The American Alpine Club (AAC), America’s oldest non-profit organization for climbers, is thrilled to announced the 2019 USA World Cup Ice Climbing Team.

The team of 21 male and female athletes is set to compete at the upcoming UIAA World Cup Ice Climbing Finals, taking place in Denver, CO Feb. 23 to 24, 2019.

The AAC led the application process and final selection of the 2019 USA Team. Criteria was based on national rankings from recent competitive ice climbing seasons and events, and a preference for athletes who compete in cross-disciplinary ice competition (e.g. athletes that compete in both the Difficulty (Lead) and Speed competitions).

The AAC also provided “developmental” spots on the team for less experienced competition climbers who demonstrate exceptional talent and commitment to the sport. Equal team positions were available for men and women in the performance (6) and developmental (2) categories.

The final 2019 USA Team consists of 21 adults and 10 youth members. Phil Powers, CEO at the AAC said, “These athletes represent the cutting edge of one of the more wild versions of the climbing craft. I am astounded every time I witness their gymnastics and delicate skill all performed far off the ground with ice axes and crampons.”

The 2019 event is the first time the Ice Climbing World Tour has come to Denver, Colorado and the first time a World Cup Finals event has been held in the USA. The weekend event will be held in Denver’s Civic Center Park and is free to the public.

The ice climbing competition will take place over two days with qualifying rounds on Sat., Feb. 23, and semi-finals and overall finals on Sun, Feb 24. The event is expected to attract over 200 athletes from 21 countries around the world to compete for the overall World Cup in both Difficulty and Speed categories.

Competition ice climbing combines formidable over-hanging walls of ice with artful technique and sheer power. In the lead discipline, ice climbers require great technique, tactical mastery and nerves of steel to execute complex moves in seemingly improbable positions dozens of feet above the ground.

The speed discipline is almost a vertical take on the 100-metre sprint in the sport of athletics. In 2014, competitive ice climbing debuted as an exhibition sport at the Sochi Winter Olympics and is hopeful for a full-scale Olympic debut in the near future.

2019 USA World Cup Ice Climbing Team

Denver World Cup Finals
Men Lead: Tyler Kempney, Thomas Gehrlein, Aaron Montgomery, Grant Kleeves, Kevin Lindlau, Wesley Fowler, Carter Stritch, Troy Anger.
Women Lead: Corey Buhay, Catalina Shirley, Claire Poppendeck, Mikayla Tougas, Angela Tomczik, Angela Limbach, Kendra Stritch.
Men Speed: Tyler Kempney, Thomas Gehrlein, Kevin Lindlau, Wesley Fowler, Marcus Garcia, Jake Bourdow, Troy Anger, Carter Stritch.
Women Speed: Corey Buhay, Catalina Shirley, Claire Poppendeck, Angela Tomczik, Angela Limbach, Kendra Stritch, Lindsay Hastings.

2018/2019 International World Cup Events:

Men Team: Tyler Kempney, Thomas Gehrlein, Kevin Lindlau, Carter Stritch, Troy Anger, Liam Foster, Cody Stevenson, Andrew Lamb, Marcus Garcia, Carter Stritch.
Women Team: Angela Tomczik, Angela Limbach, Kendra Stritch, Lindsay Hastings.

World Cup Youth Team: Keenan Griscom, Calvin Daugherty, Kylie Cullen, Georgia Witchel, Aubrey Palmer, Maija Fox, MaKenzee Van Buren, Liam Foster, Cody Stevenson, Mikayla Tougas, Katie Seymour, Lindsay Levine, Christopher Atchison, Catalina Shirley. Finals, Speed Finals, Closing Ceremony, After Party (hosted by the AAC)

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