A rising star of the Scottish climbing scene, with a strong focus on winter climbing, Caitlin has just earned her place as part of the GB Ice Climbing team. But this two time Scottish champion isn’t confined to the ice, her skills extend into dry-tooling and hard sport routes, having already chalked up her first 7b+.
As part of the Scottish Lead Climbing team, Caitlin has achieved a host of podium finishes over the last three years, finishing strongly in championships and competitions around the world. But her exploits extend far beyond the gym. At just 13 she made an ascent of 'Persistence of Vision' (7a+) and a year later sent 'Hamish Teddy's Excellent Adventure' (7b+).
More recently, Caitlin has been concentrating on mastering drytooling and ice climbing. This has enabled her to climb some Scottish winter classics including 'Aladdin's Mirror Direct' (IV 4), 'Curved Ridge' (II/III 3), 'Doctors Dilemma' (IV 4), and 'Steall Falls' (III). She has also managed to tick M9+ at The Works, with M10 lines at both Newtyle and Masson Lees also on the cards.
"Outdoor pursuits and all forms of climbing for me are great forms of exercise. I love it when my mind is clear and I’m completely focused on my climb. Climbing, dry-tooling and ice climbing are my favourite sports. For me there’s nothing better than being up a mountain exploring. I think teenagers should get outdoors more, they don’t need to conform to the phone obsessed stereotypes."
- Powerband (7C), Raven Tor
- Genesis (VII, 7 305m), Beinn Bhan - first ascent
- Diedre of Sorrows (VIII, 8 150m), Lochnagar - first free ascent
- Bats in the Belfry (E7 6b), Gogarth South Stack - first ascent
- Austrian Oak (8b), Malham Cove
- Ecstasy (7c+/8a 250m), Simelistock
- North Face, Changabang (6864m) - first ascent
- North Buttress, Mount Kennedy (4250m), Alaska - first alpine style ascent
- Laila Peak (6096m), Karakoram - first ascent
Interview With Caitlin
From drytooling and ice climbing, to sport and even a spot of trad, it’s fair to say you enjoy almost every discipline of climbing. If you had to pick one discipline as your favourite which would it be and why?
My favourite type of climbing is sport climbing. I love how you can sport climb all over the world. It’s a very sociable form of climbing and a great way to make new friends – while it’s a great day out, it’s usually very tiring as well! I’m looking forward to doing more this summer and making the most of the nice weather.
We know you’ve been training hard for the competition season, what are the goals you’re aiming for?
My aim is to compete in the Winter Olympics and hopefully to become a climbing coach. I’m currently working on my Fundas course, and as part of that I have been teaching younger climbers.
What advice would you give other young climbers looking to follow your lead?
My advice to younger climbers is to see climbing as a way of life and to view it in the long-term, as sometimes it can take a long time and a lot of commitment to see even small improvements. Climbing is great for your health and fitness levels regardless of whether you do it to compete or just for fun.
Image by Finalcrux Films