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Everything You Need to Know for the Canadian Climbing Nationals

Lead and Speed Nationals are less than two weeks away. The CEC is implementing new measures to get footage to fans and keep athletes safe

Provincial governments have each responded in their own ways to the uptick in coronavirus cases. The transmissible Omicron variant has caused many climbers to look toward alternative training methods for this month’s upcoming Open Nationals competition. Despite these complications, it appears as though the CEC (Climbing Escalade Canada) feels confident in its ability to run a safe competition with to forthcoming event beginning Saturday, Feb. 19.


To compete, athletes must register and pay the $200 registration fee by Feb. 12, 2022. The event itself will run through Vertical Life and will require athletes to have a membership with Vertical Life in order to participate in the competition.

Live scoring will be made available through the Vertical Life app and will allow fans to tune in from all over the world. Unlike many IFSC (International Federation of Sport Climbing) competitions and US-based competitions, the CEC will provide a live stream from the qualification event. This livestream will be made available on the CEC’s YouTube channel but will not feature commentary. The semi-final and final rounds of competition will come with commentary from Pete Woods and will also be available on the CEC’s YouTube channel.

Registration is available to all athletes born 2006 and before, and athletes must apply through their Provincial and Territorial Sport Organization (PTSO).


All times are in PST; Schedule as reported on the CEC’s website.

Friday, Feb. 18, 2022

7:00 pm – technical meeting

Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022

7:00 am – First 10 Female competitors allowed access to Warm Up Area
8:30 am – 2:30 pm– Qualifiers Women
8:30 am – First climbers
1:30 pm – First 10 Male competitors allowed access to Warm Up Area
3:00 pm – 8:30pm – Qualifiers Male
3:00pm – First Climbers

Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022

9:00 – 10:00 am – Iso Open
10:30 am – 1:00 pm – Semi Finals
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Change over
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm – Iso Open
5:00 pm – Presentation of Finalists

Finals to follow
7:00pm – Awards

Monday, Feb. 21, 2022

8:00 – 9:00 am – Warm up open for All
9:30 am – Practice for all

Immediately after Practice – Men’s and Women’s Qualifiers

11:00 am – End of Qualifiers
11:30 pm – Finals (Awards to Follow)

COVID Safety

To maintain distancing and safe COVID standards, the CEC has implemented COVID related updates to their original programming. These updates will include:

  • No spectators – Athletes and team officials only.
  • Athletes must leave the competition area within 30 minutes of their climb.
  • 1 Coach per team in warm up area.
  • For qualifications, we will be having a rolling entry into the warm up area. This is to ensure that each athlete receives a minimum of 1.5 hours in the warm up area and there is no more than 30 athletes at one time in the warm area.
  • Format for qualifiers will be determined once we have received the final quota requests from all PTSO’s

Additionally, all athletes will have to have a proof of vaccination to compete. The event will take place at the Richmond Oval in BC.



The CEC has adopted the same rules as the IFSC or for all of its sanctioned events in order to better prepare athletes for international competition. As such, 26 climbers from each gender category will move forward to the semi-final, and eight will move on to the final rounds of competition.

Athletes will have six minutes to climb the route in each of the rounds and will only have one opportunity to do so.  The climber who gets the highest on the route will earn the best ranking. Given a tie between two athletes in a semi-final or final round, the climber who qualified the best in the previous round will be ranked better. Given two ties, a possibility we saw expressed in the IFSC World Cup Series last year, then the athlete who climbs the fastest to that tied point will be ranked higher. Athletes will have to clip every quickdraw before moving beyond it. The starting order for the Senior (Open) category will be based on the Continuous National Ranking. FInd the complete list of IFSC rules here.


As with Led, the CEC has adopted the same rules as the IFSC for Speed. This means that athletes will have two opportunities to run a fast time in the qualification round. The top 16 athletes in each gender category will progress to finals. Competitors will then run consecutive head-to-head speed runs where the fastest in the race wins the round. This means that the person who wins the overall competition may not run the fastest time of the competition. Instead, the most consistently quick competitor will be crowned champion.

Featured Image of Brooke Raboutou and Canadian Olympian Alannah Yip after she set the National Record in Tokyo.