Depot Climbing Battle of Britain 2022
We’ve been waiting a long time to put on the UK’s biggest open-to-all bouldering competition and before the chalk dust had even begun to settle, we knew that Depot Climbing Battle of Britain 2022 had been a big one! Before we dive right into the action, we want to say a massive thank you to everyone who showed up to take part in this event, the GB Climbing team, and all of our sponsors, but most importantly, our valued Depot Climbing community! We just provide the arena, you are the ones that put on the show!
2 sessions with a 3-hour time limit in a scramble format (a large number of problems to climb in any order, within a stated time period) gave 400 competitors the chance to show their skills on the wall and provided a space for anyone to climb no matter what their goal was. The boulders, expertly set by some of the UK’s best route setters, Alex Fry, Tom Burrows, Eli Cartwright, Alex Prescott, and Tom Williams provided a range of difficulties to satisfy everyone from International athletes to keen climbers with fun competition between friends.
And so on a crisp Autumn morning, a queue of eager climbers ready to crush in Session 1 were snaking all the way through the car park awaiting the doors to open, ready to do battle with 30 world-class boulders ranging from the technical to the outright powerful; all bidding to qualify for the finals of the most hotly anticipated competition of the year.
A stacked field in the morning session with high-profile contenders such as Holly Toothill, Depot Climbing athlete Emily Phillips, Jim Pope, and Max Milne kicked off with a bang! The scores being logged were frighteningly high, with some nervy waits for some of the UK’s top climbers to see if they had done enough to be confident of a place in finals.
The competition was fierce, with some big names missing out on a chance for finals despite posting top scores, Depot Climbing Athlete and Academy climber Dayan Akhtar qualifying in 1st place for the finals with a big score of 297 out of a possible 300! And in the ladies’ field young starlet of British climbing Lucy Garlick posted a strong score to see her sneak into the finals with more senior climbers.
In between all of the climbing, entrants could keep up their energy levels with a fridge bursting with salads, oat boxes, and paninis and for those that needed that little extra power, our dedicated Depot Climbing kitchen staff were on-hand with made-to-order, hand-stretched pizzas.
One of our two main sponsors Black Diamond came down and provided not only top prizes, but a quiet ‘chill-out’ zone for any competitors wanting to have a few moments away from the competition to relax and re-focus themselves.
Session 2 kicked off in the early afternoon and brought with it a whole host of psyched climbers from across the country, with Depot Climbing community members showing up from all areas of the country, traveling from Nottingham, Birmingham, Sheffield, and Leeds to support our event. A noticeable change in the atmosphere brought a little less focus on performance and finals qualification and a shift to more relaxed vibes, with crowds of climbers supporting and encouraging each other up the walls and sharing in each other’s triumphs and lifting up any spirits that may have taken a momentary drop. The afternoon was a perfect example of how wonderful the climbing community is and how much we have all missed the opportunity to both run and compete in fun and friendly competitions.
With both qualification rounds over, scores were tallied and the finals list approved, and what a finals show we had in store! The finals crowd gathered for the best spots to watch, pizzas were flying out, beers were opened and the atmosphere built. As an eager audience patiently waited for the senior male and female finals, the announcements for category winners were made. MC George Lonsdale was on hand to make the presentations for the category winners for the Male & Female vets and the Junior Male and Female (7-11 & 12-15) categories. The top 3 of each category receiving hand-crafted, personalised Depot Climbing BoB trophies provided by Hardwood Holds, amongst other prizes.
Depot Climbing Categories Top 3’s:
7-11 Junior Male: 1st Place, Jacob Goodwin | 2nd Place, George Norton | 3rd Place, Alexander Watson
7-11 Junior Female: 1st Place, Jessica Ward | 2nd Place, Becca Day | 3rd Place, Winnie Lea
12-15 Junior Male: 1st Place, Oliver Knox-Renshaw | 2nd Place, Ethan Tinsley | 3rd Place, Joe Greening
12-15 Junior Female: 1st Place, Rafael Kazbekova | 2nd Place, Emily Hearn | 3rd Place, Corinne Powell
Veteran Male: 1st Place, Mike Lea | 2nd Place, Dave Bowes | 3rd Place, Brian Bigger
Veteran Female: 1st Place, Natalia Perlova | 2nd Place, Rebecca Good | 3rd Place, Natalie Garlick
The ever-popular crowd-pleasing raffle took place, with prizes from main sponsors Black Diamond & Scarpa providing numerous bouldering pads to be won, climbing shoes, bags, and accessories alongside numerous prize sponsors: Beta Climbing, Dark Ventures, Lattice, SillyGoat, Bombproof, Beyond Hope and 3RD ROCK. It wouldn’t be outlandish to say this was the most lucrative raffle at a climbing competition the UK has ever seen! All this built an electric atmosphere for the main event, and as the finalists entered the arena for observation, the crowd lifted the roof in support of our competitors.
Cheered on by a raucous crowd, encouraged by the enthusiasm of MC George Lonsdale, all of our finalists made the most of the encouragement that the crowd was offering, with the finals proving to be a hard task to call, no competitor managing to fully break away from the competition and in both male and female categories, it came down to the final boulder to decide the standings. With some serious power required for both Mens 4 and Womens 4, the competition provided all the drama the crowd could hope for, with the final results being decided on the last climb, the ladies category was especially close.
Depot Climbing Battle of Britain Senior Finals Top 3:
Senior Male: 1st Place, Max Milne | 2nd Place Sam Butterworth | 3rd Place, Nathan Phillips
Senior Female: 1st Place, Erin McNiece | 2nd Place, Holly Toothill | 3rd Place, Emily Phillips
We’d like to thank all the competitors who took part and threw it down to help make the long-awaited return of the Depot Climbing Battle of Britain the best show of the year. Thank you to our sponsors who made it possible, the route setters for some amazing blocs, the staff who helped organise and keep the day running smoothly, Beta Setting for the holds for finals, all our volunteers and judges, and a special thanks to Iain for an amazing DJ set to keep the psyche high all day. Thank you once again to all of you who turned up and made the event such an enjoyable experience. We’ll see you back at Depot Climbing next year!
All results can be seen using the button below.
We are already starting work on BoB’23, and look forward to welcoming you all back to Depot Climbing Manchester!
Got some images or videos from the day and want to get involved on social media? Share your BoB’22 experience with us by using: