Category Archives: Indoor climbing

IMC Champions Cup 2017

Well done to everyone who competed and to Hannah and Dave from Action Outdoors for the prizes and organising the raffle.

Experienced Category

  • Jeremy Hall – 3879 points
  • Martin Hore – 2879 points
  • Rob Ellam – 2646 points
  • Steve Mace – 1963 points
  • Oli Reynolds – 1897 points
  • Caryn Lofthouse – 1091 points

Intermediate/Beginners Category

  • Teddy Buckley – 1544 points
  • Becky Robinson – 1233 points
  • Andrew Kerrison – 867 points

There are a couple of photos on our Facebook group page

IMC Champions Cup 2016 Results

While preparing for the 2017 completion I found the 2016 results that had not been posted, so here they are!

Expert category

  • Mike Turner – 2167 points
  • Ian Ackerley – 2000 points
  • Jason Porter – 2000 points
  • Steve Mace – 1333 points

Intermediate category

  • Oliver Reynolds – 2000 points
  • Jenny Pummell – 1167 points
  • Sarah Belk – 1167 points
  • John Burns – 833 points

Beginner category (all routes on top rope)

  • Ethan Masterson – 1333 points

IMC Champions Cup 2015 Results

I would add a special thanks to Rich who not only set around half the routes but also prepared all the route cards and the “Rules”. And to thanks Dave Tonks and Action Outdoors for kindly donating the prizes again this year. And of course, thanks to everyone who competed, for fun or for prizes, or contributed as belayers or spectators.

The “podium” places were as follows:

Beginner Class

1st Place – Ethan Masterson –  1391 points
2nd Place – Corey Miller  – 1282 points
3rd Place – John Burns  – 892 points

Intermediate Class

1st Place –  Steve Mace – 1591 points
2nd Place – Richard Williams – 1058 points
3rd Place – Caryn Lofthouse  –  858 points

“Expert” Class

1st Place – Ali O’Connell   – 3260 points
2nd Place – Ian Thurgood – 1900 points
3rd Place – Ian Ackerley – 1543 points

Congratulations to Ethan for being our youngest ever class winner, to Steve M who somehow persuaded the “adjudicator” to allow him to enter as a Beginner but was promoted half way through the evening for being too good for the class – he would have been placed 3rd as an “Expert”! – and to Ali who showed us how to climb Copleston’s two previously un-led problems in style and gained 2000 of his points in the process.

So now it’s onward to the summer season!

Everest Challenge Climb – Feb 2015

A huge thank you to everyone who climbed, supported, made cakes and donated to the Everest Challenge climb at The Cragg, Stowmarket on Sunday.
It was a brilliant occasion and I hope that the aches from climbing numerous routes are beginning to ease!

Thanks Martin H for the great mountain graphics that helped to motivate us all and extra thanks to Jeremy and Ian who got this all organised.

Dan and I are amazed by the results of the event a staggering 14,011m climbed and so far over £3,000 raised for the Evelina Children’s hospital, Down’s syndrome Association and Ronald McDonald Charity Houses. An incredible way to mark our little Issy’s short time with us and we hope that the money will help many other families in the future.

So here are the rough events of the day, when we reached certain heights (some timings are a bit suspect due to teleportation between time zones 😉 and the photos that we took on the day.
09.00 started climbing from sea level
10.05 reached the summit of Ben Nevis – 1,344m we then teleported to Switzerland…..and by
10.10 had reached Zermatt – 1,608m and started our ascent of The Matterhorn (no cable car for us it was climbing all the way)
10.35 we had reached Schwarzsee – 2,538m and the Matterhorn climb began in ernest, by
10.45 the Hornli Hut was reached – 3,260m
10.50 reached the precarious Solvay refuge – 4,003m with the final push taking only a few minutes….
11.00 The Matterhorn was summited – 4,478m Another teleport, to Nepal this time and onto the trek to Everest Base Camp, starting for us at slightly above Dingboche – 4,400m
11.20 Everest Base Camp – 5,364m had been reached and so it was onto Camp 1 – 6,000m and Camp 2 – 6,400m which were quickly reached with no acclimatisation problems…by
12.10 had reached Camp 3 – 7,200m and
12.20 reached Camp 4 – 7,950m…. there was then a quick summit bid by Dan followed by the rest of the climbers…. 12.33 Everest summit reached – 8,848m

Climbing and cake eating continued until 16.30 with an amazing total of 14,011m climbed (that is Everest at 8848m and Cerro Culipata a 5,163m mountain peak near Orcopampa, Arequipa, Peru)

What an incredible day !!

IMC Champions Cup 2014 Results

And the full results from the 2014 Champions Cup sponsored by Action Outdoors – this year we had a very good turnout with 23 people taking part across the three categories.


1 Josh Turner 662
2 Aisha Gilbert 551
3 Christina Ennis 467
4 Baz Fagg 412
5 Emma Rowlinson 217

Competition was tight in the beginners category with Josh & Baz vying for the lead most of the night, with the completion of the bonus route 19 it looked like Aisha had clinched the top spot, but with Josh completing it he topped the group at the end.


1 Robert Ellam 927
2 Matthew Turner 666
3 Sylwia Rowniak 656
4 Andy Smith 583
5 Lloyd Boyle 416
6 Richard Williams 301
7 Mark Gilbert 234
8= Simon Watts 217
8= Pippa Clover 217
10 Gerry Gilbert 151

We had a large field competing within the intermediate group this year, with Rob and Sylwia swapping positions frequently during the night. Interestingly Josh would have been third had he entered the Intermediates (which as he’s won beginners he will be next year).

Congratulations to Rob for his victory in Intermediates, which comes two years after his victory in the Beginners category, good look in experts next year!


1 Alistair O’Connell 3817
2 Tom Odell 1651
3 Martin Hore 1621
4 Jason Porter 1589
5 Steve Culverhouse 1422
6 Mike Turner 1394
7 Jeremy Hall 1005
8= John Buchan 823

In the early stages of the competition things looked tight in the experts category with Alistair, Tom & Jason trading places, however as the night developed a clear leader emerged. Being the only person who completed routes 1 & 12 Ali secured victory with those two climbs alone.

So congratulations to Alistair O’Connell our 2014 IMC Champion.

Thanks to everyone for a great night, the initial count shows we’ve raised £85. Funds from the last three IMC

And finally thanks to those who assisted with last night:

Marc for assisting with the night, including route setting, scoring, belaying, fixing loose holds and retrieving your quickdraws when needed.

Guy, Steve, Rob, Martin & Shaun for their assistance in setting the routes.

Rob & Hannah for their excellent cakes for the raffle (my office enjoyed demolishing Rob’s cake earlier today) and to everyone else who supplied raffle prizes.

And finally to Action Outdoors for kindly agreeing to sponsor the event again this year.

If anyone wishes to have another go at any of the competition routes the route sheets are behind the normal ones on the wall.

IMC Champions Cup 2014

The 19th of March sees the fourth annual IMC Champions Cup, kindly sponsored by Action Outdoors

Registration starts from 7pm.

Climbing between 7.30 and 9.30.

You can register after 7.30 so don’t worry if it’s a rush from work.

As we did last year the year the registration and scoring will be computerised, and if we’ve got the magic spreadsheet correct we will even have live scores.

There will be Three categories:

1. Beginner/getting back into it
2. Intermediate/OK, I know I’m not really a beginner anymore
3. Expert/veterans, I know I’m not going to win but I have been climbing a long time

As with previous years there will be a mix of routes from simple to fiendish; this year there will be four lines with a top rope, four that are lead only and making a new entrance is a line with Pink Pointing. You’ll need your own rope/quickdraws for the lead routes, and your own rope for the Pink Pointed routes, both of these are only open to those entering in the Intermediate or Expert categories.

It’s all for fun, a little cash raising for the club with the raffle & entrance fee, there will probably be a cake or two- that sort of thing, so please come along and join in even if you’re not really the competitive type.

This year to help the IMC ‘holds fund’ there will be a £2 entrance fee, and of course don’t forget you will need to pay £4.20 to Copleston in the usual way. If you’ve not been for a while then look out for the new purple and black holds purchased jointly between the club and the school.

The rules are as per previous years, you get points for any route you complete cleanly, if you weight the rope, fall or need a rest you can try the route again, but you must start from the ground again. But if you can’t do it no hogging the line to keep trying!

We will be adding the results and some photos onto the blog after the event.

And finally the bonus routes as promised:

  • Line 5 (Competition Route 19) – Blue Hands / Minty Feet
  • Line 9 (Competition Route 20) – Orange Hands / Features for Feet

Copleston Re-routing – new routes up

Following a busy weekend removing, cleaning (10 loads in the dishwasher) and re-routing there are now a large selection of new routes for you to try out.

Martin will probably be along in a minute with some better pictures but to give you a taster…
We have new routes ranging from 3 to 6a+ on the vertical & overhanging walls (Guy is probably working on the 6b). There are Blue & Orange 3s on the vertical wall, a Green 4 on the overhang, Beige & Yellow 5s on the vertical wall and a whole collection of other new challenges.

The slab has been updated to have two beginner routes, blue on the right being the simpler of the two.

There are two new challenges on the step overhang – Beige at 5+ and a challenging Black. The next-door vertical wall now has challenges from 4(Yellow on the left) to a challenging red involving a lay-back on the slab and for a final bit of fun you could try the mantelshelf route.

So enjoy, more routes will follow soon. We hope to get some new holds soon working with Copleston School. The club holds fund is going well, if you wish to contribute please let me know.

And finally remember after re-routing holds can spin so take care.

Copleston Re-routing

The big re-routing weekend has started, the walls are now looking rather blank. Features only on six panels for now and four other old routes have gone too, hopefully I’ll finish cleaning the holds and we will get some new routes up tomorrow & Sunday.



Copleston Climbing Wall – Oct 2002

Copleston Climbing Wall

by Keith Lodge
Climbing Wall Supervisor (2002)
Copleston Centre

The Finished Wall

The Finished Wall

On Thursday 29th and Friday 30th August 2002 many club members came to have a preview climb at the newly built climbing wall at Copleston Centre. Everyone seemed to enjoy the experience, and many have been coming regularly to the Wall since it was opened to the public on Wednesday 11th September 2002. Although the wall is quite small compared to Stowmarket, we are already talking about extending up to twice its existing size, starting next Summer. However I do believe it will have some advantages over Stowmarket for many club members. The most obvious being that for many it will be very local, and indeed for some I spoke to during the preview evenings, within walking distance! The Centre Management and myself are very keen for the club members to be highly involved with the Wall in many ways, one of which is being given a free hand to set routes upon the wall, as and when required, which many of the more active climbers within the club have already been doing.

I am very keen not only as the wall supervisor, but as a long standing member of the club, that club members should have a good input to the running and functionality at Copleston. I am always open to your ideas, and suggestions, indeed I look forward to them with great interest, and, for those of you who have met the Centre Manager Dave Little, you will know that he is also very interested in the club’s presence and involvement with the Wall.

One main concern during the preview evenings was the lack of any form of matting below the Wall. I include here sections from the “BMC Climbing Wall Manual” regarding this. I have a personal copy of this Manual, should you wish to read further, please ask me when you see me at the Wall.

“There are no existing standards that apply specifically to safety flooring/matting which are appropriate for climbing on artificial structures. …

For climbing which is intended to be protected with the use of ropes, whether this is by leading or top-roping, proficient ropework and belaying will safeguard climbers in the event of a fall, without the need for a cushioned landing. Experienced climbers are well aware of the importance of the rope system and reinforcing this importance by having a firm floor surface will help climbers both at the wall and when they apply similar practices out on the crag.

Traditionally climbing walls had no special surface beneath them, and so climbers not using ropes would climb to a height at which they were comfortable before climbing down. Often climbers bouldering would operate in pairs and one would watch and field the other in the event of a fall, a technique known as spotting. Down-climbing and spotting a partner are good practice, in very common use and to be encouraged at climbing walls. Experience has shown that climbers adapt their behaviour to take into account the landing, accepting the level of responsibility and risk that they would if pursuing a similar activity outdoors.

If thick mats are provided climbers may put much less emphasis on looking after each other and may be tempted to jump off rather than climb down. Young climbers in particular have at times been encouraged to jump deliberately from high on the wall, and this cannot be accepted as good practice.

Thick matting beneath a wall does not in itself make a wall safer.

If matting or safety flooring is provided ensure it is permanently fixed, has a regular consistency and a continuous profile.”

It is due to the nature of the multi-use of the Sports Centre which makes the last statement above impossible to meet. Thus it has been decided to not supply loose safety matting, and to place the emphasis on the wall user to climb appropriately as would be done in the natural environment where safety matting is not provided!

There is also a new element to the Wall at Copleston in that there are no anchor points provided, either in the floor, or at the base of the wall for attaching to lighter belayers. The Wall manufacturers now no longer provide these with new wall constructions due to the number of incidences of accidents involving the use of these types of anchor points. The preference is for the Wall management to supply “belay bags” for the use of lighter belayers. These are purpose built bags containing 3stone in weight. They can be attached to the belayer’s harness with a daisy chain, or tape sling. The belayer can now stand in an appropriately safe place of their choosing and not be restricted to having to be close to the supplied fixed type anchor points.

The opening times are as follows:-

  • Wednesday 6:00pm – 11:00pm
  • Thursday 8:00pm — 11:00pm
  • Friday 6:00pm – 11:00pm
  • Saturday 1:00pm — 5:00pm
  • Sunday 1:00pm — 5:00pm
  • Admission Charges (for 2002) will be £3.20 per session, or £12:00 per month by standing order.

Climbing Courses will be available for those who require them, as follows:-

    • Taster Session: A 2 hour introductory session, designed for those who wish to try climbing to see if they would enjoy it.
    • Beginners Course: A course of four 2 hour sessions, This is a comprehensive introduction to wall climbing, for those with little or no experience. Over the period of the course you will acquire the necessary skills to enable you to climb at the wall safely and unsupervised.
  • Improvers Course: Six 3 hours modules. Improve your skills and knowledge with a 3-hour improver module. Choose from one or more of a number of advanced subjects.

Further details of course content and prices can be obtained from the Sports Centre.

Load Testing the Bolt Hangers with 8.2 kN for 10 seconds

Keith Lodge
Climbing Wall Supervisor
Copleston Centre
October 2002