Siblings Climb for Britain
For a pair of siblings climbing for a little over four years, Hannah and Daniel Smith (S4 and S3) have already achieved remarkable things.
Earlier this year, the pair took part in the British Climbing Championships. Daniel made on to the podium in a very tight competition, whereas Hannah scraped through to the final after a very tough qualifying round; she then improved to 4th place on the day in the final. This meant that Daniel finished 3rd in the overall UK league for the year, while Hannah finished 2nd.
After these brilliant performances, we caught up with Hannah and Daniel to find out about their past successes and their plans for the future.
Hannah recounts how she has been climbing for four years, and competing nationally for two. Impressively, she’s been part of the GB Development Team and GB Climbing Team and has competed in the European Cup and the World Championships.
Her best discipline is bouldering, she explains: “It involves hard moves, but is less about endurance”. In the World Championships earlier this year she impressively placed 47th and just missed out on the semi-finals. “I fell on the final wall, but if I hadn’t, I would have placed much higher!”
Daniel has also achieved brilliant levels of success in the four and a half years he’s been climbing. He’s been selected for the GB team for the past two years, and has also been selected for two European Cups. In his most recent competitions he’s placed as high as 27th internationally.
Daniel explains how lead climbing is his preferred discipline. “It’s much more about endurance; there’s a time limit to get as high as possible, and the walls are often 20-25 metres tall!”
In 2016, Daniel was the British Champion in his age group, and this year he hopes he can perform just as well. This year, he’ll be at the higher end of the 14-15 age group, which he hopes will help.
Asked how their interest in Climbing began, Daniel explains that he was the youngest person ever to climb all 282 munroes – he astonishingly completed them by the age of nine. He explains that he had to learn to climb in order to complete some of the most difficult munroes, which are located on the Isle of Skye. Hannah explains that she was keen to follow in her younger brother’s footsteps, and started climbing soon after.
Hannah and Daniel train around four times a week, twice at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, and twice at the GCC in Glasgow. Hannah explains that they look up to many young British climbers, as well as professionals, which makes it easier to find the motivation for such a rigorous training schedule.
We wish the pair the best of luck in the upcoming GB try-outs in the first weekend of December.