Climbing high to success
IMAGINE spending your weekend by hanging 15 metres above a cave floor.
That is how 15-year-old Nick Wagland spent last weekend when he tackled the challenging rock climb at Bulahdelah's Goat Cave.
The Bishop Druitt College student tackled the challenging climb on the weekend as he prepares for the World Youth Championships to be held in the French town of Valence in August.
Wagland rates the Bulahdelah climb as the most challenging he's done to date but he says that he needs to do it to tackle the challenging indoor conditions he'll face at the World Champs.
“The wall is about 25 metres up and it's designed so that only one or two of the climbers finish it,” he said.
Since competing at last year's worlds in Sydney, Wagland has been preparing for France by climbing outdoors nearly every weekend to hone his skills as well as having three sessions a week tackling the indoor climbing wall at the Link Gym.
“Last year I didn't actually do so well but it was a real eye-opener to me,” Nick said.
“The standard overseas is very high and it showed me how hard I have to train to get to that standard.”
So there's also been plenty of cross training as well including running, yoga and plenty of time building strength with chin-ups and pull-ups and there's no doubting the Year Nine student is prepared.
Then again Wagland has been preparing for rock climbing challenges for most of his life it would seem.
Having grown up in the Blue Mountains and being a member of a keen rock-climbing family, it was inevitable that this youngster would get involved.
“Dad was a rock climber and he took me out from a really early age,” he said.
“When I was 12 or 13 there was a climbing festival in the Blue Mountains and I was really inspired by the competitors there.
“That's when I started taking it seriously.”
Wagland moved to Diggers with his family 12 months ago and he says that there are some hidden gems for climbers in the area.
“The scene here in Coffs is really great for climbing and the Link Gym is good for training as well,” he said.
“The school has been really supportive as well, letting me go to train outside of school instead of doing some of the normal sports.”