal wall was a fun and hugely successful occasion. I thoroughly enjoyed my Masterclass sessions. It was a winning combination having athletes like Leah Crane and myself on the bouldering walls with Steve McClure and Neil Mawson on the leading walls. The day was jammed packed with events from start to finish and I really look forward to the next one" said Neil Gresham, top British climbing coach and athlete.

Steve McClure commented on the event:

The Grand Day in at Kendal Wall was a huge success and a great example of a progressive event. With coaching sessions over multiple disciplines delivered by some of the UK's top coaches, a fun bouldering competition and then a top level lead competition attended by some of the UK's best climbers, this was an event of the highest calibre."

Prizes were presented by Liam Lonsdale and Hugh Harris of Marmot UK and by Neil Gresham for La Sportiva. The day finished with an interesting slide show presentation by Neil Gresham on his recent climbing trip to Vietnam.

The Kendal Wall’s sponsors, La Sportiva, Marmot, Petzl and Beal kindly made it possible for top British climbers, Steve McClure, Neil Mawson, Leah Crane and Neil Gresham to provide free coaching sessions throughout the day.

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