Caitlin Connor, 15, PREPARES TO CLIMB MIGHTY ‘TOBLERONE’ MATTERHORN MOUNTAIN

15 YEAR OLD GLASWEGIAN WILL CLIMB 3 OF EUROPE'S HIGHEST PEAKS

15 YEAR OLD GLASWEGIAN PREPARES TO CLIMB MIGHTY ‘TOBLERONE’ MATTERHORN MOUNTAIN

With challenging ascents of several of Europe’s highest peaks, including the mighty ‘Toblerone’ shaped Matterhorn mountain to tackle later this month, 15 year-old Caitlin Connor from Glasgow was at Snow Factor Braehead on Tuesday (7 August) for some last minute ice-time with her axe and crampons on the indoor ice-walls. 

For while her friends return to school, the talented young climber from Cambuslang will jet out to Switzerland next week with the aim of scaling three mighty alpine peaks over ten days: Mont Blanc (4810m), Grandes Jorasses (4208m) and the triangular shaped peak of the Matterhorn (4478m / 14,692ft).

Caitlin, who less than 5 years since taking up climbing is already a member of the Scottish and GB Ice Climbing teams will be joined by Will Morris, an accomplished alpinist and speed-flyer.

Caitlin Ice Climbing before her trip

This will be the first alpine expedition for the pupil of Stonelaw High School (Rutherglen) who over the past season has benefited from the tutelage of former GB Ice Climbing Team member Simon Ward.   

On 19 August (weather permitting), she hopes to have ascended the Matterhorn, the peak that is said to have inspired the shape of the Toblerone chocolate bar.  In completing her challenge, the talented climber hopes to raise funds for Urban Uprising and PoppyScotland – two charities close to her heart. She is a Youth Ambassador for Urban Uprising, a charity that funds climbing and educational programmes for hard to reach young people (8-18 years old) from deprived areas. With both her parents formerly part of HM Forces, she also hopes to raise funds for PoppyScotland. 

Her dad, Mick revealed the support she is receiving ahead of her climb and admitted to some nerves ahead of the expedition: “As parents we obviously have some apprehension as we are aware of the risks involved, but also believe that Caitlin, supported by Simon and Will has the necessary skills and qualities needed to complete this particular challenge.

“Caitlin is a sponsored RAB athlete and has also been supported over the past 12 months by Snow Factor Braehead with access to the ice walls to train.  As Scotland’s only urban indoor snow-sports centre they have also kindly agreed to provide private ski and snowboard lessons that will assist Caitlin in further developing her mountain experiences.”

Caitlin, who in addition to fundraising donations is still hoping to secure additional equipment and financial support, will compete in this year’s British Dry Tooling Competition.  As a world top 10 (U-16 girls) ranked ice-climber, she will also compete at the World Youth Ice championships in Oulu, Finland in March 2019 and hopes to compete for Team GB should ice climbing be included at the 2022 Winter Olympics. 

If you’d like to donate to Caitlin’s Fundraising page for Poppy Scotland, follow this link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/caitlinconnor

All images and videos by Jeff Holmes

Here’s a clip of Cailtin training at Snow Factor, we can’t wait to see videos and pictures from her trip!