29 Sep 2016

Kai Lightner: teenage climbing champion

From Nine To Noon, 10:09 am on 29 September 2016

One of the best competitive indoor rock climbers in the United States is also a teenager.

Kai Lightner won his first adult national championship title when he was 15, he's also won a raft of youth championships.

He's part of a new generation of young climbers challenging a sport which has been built more on the gradual acquisition of skill than raw natural talent.

Kai is also keen to pursue outdoor climbing - on a recent trip to Spain he climbed Era Vella - a route which even adult professional climbers find challenging.

Climbing folk will know it’s a 5.14d graded climb in the Yosemite Decimal System.

Kai's mum Connie, nevertheless is insisting that he maintain his straight ‘A’ student record.

Kai and Connie both live in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

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