Some of the best rock climbers in the world will be in Boulder, Colorado this weekend to participate in the first lead sport climbing World Cup in the U.S. in more than two decades.
Paige Claassen, who has traveled all over the globe for World Cups and will be competing this weekend, says:
“It’s a huge step forward for the U.S. to host a World Cup. It’s an exciting time for climbing and Boulder is an exceptional place to host this event both because of our climbing history and the number of climbers residing in Boulder.”
Claassen, who currently attends CU, took the first female ascent of Grand Ol’ Opry, a 5.14b at the Monestary near Estes Park, Colorado last year.
In addition to Claassen, there are 66 athletes registered to compete this weekend. Currently ranked highest in the world is Jakob Schubert of Austria, Ramon Julian Puigblanque of Spain and Manuel Romain of France. The top three women include, Jain Kim of Korea, Mina Markovic of Slovenia and Angela Eiter of Austria. Leading the way in U.S. rankings is Carlo Traversi and Sasha Diguilian.
Emily Harrington, a local Boulder climber, will also be competing this weekend. In 2006, Harrington was named Female Climber of the Year at the Teva Mountain games. Lately, her focus has been on climbing outside, but whether this will translate to climbing on plastic is unknown, she says. Regardless, Harrington is looking forward to the competition and says, “I am mostly excited to see my friends from abroad and show them a good time in Boulder.”
Another top climber and Boulder resident is Ben Spannuth. Spannuth will be returning from a climbing trip in Spain where he successfully repeated Chris Sharma’s 5.14d, Era Bella. Before his trip, Spannuth was training regularly.
“After graduating in May and having significantly more time to devote to climbing I would do laps in the morning at Movement, go bouldering at CATS in the afternoon, then finish the day at The Spot on the tread wall. I was very motivated to get as much power endurance as possible for the World Championships in Arco, Italy and especially an extended climbing trip in Catalunya,” he says.
In regards to this weekend’s competition, Spannuth says, “At this point, I haven’t really climbed inside in a couple months so I’m unsure how the comp. will go and have little to no expectation in my performance besides wanting to make it to my redline and not making a mistake before. More than anything, I’m fully expecting to be very motivated seeing climbers like Jakob and Ramon walk up the moves I fall on.”
Other competitors from the U.S. will include, Matty Hong, Alex Johnson, Jon Cardwell, Tiffany Hensley, Delaney Miller and Chelsea Rude. For a complete listing click here.
Run by International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) and USA Climbing, the event will be hosted at Movement Climbing and Fitness October 8-9th. Buy your tickets at Movement and view a complete schedule of the competition here.
The event kicks off Friday night at 7 p.m. on Pearl Street where the athletes will walk up the mall carrying their country’s flags. All are welcome to join at Bacaro for dinner and drinks after the procession.