On Monday 20 March, a team from Eton College won this year’s Independent Schools Climbing Championship (ISCC) at the Parthian Climbing Centre, Reading.

20 schools and over 200 competitors attended ISCC 2023, with the U18A and U16A climbing teams from Eton scoring a combined 1071 points in what was Eton’s third consecutive competition victory. Tonbridge (1050 points) and Abingdon (1049 points) achieved second and third places respectively. Eton climbers Oscar M and Hugo T also achieved joint third place in the overall individual rankings.

Event categories included bouldering, top-rope and lead climbing, which were all keenly contested. An exciting bouldering grand final provided the competition with a fitting climax and saw Eton’s Keeper of Sports Climbing Oscar M win the Bronze medal.

Representing Eton in the U18A team were Oscar M, Yan K and Hugo T, while the U16A team was comprised of Geordie L, Digby T and William M. Eton’s U18B team also took part in the competition, featuring Sam R, Will B, Patrick M and Guang X, along with the U16B team made up of Mark S, Caspar F and Sasha V.

The ISCC began as a competition in the 2005/06 academic year on the Harrow School Wall, with a second competition on Tonbridge’s new indoor wall in 2008/09. Since then, the competition has gradually evolved into an annual climbing festival hosted by a variety of schools and venues. Approximately 30 schools from around the UK have taken part, with the competition format varying to some extent between years.

Top senior climbers from the competing schools have set a high standard in recent competitions, leading routes graded in excess of 6c (European grading) and delivering many outstanding performances.