BUCS Bouldering 2023

BUCS Bouldering 2023

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BUCS team

Our trip began sharing a coach with athletics, more confused than ever at SU transport. To be honest it was quite concerning to hear Tom was still in the Library chatting with Joe (a fallen comrade) at 12; aka leaving time so I was pleasantly surprised to see that we were on the road by only 10 past.

A long drive later, plus a bonus stop and some sassy remarks re emergency toilet use, we arrived into Sheffield to deliver Robin and his athletics crew to their fancy spancy hotel (only a Premier Inn but it seems like a lot in comparison to a bunkhouse)

While attempting to depart the driver did have to quite strongly tell a local Sheffielder that no he couldn't take him on the coach to wherever it was he wanted to go. Sorry Brennan, but people in Sheffield are weird.

I'm not sure how much the SU appreciated quite how impossible it is for a coach to take us to the bunkhouse, but anyway, we walked the last 20 mins up the path. Obviously, as sods law would have it, rain came in fast for pretty much the walk up and the walk only, stopping on our arrival. Gotta say, credit to Aisha for dragging her wheelie bag up the path through the rain, gravel and mud.

Upon arrival and perusal of the rooms, the obvious first move was of course to establish a boulder sequence across the rock protruding through the wall. Thomas was initially very impressed by Maxime’s skill until he realised that the bed was ‘in’. The bloc was achieved to some degree of success although I think the main success was that no one got badly injured.


Back downstairs we were in for a treat, Thomas had prepared a presentation full of tactics, tips and tricks, and of course a healthy dose of climbing memes. It was the final slide, however, that took us on a violent throwback to school years – a good old kahoot! Congrats to Jessie for the win, and Tom for a brilliant team talk.

With un-nerving quantities of pasta consumed.. and ibuprofen, the comp prep was well underway. Beth even had her sunglasses on.. still not entirely sure why, was she blocking us out? Meditating? hungover from agm? I’m not sure, but it was funny nonetheless that she packed them in the first place given the forecast. 


An early start on Saturday, we shovelled down breakfast and set off to the Works in our taxi convoy .. yup, taxis, ask the SU, I don’t know.

With a somewhat-listened-to introduction while arm spinning and hip stretching, the session began! We even encountered a surprise arrival from Elizabeth, the sport exec,  she was very confused by the whole concept but enthusiastically cheered us up the warm up climbs. The psyche was well appreciated.

Many a climb was topped, many a GB climber spotted, and despite my best attempts I never actually got my feet off the floor on the crack climb and therefore it didn’t even count as an attempt.

A solid 2.75hrs of gurn, nerves and sending later, plus an extra 15mins for me because I am *special*, the scorecards were handed in and we promptly began the walk to Nando’s. It’s practically a tradition by this point – whoever goes next year, don’t let us down!

While some of the group headed back to do their bit and volunteer as a route judge, others did their bit for the team and acquired a large chocolate cake.

Thomas smartly stationed himself to route judge at the crack climb so that he could watch and learn – although I’m not sure he really needed it given that as the session came to an end, a few people came back to try some alternative methods, with Thomas joining in, resulting in campusing up the problem.. casual. Going above and beyond as a route judge I gotta say.

It was a fairly long wait through session 2 and 3 before it was time to watch the all-star finals, during which very few climbs were topped, which, given the venue of Unit E, their current comp set and the sub-minus temperatures (and Brennan's holey shoe) , I’d say was fair enough.













With finals quickly approaching, Brennan ran out to collect pizzas (thanks Brennan!) and we found a spot right by the mats, and even found a lesser-spotted Will Jones amongst the crowd, claiming to support Edinburgh ...while wearing his BUMC top. Suspicious.

Finals, was of course, spectacular, with some funky setting and lots of screaming – mostly to try and tell one of the finalists to handstand without actually telling him, it was borderline torture.


Sunday’s mission was to get to Stanage and pray for enough of a weather window to actually top something or other, which was successful! Without our own transport, and no taxis for non-competition events, the long walk to Stanage began. It always seemed like such a short drive but I wouldn’t ask Aisha how it was if I were you …













Plenty of uni clubs had had the same idea and many a boulder pad was shared round, mostly clustered around the famous pebble boulder – and of course, Deliverance. Thomas almost brought home a send, but unfortunately his shoulder disagreed and instead stayed put while he leapt for the top…he took the rest of the morning off. Kai, Brennan and Maxime headed off to Brass Monkeys, with Alesia on photo duty capturing Kai’s send. The rest of us made our way up climbs using a variety of holds, mostly just trying to avoid the puddly ones.

Very grateful to Kai’s friends, we got dropped back at the hut (tragically in beautiful sunshine) for a quick turnaround and back out to the coach, and onwards back to bath!


Big thanks to Thomas for organizing and congrats to everyone for a solid showing to represent Bath!


Scores on the doors:


Kai 221

Thomas 220

Maxime 199

Brennan 157



Aisha 131

Emma 124

Alesia 114

Jessie 113

Beth 51


Emma Wilkes signing off x