The first-ever North American Junior Ice Climbing Championships took place Durango, CO. on Dec. 30 and 31, 2014.
In Durango, two Canadians finished with gold medals. Noah Beek and Karlee Hall are from Cranbrook, B.C., they’ve have been coached by Canadian champ Gord McArthur. They finished in top spots for their age category in difficulty.
The Rock Lounge hosted the first UIAA International Youth mixed climbing competition. Youth teams from across North America and the world competed in the event held in Durango.
The inaugural event took place in Buckley Park in the southwest corner of the scenic San Juan Mountains. The Durango competition was held along similar lines to the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Tour, the bi-annual UIAA World Championships and the World Youth Championships.
There were two qualification events and one final for each and competitors were divided into two age groups, 15 to 19 and 19 to 21 years. The event is part of the UIAA Global Youth Summit activities supported by the ARISF, the Association of IOC International Sports Federations.
There are big hopes the sport will be part of the 2020 Olympic Games, which could explain why the IOC sponsored the event.
The Durango comp came on the heels of the inaugural World Cup held in Bozeman in December where Canadian Gord McArthur finished fourth overall.