VIDEO: What makes the CWIF special?

Andy Earl, CWIF 2008, 238 kb
Andy Earl, CWIF 2008
© Alex Messenger
It's just another competition, right?

No, not really.... Technically it IS a competition, but the amount of time, effort and expertise that goes into the event means that it really ISN'T just another competition. Let us explain:

C.W.I.F, 99 kb
The word is out. The CWIF is in its 4th year, so there are a stack of people ready to hop on a plane and come to try their luck.

2010 will see the return of Jerome Meyer – last year's winner. This year he's bringing his own team of French heroes including Loic Gadioz, Gerome Pouvreau and Maud Ansade (last year's female winner). You might not have heard of some or all of these people, but none of them are unfamiliar to the experience of climbing onto the podium in World Cup competitions (Meyer is the current World bouldering Champion)!

Then you have the Austrians – this year they're all coming it would seem (or all of them who are in the Austrian climbing team) and none of them are rubbish in any way.

Then you have Team Wad, the Climbing Works own team of ringers that are flown in to represent us in our own competition. This year we have the Ginger Avenger (Gabri Moroni from Italy), Sabi Bacher (Austrian, super smiley but capable of pulling the wall down), Stew Watson (British, lives in Austria, has climbed Font 8c, not shit) and Stef Julien (French, stroppy, as wide as he is tall, possibly the world's strongest man).

Then of course, there is the Dutch contingent – this year the whole national team is coming, and as in the last few years, they normally get a few bods into the finals. Not bad coming from a country that has no rock to climb....Then there is the Italians and the Austrians both sending multiple strong teams with a few World Cup winners as members. There is even talk of some Septics (sorry, Americans) coming over to climb this year – watch this space!

CWIF 2009 Video

The Brits

Then you have the Brits. The very best of the best are coming to the CWIF. I will just do a bit of name dropping to whet your appetite. This list is just a taster. 'Strong' Steve McClure, Gaz 'Fat Lad' Parry, Andy 'Scrawny Geordie' Earl, Dave Barrans, Ned Feehally (current British Bouldering Champ), Katy Whittaker, Diane Merrick, etc, etc. As a general rule of thumb, if they can do a bit, they'll be coming because, above all else, it's going to be a great laugh!

Route setting

CWIF 2008, 243 kb
CWIF 2008
© Alex Messenger

The quality of the problems set for the CWIF is without equal. Yes, there are World Cup events and World Championship events, but all these comps use teams of national route setters under the control of one IFSC International Chief Route setter (these guys are the crème de la crème of world route setting talent – there are less than 30 of these fella's in the World). So every big international comp uses one of these chief route setting heroes who make sure the problems are world class. The CWIF employs not just one of these guys, or even two, or even three. No, we have the worlds most experienced route setting team bar none. 4 IFSC Chief route-setters, including Jacky Godoffe who is the IFSC's chief chief route setter! Then there is the infamous Darwin Weasel – one of the worlds best route setters, another IFSC chief route setter, and an ex European climbing Champion. The Monkey – IFSC chief route setter and Liverpool's strongest primate. Longy – a man who has built more amazing walls and set more routes than anybody else, and is responsible for building the walls in The Works. Christopher 'Biggins' Pickles – voted Britain's manliest man, and the most useful man to have on your side in a fight (a real ball-biter if ever there was one – Queensbury Rules? F'#K OFF)! And obviously, myself, P. Bishton. I've done a bit of setting. Still not quite got the hang of it though.

You want to see the worlds best climbers on problems so physically challenging and debilitating that they are brought to the brink of nausea?
So what does this mean? The above team has probably got the most route setting experience in International competitions of any other route setting team in history, and are so mad that they can always provide the crowd with some bizarre and downright disturbing physical contortions from the competitors. If you want gnarly, these guys are the best in the business at setting sick hard boulder problems. You want to see the worlds best climbers on problems so physically challenging and debilitating that they are brought to the brink of nausea? Check out this year's CWIF.

Beth Monks Fundraiser

There is no extra cost to enter a team but every year we ask the teams to donate some money to a charity of our choice. This year we are raising funds for Beth Monks, a former British Climbing Team member, who suffered a spinal injury last year.


At The Climbing Works we think that competitions are good. They are what make sport sport. If we didn't have them, life would be rubbish (imagine a life with no sport.....rubbish. See, I told you). So we are prepared to put our money where our mouth is and stump up so we can have a great competition. Yes, we have some support from a few loyal sponsors who still believe in putting something back into our sport, but most of the cash comes from us, 'cos we believe it's worth doing. So, come along on the 20th of March to see if we're right (or whether we've just wasted 10 G's on a catastrophe). Either way, it's going to be awesome to watch!

How do I get Involved?

CWIF 2008, 245 kb
CWIF 2008
© Alex Messenger

If the above has whetted your appetite and you're wondering how you can be part of the day, well keep reading.

As stated above, we have a number of international and UK bouldering stars turning up for the day. The CWIF is much more than just a normal competition though. It's open to ALL meaning you can climb alongside these superstars and climb the same problems they climb. The 1st part of the day is an open qualifier with a set of 30 problems that will reduce the competition down to 16 semi-finalists. This part of the day also includes the Team competition were the winning team (combined scores) get £500! We can only have 180 entrants for the qualifiers so if you want to get involved make sure to register, and read more about the CWIF, at –

If you don't make it through you can relax, enjoy our FREE BBQ and get a prime seat for the semi's and main final. This part of the day will be webcast so for those who can't make it, you can watch it live on the net on Keep an eye on the website for more info on this closer to the date.

General Timetable (subject to change):

  • Doors open: 9am
  • Qualifiers: 10am-3.30pm
  • If you wish to take part in the Semi's, you must have your scorecard handed in by 3.30pm. If you're just in it to enjoy it, you can continue to climb for most of the day
  • Semi's: 4.30-6.30pm
  • FREE BBQ: 7pm
  • Finals: 8.30 – 9.30pm
  • Ceremony: 9.45pm
  • FREE After Party: 10pm-3am (held at Club Culture in Sheffield city centre)

A huge thank you to the companies who help support the CWIF: Metolious, Evolv, Holdz, The Clinic,, Five Finger Thing.

Links to photo galleries, films and 2009 CWIF report at

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