Amazing boy climber scales new heights with British victory
York youngster Hamish McArthur is already at the very top of his game – after winning the under 14s category at the British Youth Climbing Series Finals in Edinburgh.
Twelve-year-old Hamish tackled six climbing routes on walls at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena to secure victory.
These comprised three climbs with ropes and three bouldering challenges that featured tricky elements such as overhangs, which mimic a cave setting.
The Joseph Rowntree School student was the only climber in his category to successfully negotiate a route to the very top of the third and most challenging of the taller walls. He achieved maximum points and secured first place in the process.
Hamish made it through three regional qualifying rounds before going on to represent the Yorkshire & Humberside region at the national finals on June 30.
At 12 years of age, Hamish was one of the younger climbers in the under 14s age category.
According to his father Angus, who runs Gillygate contemporary design store Snowhome, signs of the youngster’s climbing talent were apparent from a very early age.
“We took him to the climbing wall at Energise for a taster session on his fifth birthday,” he said. “The coach said he was doing stuff that kids aged nine or ten couldn’t even do!”
Hamish, who lives with his family in the centre of the city near York Hospital, represented Team GB at the Youth Colours European climbing event in Imst, Austria earlier this year.
He is sponsored by York’s own Red Goat Climbing Wall, Leeds-based plc Tracsis and Spanish climbing equipment company Boreal.
Sport climbing missed out to wrestling, baseball and squash in its bid for a spot on the programme for the 2020 Olympics in Japan.
Nevertheless, the sport is rapidly growing in popularity, and a bright future in climbing could await Hamish.
Angus tells us: “If climbing makes it onto the programme for the Olympics, that’ll be the target.
“As it stands, the aim is for Hamish to represent Team GB at the European and World Championships once he moves into the over 14s age group.”
And what of Hamish himself? “I want to be a professional climber or a stuntman, my mum is not keen on the second option,” he explains on his website.
I grew up as a friend of Hamish’s grandfather and am a friend of his grandmother.
It gives me great pleasure to read of his achievements and I wish him success in
the future in a sport which can give a lot of pleasure as I well know having two sons
who enjoy climbing in the great outdoors in the Scottish Highlands where we live.