The American Alpine Club is hosting the UIAA (International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation) World Cup ice climbing competition at Colorado’s Denver Civic Center Park on February 23-24. This will be the first time the competition has come to Denver. The event will be free to the public.
The UIAA website reports that “the 2019 calendar is the biggest to date and includes six World Cup events, four European Cups, a World Championships, a World Combined Championships and a World Youth Championships. The World Tour will visit 10 different countries on three continents and features two events taking place in major cities–Moscow and Denver.”
Denver is the final stop for the World Cup series.
Qualifying rounds will be held on the first day, and semi-finals and overall finals will take place on Day 2. US athletes who wish to compete at the 2019 Denver World Cup will be able to earn entry at qualifying competitions.
“We are proud to support our US ice climbing athletes and to bring this impressive event to downtown Denver,” American Alpine Club CEO Phil Powers said in a press release. “The stamina, skill, and seeming impossibility of it all makes for an outstanding spectator experience. They’re up there doing crazy moves, wielding sharp tools, and they hang on forever.”
There will be two categories: lead climbing and speed climbing. The AAC press release notes that competitive ice climbing debuted as an exhibition sport at the Sochi Winter Olympics and that the sport is currently being considered for full-scale Olympic inclusion in the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.
Vickie Hormuth, Director of Strategic Partnerships for the AAC told Alpinist that the American Alpine Club has been a “Member Federation” to the UIAA since 1932 and that the Club has sanctioned three other ice world cup events in the US: in 2014 and 2015 in Bozeman, Montana, and in 2016 in Durango, Colorado.
“This will be the first time that AAC is hosting the event ourselves,” she said.
About American Alpine Club
The American Alpine Club is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose vision is a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. Together with our members, the AAC advocates for American climbers domestically and around the world; provides grants and volunteer opportunities to protect and conserve the places we climb; hosts local and national climbing festivals and events; publishes two of the world’s most sought-after climbing annuals, the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing; cares for the world’s leading climbing library and country’s leading mountaineering museum; manages the Hueco Rock Ranch, New River Gorge Campground, Samuel F. Pryor III Shawangunk Gateway Campground and Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch as part of a larger lodging network for climbers; and gives $100,000+ annually toward climbing and conservation, and research grants that fund adventurers who travel the world. Learn about additional programs and become a member at www.americanalpineclub.org.