2016 Leading Ladder

The Victorian Leading Ladder Series 2016

leading ladder button

This year 4 participating gyms are putting on three rounds, each two weeks in length. The first one is starting February 1. Check out the dates and locations here:



When a round starts you’ll be able to purchase a scorecard from the front desk gym staff for $2. If you haven’t already you will also need to renew your SCA membership for the 2016 year. Head back here to enter your scores.

If you forgot or missed entering your scores for any of the rounds, you can do it here:

All membership fees help the SCA and your local SCV organisations run competitions, workshops and social events which further develop the local climbing scene.

The scorecard will designate 7 routes in each gym which are the leading ladder routes. These routes are also marked on the wall and are ungraded, their difficulty will range from grade 16 to 26. Please note that some of these routes may go up a couple days before the start of the leading ladder – please do not climb them before the start date!

Each time you try a route make a tick mark on the attempts section of the scorecard. To get full value from your leading ladder experience, every time you fall on a route you should lower to the ground and start your next attempt from the ground. The reason for this is that you will better hone your flash skills by not working individual moves and having to plan on executing all the moves from the beginning. Also the routes may get quite busy and working the moves on a route will get frustrating to those waiting to attempt them.

A successful attempt is when you have climbed the route from the ground to matching the final hold on the route as well making all the clips on the route without falling or weighting the rope. When you have done this mark the final number of attempts it took you to complete the route and have your belayer initial it as well.

Your objective is to try and complete as many routes as you can in as few attempts as possible. The more gyms you visit the more chances you will get in practicing your route reading and indoor flash skills.

This year we will be publishing results for each individual gym as well as combined gym scores. So if you can only participate in your regular climbing gym that’s ok but you should aim to visit as many participating gyms as you can.

We are also simplifying the youth categories this year in addition to the adult category. There will be only two youth categories: Under 16 and 16 to 19 categories.

Why Participate:

The Leading Ladder series is organised for the purpose of providing a more casual competition format to introduce everyone to some of the skills used in the lead climbing competition format used at state and national titles. These are also useful skills for outdoor climbing that are difficult to train in an indoor setting. Specifically the Leading Ladder will help to develop:

Route Reading –  this is the ability to plan the most optimal sequence through a route by visualising yourself climbing through the route rather than having to physically attempt the move to work out the best sequence. This is useful in all onsighting and flash situations whether it’s indoor climbing or outside.

Focus – when you are making a flash or redpoint attempt what are you thinking about? The Leading Ladder series will help you focus on ground up attempts and stay focused on figuring out the best way through the next move during the whole attempt. A climbing skill essential for climbing in every situation.

Gumption – when you are leading, how hard are you trying when you attempt a route? Are you climbing until you actually fall or are you saying “take” and letting go? Being in a friendly competitive situation can give you a little extra motivation to try harder and push yourself beyond what you think you can do – that bit of extra effort will make you stronger too!

Some Tips:

Make every attempt count – take the time to visualise every move on every Leading Ladder route. Visualising routes is a skill that needs to be practiced.  Even if the route looks easy, read every move for the extra practice.

Reflect on your attempts – if you fall, think about what you did well and what you could do better. Maybe you misread a sequence or maybe there is a type of movement you are finding consistently difficult. You can identify your strengths and weaknesses this way to better inform your training plans for the rest of the year.

Don’t forget to breathe – when you are on new routes and trying hard moves it is easy to forget to breathe. When you come off are you breathless? Try to establish a breathing rhythm and when you read routes look for rest positions and use these to refocus on your breath and restart a breathing rhythm.

Get Social – join in with other climbers trying the leading ladder routes – cheer each other on to keep the psych high!
Have fun and enjoy the routes!