Matilda Collins, currently in Year 6 at Cranleigh Prep, came joint 2nd in the U12 girls’ category at the YCCF (Youth Colour Climbing Festival).
This world-renowned international climbing competition is held in Imst in the Tyrol, on their outdoor wall, which is the biggest climbing wall in Europe. Matilda achieved the highest position ever realised by a female British climber since the competition began 12 years ago.
The YCCF is held over two days and this year 264 children from 21 countries competed in four categories. Many were representing their national teams and came from centre European countries such as Austria, Germany, Belgium and Spain but there were also climbers from Bulgaria, Sweden, Russia and even one boy from Equador!
Matilda’s category (U12 girls) consisted of 63 climbers. They were challenged with 10 climbs over a day and a half. In temperatures of almost 30 degrees, all was going well before a severe thunderstorm cut proceedings short at around 6pm. As a result, two climbs had to be dropped but this still left Matilda in a four way tie for the overnight lead. The competition resumed the following morning under clear alpine skies. With little sign of nerves Matilda continued to climb well but, with so many climbers, it was impossible to judge where she was in the leader board until everyone had finished and the final scores were announced.
The Headmaster, Michael Wilson, said “Many congratulations to Matilda for gaining the best position ever accomplished by a girl from Great Britain – this is an outstanding achievement and we are all very proud of her!”
Report and pictures contributed by Cranleigh Prep School.