In total, six pupils from Hurst travelled to Tonbridge to take part in three classifications of the sport; Bouldering, Top Rope and Lead Climbing. Ahead of them, strong opposition laid in wait with the likes of Eton, Millfield and Tonbridge also in attendance.
Ben Rudling (Captain), Josh Turier-Duerden and Benjie Jordan competed in the Senior events. Meanwhile Abby Carter (Captain), Holly Stritch and Harry Hazeldean were representatives in the Junior competitions.
The climbers are scored purely on technique. With the wall scattered by grip holds, specific colour coded courses are set for the climbers to negotiate. Each climber has a maximum of three attempts to reach the top.
The three classifications signify a varying range of technical difficulty. Bouldering is a low level climb before moving onto Top Rope that involves following a vertical rope up the face. The hardest event is Lead Climbing, where climbers are challenged to clip a safety line as they ascend.
From what began as a day to merely enjoy the climbing event, hosted by rock face legend Johnny Dawes, the team’s overall achievement was exceptional. In particular, Harry Hazeldean’s haul of 154 points, alongside an impressive 152 from Ben Rudling, meant Hurst had a finger hold on the top spots throughout.
The calibre on display was of international standard. Climbing for Hampton was circuit climber Ed Ratcliffe, who did take first place in the individual stakes with an impressive score of 173.
Fred Simkins, Director of Outdoor Education said, “It’s the first time Hurst has entered a climbing competition and we decided to go because we thought it would be fun rather than with any expectation. With an increasing number of students participating in climbing here, next year’s team are likely to be even stronger. We can’t wait!”
19 May 2013