Diane's Profile

Diane Merrick


Local activist

Sheffield, South Yorkshire 
Group(s): British Bouldering Team
Diane Merrick


 I first tried climbing at a Scout campsite 20 years ago.  A man-made wall against a tree.  I was hooked.  It was far more fun than climbing trees and things you get told off for climbing (like door frames - I was small at the time ok).  I joined a climbing club in Essex when I was 16.  It was with the club that I was taught rope work and trad climbing.  We went on trips to the Wye Valley, the Peak District and Southern Sandstone crags.
A couple of years after this I went to study at Sheffield University.  I didn't know anything about any famous climbers and didn't know Sheffield was the climbing capital of the country.  I couldn't believe my luck.  I discovered bouldering at the Foundry and very rarely do any other forms of climbing. 
I entered a few competitions throughout the years through invitation, i.e. "does anyone know any girls that can boulder?".  There wasn't that many girls bouldering then.  It's good to see that this has now changed with the improving and increasing number of facilities, and good promotion of the sport.
Eventually I decided that I wanted to have a proper go at competition climbing.  I entered the 2007 British Bouldering Championships.  I came 3rd and was selected for the British Team.  I learnt how to train properly and am improving in leaps and bounds.  I love competing and work well off the adrenaline, pulling off moves I struggle to repeat when not competing.  I want to win and am proud to represent my country.
I mainly climb/train at the Foundry and the Climbing Works in Sheffield, but visit other walls for training and to get a good variety of climbing styles.  I also train at home which makes it easier to fit more in after work.  Weights, fingerboard/bar work, core exercises and stretching.
My best results are 15th in the Eindhoven World Cup 09 (International) and 2nd in the BBC 08 (British).  My highest world ranking to date is 29th.  My favourite competition to date was the Eindhoven comp.  The crowd was amazing, the comp was really well organised, we had a full team competing, Pete my other half was there and I climbed well.
My climbing competition goals for 2010 and beyond are to win the BBC, consistently qualify for World Cup semi-finals, make a World Cup final and win.
My hardest onsight is probably 7a.  I'm not too fussed about ticking grades.  They are subjective and there are so many climbing styles, but they are useful for working out what to try and if it will be safe.  There are a lot of outdoor projects I want to get done at some point, especially in the Peak, but I am concentrating on competitions at the moment.
I am sponsored by Godsrock Clothing

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