Climber spotlight: Lisa Kean

ClimbScotland Competition Coordinator Avril Gail spotted Lisa whilst in Munich at the IFSC Bouldering World Cup and we just had to find out more about Lisa's climbing and what she's been up to.

Hello Lisa! We'd love to hear about how you discovered climbing…

I first went climbing with a school friend at a taster session at Alien Rock and I liked it so much that I joined their Saturday kids club which is where I first met Mike Mullins, who is now my coach. I decided to have a go at the Scottish Youth Climbing Championship just for fun and I ended coming second overall and Scottish Champion (the person who came first was English). After that I was hooked and have been competing regularly ever since. I'm not from a climbing family so I've been very lucky to have had great coaching from Mike (and previously from Robbie Phillips before he became a globe-trotting sponsored climber) and to be part of the Youth Squad at Ratho. Mike has really helped me appreciate the sport as well as develop technically.

LisaKean BMCYO 2016

How Long have you been climbing for?

I started when I was eight and I'm now thirteen, so five years.

What is your favourite type of climbing?

I like all kinds of climbing but at the moment my favourite is bouldering. I really like bouldering competitions because they are so sociable and you get to climb so many different problems.

I usually climb indoors and it's great to live in Edinburgh and be close to EICA Ratho which is probably the best climbing wall in the world.

Do you have any advice for people looking to try a climbing competition?

For the younger age categories just put your name in for the Youth Climbing Series and give it a go. It's very friendly, there are always some problems you'll be able to do and you will definitely have fun.

If you are older, have a go at a bouldering competition at your local wall to start with. The competition at YCS and the national competitions like SYCC and SYBC in the older categories is a bit more serious so maybe find out the grades of the routes or boulders in your category, talk to an instructor or coach at your local wall and put in some training first.

German Alpine Clubs wall

Can you tell us a bit about your recent travels? We heard you were in Munich?

My mum is German so we like going to Germany and Austria on holiday so I can practice my German and we can do some shopping. This year we went to Innsbruck and Munich, which are big climbing towns. They even sell climbing harnesses in the supermarket in Innsbruck!

Some of my friends from the climbing competitions were also in Austria and we met up for a climb at the Tivoli wall at Innsbruck. Innsbruck is the home town for many of the Austrian climbing team and Jacob Schubert was bouldering next to us.

We also went to Imst to have a go on the huge outdoor arch there, which is used for international competitions. I’ve been there before for the Youth Colours Competition and it really is awesome but we got there in the afternoon and it was about 30 Centigrade and far too hot for serious climbing.

The shopping in Munich was just as interesting for a climber as in Innsbruck. They didn’t sell climbing harnesses in the supermarkets but we found a sports shop with a full scale via ferrata and another one with a pool for testing kayaks! In Munich we climbed at Boulderzentrum Ost which is a large and really busy bouldering wall with a great atmosphere. The IFSC Bouldering World Cup was being held in the Olympic Stadium the next day so the wall had set some warm-up problems on their comp wall and it was fun to have a try.

The German team climber Sebastien Halenke was having a go too when we were there and was really easy to spot because of his bright red Mohawk haircut.
Lisa Shauna and Leah
We also climbed at the German Alpine Club's wall in North Munich which is an awesome building with huge lead walls on the outside and lots of bouldering and routes inside as well.

When we were in Munich at the IFSC Bouldering World Cup was at the Olympic Stadium so naturally we went and it was brilliant. All the athletes were very friendly and approachable on the qualification day where there wasn't such a big crowd and I managed to get a picture with Shauna Coxsey and Leah Crane.

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