A huge success!

The Granite City Rockstars Open weekend saw 22 young climbers getting involved with an indoor coaching session at Transition Extreme on Saturday, then over 30 young people and parents getting involved at an outdoor session at Black Rock Gulch. ClimbScotland offered its help to organise and run the event. Have a look at the report below!

GCRS Open Sat 6

What is the Granite City Rockstars Open Weekend?

Granite City Rockstars are a youth focused climbing club based out of Transition Extreme in Aberdeen. They offer weekly indoor climbing sessions every Sunday, outdoor climbing trips to local crags and a calendar of social events to top it off.

The Granite City Rockstars Open Weekend is about showcasing everything the club has to offer over one weekend. There was a fun indoor climbing session on Saturday, including a mini-competition and balance circuit. Then on Sunday, we headed outdoors to a local crag called Black Rock Gulch.

GCRS Open Sat 1

Saturday - Transition Extreme

On Saturday everyone met at Transition Extreme, where Calum and Robert had prepared a day of coaching activities. After a hectic arrival, we did a big warm-up for a whopping 22 young climbers before splitting off into two teams to tackle the day's challenges.

GCRS Open Sat 4GCRS Open Sat 5

Team red tackled the mini-competition first. We assigned all the existing routes in Transition a point value: the harder the route, the higher the points. The aim of the competition was to work as a team, and try to get as many points as possible within the time limit. Needless to say both teams put in a big effort, with some very different tactics being used. Some pairs tackling a large number of easier routes, while other pairs went for fewer, yet trickier and higher value routes. It definitely made for interested spectating, with a few heart-breaking falls from the last moves of hard routes!

GCRS Open Sat 7

While team red were busy racing up routes, team blue started off with the coaching challenges we had prepared beforehand. Robert had set up a devious balance circuit that toured round the whole of Transition Extreme. If this hadn't tested everyone's balance and movement skills enough, Calum had set a series of boulder challenges to test them even further. Everyone loved the 'hands-off' traverse on big volumes, with a few people coming very close to the finishing hold, and one person in particular managing to complete it backwards, and blindfolded!

Sunday - Black Rock Gulch

GCRS Open Sun 8

With most other places in Scotland raining, we managed to get lucky on Sunday with some rather sunny weather at Black Rock Gulch, a small trad climbing crag near Cove Bay. The momentum from Saturday kept on going, with over 30 young climbers and parents coming along to the crag to get a taste of outdoor climbing and see what Granite City Rockstars are all about.

GCRS Open Sun 6GCRS Open Sun 4GCRS Open Sun 10

We had an impressive 9 ropes running at one point, and between everyone I think we managed to climb just about every single route at the crag.

GCRS Open Sun 9

To sum up...

The Granite City Rockstars Open Weekend was a brilliant success, with 14 new members joining up to GCRS following the event. It was great to see a massive turnout for both days and to see just how many psyched young climbers there are in the Aberdeen area. It was incredibly rewarding to be part of the weekend and all the planning that led up to it

We're psyched for next year already!

GCRS Open Sun 1GCRS Open Sun 2GCRS Open Sun 3

Want to find out more?

If you want to find out more about Granite City Rockstars then why not check out their website or facebook page. Also, many thanks to Colin Wilson for the kind use of his fantastic pictures and Transition Extreme for their support in hosting the weekend.

Want help planning something similar for your club? Get in touch!


Robert MacKenzie, Regional Development Officer, West


Calum McBain, Regional Development Officer, East


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