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This New Multi-Pitch Climbing Competition Will Be Awesome

The Red Bull Dual Ascent is the first-ever head-to-head climbing competition on artificial multi-pitch routes featuring teams of world-class athletes across various climbing disciplines. The event takes place between Oct. 26 and 29, 2022 on the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland’s Ascona-Locarno region, presenting a whole new challenge in the world of climbing

Red Bull Dual Ascent in Switzerland

Sixteen of the world’s top climbers will come together in teams of two this October to compete in the first-ever head-to-head multi-pitch climbing competition on artificial routes, as Red Bull Dual Ascent sees climbers scale 180 metres of the sheer face of the Verzasca Dam located in Switzerland’s Ascona-Locarno region. The dam has long had artificial climbing routes.

Red Bull Dueal
A Swiss dam with a multi-pitch. Photo by Brandon Pullan

How It Will Work

Climbers paired up into eight rope teams to battle it out to the top of the Verzasca Dam, leaving one winning team. There will be two identical parallel routes made up of six pitches each. The pitches will be a minimum of 5.11 and go up to a difficulty level of 5.13+.

This unique concept provides innovation at the highest level of climbing and brings together climbers across various disciplines – presenting new challenges and ways of competing for elite athletes.

Routes will be climbed ‘redpoint’ (flash mode) meaning it is the first time the climbers try the route; however, they will have received prior information from a route demonstration shortly before the competition. Teams will need a clean redpoint send of every pitch on lead and following. The climbers are allowed an unlimited number of falls, where, if they do fall, they start at that same pitch again.

Red Bull Dual Ascent takes place on three days across Oct. 26 to 29, 2022 – featuring two days of time-based qualification (Oct. 26 to 27) and culminating in a head-to-head format on the finals day (Oct. 29). The spectacular backdrop is located in the stunning Verzasca Valley in Southern Switzerland, surrounded by some of the best bouldering and climbing spots in the world.

A climbing route on a Swiss dam in 2014. Photo by Brandon Pullan

Confirmed athletes include among others American climber, Sasha DiGiulian and world champion Petra Klingler, who said, “The Verzasca Dam is such a beautiful location – I feel so excited to climb it and hopefully win in my home country. No doubt that this new format is going to bring some extra competitiveness from us all and a whole new experience!”

Brazilian Felipe Camargo, said,  “Being invited to take part amongst the first athletes to take on a new concept brings all sorts of challenges technically but this is what we live for. The competition has been specially designed to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible – we hope this also inspires the climbing community and newcomers to take on their own challenges.”