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Unlike the vast majority of other sports, when the word ‘competition’ is used within climbing social circles, it can polarise a debate as much as the words ‘climbing’ and ‘ethics’. The reasons behind this can be as much about personal preference as about climbing itself, which for many began as an escape from normal organised sports.
For many climbing tends to be a competition against oneself and many participants either dislike or have no time for organised comps. Competitions though aren’t just about finding out who the ‘best’ is. They can be a thrilling spectacle for those watching, it can inspire people to try harder and it can make people aspire to be better performers at their chosen sport.
CWIF - a competition with a difference
The Climbing Works wanted to create something more than just a normal competition to tick all these boxes. We wanted people to have fun and get inspired to push themselves harder. The Climbing Works International Festival (CWIF) started off in 2007 as a one-day affair and over the last 7 years it has blossomed into a 2-day weekend festival with a simple idea behind it – to bring a bit of enjoyment to bouldering competitions.
To do this we decided to change some of the normal ideas behind climbing competitions. To start with - take away the entry cost, set a circuit of variable difficulty were just about any climber could enjoy the challenge and add in a team element so you could climb with your friends and support each other. Throw into the mix prizes for best fancy dressed team and you begin to get an idea of why The CWIF has grown into something more than just a standard competition.
Competitions sometimes have an element of elitism about them – the people watching the stars. With The CWIF we wanted to change this too. The qualifying circuit would be open, meaning normal Joe Bloggs could be climbing beside their hero as they try the same problems. Add into the
mix some international superstars, top UK routesetters, a healthy prizefund, live music and a load of giveaways and what you get is The Climbing Works International Festival.
Michaela Tracey in the 2013 CWIF Final
© Alex Messenger
This years event
On the 15th/16th March 2014, The Climbing Works will host its 8th CWIF. It will attract 350 competitors for its Saturday qualifiers and a maximum capacity crowd watching the Sunday Semi & Grand Final. In 2013 there wasn’t a free seat in the house one hour before the Final and everyone who was lucky to be there saw a stunning display of bouldering of the highest level.
This what we believe competitions should be - A chance to climb beside people you usually just read about, a time to be with your friends as you support each other and work out beta, to push your individual self to go that little bit further, to watch bouldering superstars pull off incredible climbing feats…and to do it all while having a good time.
Registration Open Today
Registration opens at noon today - Monday 10th February 2014 - and all 350 places will fill fast. You can register online at climbingworks.com/the-beta/events/cwif-2014.
For the last 3 years the time between opening & closing competitor registration for The CWIF has continually shortened. In 2013 we had 100 competitors register within 24hrs and within 10 days The CWIF was full. We get people from all over the UK with many driving 8hrs+ to be here for the weekend. From 14 to 50+, age does not seem to matter. The CWIF is your chance to find out why the word ‘competition’ should now be seen as being an important part of climbing culture.
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