Competitions

Hundreds of climbing competitions take place in the UK throughout the year. Many are aimed at a range of abilities, so anyone can come along. Comps are always a brilliant experience; you'll climb harder than you thought you could, make new friends and generally have a great time.

This year, the Gear, Courses and Competitions Secretaries will be organising teams to attend LUBE, BUCS and Reading competitions for bouldering. However, there are various other comps available, so we will endeavour to keep you updated on the latest (including the renowned Blokfest bouldering rounds) through this page, Facebook and email.

Our competition plan is flexible so, by all means, contact the GC&C Secretaries if there are any other competitions which you would like OUMC to be a part of.

Blokfest

Part bouldering competition, part rave, this is an absolute must. Pre-register online or just turn up and sign in on the day. This is an individual event, so no teams, but that doesn't mean you can't organise a group trip! There will be a random prize draw and various extra games and challenges over the day, and DJ's...

Locations and dates

  1. Westway (London) 25th October
  2. Boulder Brighton 15th November
  3. The Castle (London) 13th December
  4. TCA (Bristol) 17th January
  5. Mile End (London) 1st March
  • Cost: £15 per event, or £60 season ticket for all the events
  • Boulder grade range: "very easy to very hard"

Key points: Check the times of junior and senior events on the website . There are 25 boulder problems, with a showcase final at each event. Each competitor's scores from the whole series are put into a league table to determine the winners over the whole season.

BUCS

This is THE major UK university bouldering competition of the year. It's only open to university club members, is very well organised, and is a chance to see some of the young stars on the climbing scene. Last year the finalists included team GB members Natalie Berry and Jennifer Wood, and offered some incredible climbing. The boulder problems are very varied in style and difficulty, and the atmosphere manages to be both supportive and competitive. We'''ll provide a minibus for transport and subsidise the entrance cost, so go for it! More information on BUCS and the Climbing Works (A favourite training wall of Britain's very own international #1 boulderer, Shauna Coxsey!).

The top 3 men's and top 3 women's scores from each university are combined at the end of the competition as the university's "team scores". All competitor scores will also be ranked to determine individual winners. Entry to BUCS opens on Tuesday 18th November and closes on Thursday 29th January, Week 2 of Hilary term. We must register a team before the 29th, or we can't compete.

  • Location and date: The Works, Sheffield, Saturday 21st February (HT 5th week) 2015
  • Boulder grade range: 4C-6C (V0-V4+)

Key points: There are 25 boulder problems to complete and scoring is based on attempts and bonus holds. OUMC members will compete in either the morning or afternoon session. Two members of the OUMC team must volunteer to judge climbers' attempts in the other AM/PM session.

LUBE

The hilariously named London University Bouldering Event is a student-only series of bouldering competitions, based in the London climbing walls, which has been going since 2010. For undergraduates, this is arguably the competition to focus your bouldering efforts on, given the proximity of Oxford to all the climbing walls, the low price of entry per person, the dates being all on Saturdays in term time, and the generally lower level of competition from other student climbers compared to completely open-to-everyone events - let's SMASH IT!

We can enter a maximum of 8 participants, comprising two teams of three climbers (with at least one female in each team) plus two individual climbers. The 2015 competition info has not been officially released yet, but you can email G,C&C secretaries or the LUBE organisers directly from their website to get more info.

Location and dates:

Not yet official but preliminary info is:

  1. Westway 1st November 2014
  2. The Biscuit Factory 29th November 2014
  3. White Spider 29th January 2015
  4. Craggy Island 27th March 2015
  • Cost: LUBE charges a one-off fee to enter of £200, which pays for a team of up to 8 students to attend all 4 rounds - which comes to £6.25 per event, so not bad at all!
  • Grade range: around 4C-6C (V0-V4+)

Key points: In terms of popularity, this is the other major contender with Blokfest. In an ideal world, go to both, but if you want to commit to one or the other, you should weigh up the fact that LUBE is likely to be less crowded, whilst Blokfest is likely to have more "non-climbing" attractions, such as DJs and prize give-aways.

Reading Wall Competitions

Reading Climbing Centre also does its own bouldering competitions, which vary in formality and format. They provide both an easier "kids" circuit and a wider grade-ranging adult circuit. With several hours to complete, there is less time pressure than other competitions, and usually fewer people competing.

Reading is easily and cheaply accessible by train and bus, so this is an excellent option when you have a particularly heavy workload and still want to do some fun bouldering. Reading also boasts fantastic lead climbing and top-roping, so it's an ideal venue if you want to introduce your friends to bouldering competitions and also get a bit of sport climbing done all in one. As their competitions are not announced as far in advance as larger events like LUBE and Blokfest, we will let you know as soon as info becomes available!

Location and dates: Not yet available

  • Cost: Normal wall entry price is between £0 - £11.25 depending on time of day and non/member and adult/student pricings
  • Grade range: around 4C-6C (V0-V4+)

Key points: You can pay £20 for a "life membership", which will start saving you money if you go there more than 9 times in your life