The Climbing Works International Festival (CWIF) traditionally announces the start of the IFSC Bouldering World Cup season, providing viewers a forerunner of who is in form leading up to the start of the season.
It also presents athletes the opportunity to have competition practice under World Cup rules ahead of the start of the season in April. Current World Cup Champion Jongwon Chon from South Korea leads an impressive male line-up for this years competition including past CWIF champions Alex Megos, Sean McColl and Jernej Kruder.
As Shauna Coxsey is still rehabilitating from an injury picked up at the end of the last World Cup season, this means that there will be a brand new women’s champion for 2017. Petra Klingler, Melissa La Neve and Sol Sa lead a strong female pack.
The CWIF is much more than just an elite competition. It has a unique qualification format on the Saturday that allows everyday climbers the chance to compete amongst athletes at the top echelon of the sport.
The 450 competitors are split into three qualification sessions that then get whittled down to 20 Semi-Finalists. During the qualification sessions all climbers attempt the same problems meaning regular weekend warriors can climb at the same time & challenge themselves on the same problems as the climbing elite.
For those who don’t want to take it too seriously there is a fancy dress competition and special off-piste problems during the third session only for those who want to do wait until darkness falls to show off their special costumes.
CWIF signals the start of the International Climbing competition season where the world’s best elite climbers come to test themselves on problems set by top international routesetters.
“Every year, the CWIF has got bigger and better and for our 10th year the partnership with RAB brought it to another level,” said Sam Whittaker, the CWIF Festival Director. “It was hard to imagine at first how we could top that but we’ve worked hard to put together another top competitor list and we are excited at hosting another wonderful CWIF.”