Every year the Hangar runs two major league competitions – the Winter Bouldering League and the Bouldering Open Summer Series.

Attracting hundreds of participants across our Liverpool, London and Plymouth walls, we obviously get to see some exceptionally strong climbers testing their skills.

But for the Hangar team, competitions are as much about improving your own climbing as they are about winning. We want climbers of all abilities to take part, inspiring you to challenge yourselves, enjoy watching more experienced athletes and, most importantly, to have fun. Everyone who enters has a chance to win some great prizes.

If you’ve not competed before, don’t be shy – we’d love to see you give it a go. Here are our top tips for getting the most out of a bouldering competition.

  1. Comp nights can have quite a different atmosphere to a normal (even busy) evening at the wall. Come with your game face on and if you’re not competed before be prepared to wait a bit longer, try a bit harder and see some awesome moves from the competitors.
  2. Approach the comp as a masterclass – you’re going to see people climbing the same problem in a whole host of ways. Watch and learn.
  3. Make sure you understand the scoring system and take the time to plan your competition accordingly. A bit of strategic thinking can save your strength and maximise your point scoring potential.
  4. Warm up. And stretch.
  5. Know your limits – the thrill of the competition can inspire you to climb things you never thought possible, but killing yourself to complete a climb that’s well beyond you won’t put you in first place for points. The problems will be available for up to two weeks after the launch night so if you don’t get them all done in one go, you can return and tackle that nemesis before submitting your score card.
  6. Eat, drink and rest properly. A three hour competition window is quite different to your normal 60-90 minute session. Look after yourself.
  7. Leagues give you lots of rounds to compete in. If this is your first time use it to understand what works for you and build on it in later rounds. It will help your approach on normal climbing sessions as well.
  8. At the Hangar, we usually rely on self-reporting of scores because you’re such an honest bunch. Please fill your scores in properly and make them easy to read – it makes our jobs so much easier when we’re trying to count up!
  9. Don’t take any of it too seriously. It’s an awesome opportunity to meet new people, take part in something a bit different and enjoy yourself. We will be!