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The Ford SkyMasters Challenge at the OS Outdoors Show

© Entre-Prises
Over the weekend of the 14-16th March at the NEC Birmingham is the Ordnance Survey Outdoors Show, a festival of outdoor activities, the whole range of adventure sports are featured as well as adventerous travel. Featuring prominently of course is climbing with the Alpkit Innovation Design Award, an ice climbing wall, mountain guides from Plas Y Brenin, the DMM crew showing how climbing gear is tested and a whole host of speakers including Leo Houlding and Andy Kirkpatrick. You can check out the full itinerary at www.theoutdoorsshow.co.uk

Also featuring is an open climbing competition, The Ford SkyMasters Challenge on a very unusual looking wall where you have to negotiate suspended hanging obstacles and boulders. Below we have the blueprints of this innovative climbing challenge.

© Entre-Prises 2008

(More photos of the wall below)

If you want to enter click here http://www.theoutdoorsshow.co.uk/entry and complete the entry form.

The competition has been organised by Mike Weeks of X1 Sports.

Mike Weeks enjoying Lobster at Diablo
We asked Mike Weeks a few questions about the Ford SkyMasters Challenge

You had planned to run an indoor deep water soloing competition. Why wasn't it feasible?

Cost. A pool for even the smallest wall has to hold hundreds of tonnes of water and costs more than the actual wall itself. We haven't completely written it off but are working on a dry pool set up with technology from the movie/stunt world that may replace ropes next year.

Who came up with the idea of this magnificent new structure, never seen anything like it?

Colin at Entre-Prises UK and Kate Thomas at The Outdoors Show.

Who designed it?

Entre-Prises UK.

Do 'things' move on it?

Yep, barrels with clutches in.

I presume work has started on its construction?

It's almost finished.

Doesn't look quick to erect?

It will take two days to fix to a truss and haul into the ceiling. It's a serious feat of engineering!

Route setting looks quite challenging? Who do you have setting the routes?

Steve McClure and his team of spanner wielding Monkeys!

What grades are the routes going to be?

Up to 7b on the Friday for the general climbing world to compete and then national standard routes on the Saturday - 8a for men and 7c (ish) for women.

Can anyone enter?

They can on the Friday, though places are filling fast. I would recommend that people wishing to compete can climb 7a on plastic for Friday and 7c if they wish to be considered for the Saturday Masters event.

What's been the response so far?

Great. We have many of the top British men competing but we're still a bit thin on the ground for female competitors. Where are all the keen women these days? The Friday open has a lot of very keen mid-grade climbers and it's exciting to think that regular climbers will get to compete on a world's first competition wall.

Looks like it will be the centerpiece of the Outdoor Show?

Of course it will! It's organized by X1 Sports. What else would you expect Mick?

Settle down, you're English. What about isolation? Will we have to sit in a small darkened room whilst others compete?

No, strictly a flash format that allows competitors to watch each other and enjoy the Outdoors Show in between competing.

We'll be sending our editorial climbing hotshot, Jack Geldard along to compete. Cheers Mike

© Entre-Prises 2008

Outdoors Show Logo

© Entre-Prises 2008

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19 Feb, 2008
Revival of the UK Gladiators anyone? Please make the contestants wear the lycra ;D
19 Feb, 2008
Now seriously, how awesome does that look! Just wish i was confident in the sevens!
20 Feb, 2008
Good to see some new ideas coming in and folks willing to take a chance with a new format. Hope it works, unfortunately it's the same weekend as the first BMC Youth Championship qualifier :-(
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