I recently got a call from a friend who runs a PR company asking me if there were any climbing festivals in the UK as she had a client who wanted to sponsor some climbing events.
I ran off the usual suspects; Fort William, Kendal, Llanberis, Edinburgh, ShAFF.....
'No.' she said, "not winter film festivals, a summer climbing festival where climbers go, camp out, party, climb and generally hang out."
I excused her the Americanism, to 'hang out' and replied,
"Well there's just been the Keswick Mountain Festival, a few weeks ago the BMC hosted an international climbers meet in Cornwall, there used to be a deep-water soling festival, there's one up in the Lake District in a few weeks time and there is Sheffield's Cliffhanger and that's a bit different this year as it's hosting a Bouldering World Cup and this year a young and energetic company called Alpkit are renting a field near Cliffhanger where climbers can camp, party and generally have fun."
There's over 100 outdoor music festivals in the UK this year and cheapo pop-up festival tents are shifting like hot cakes on a cold day in Chorley. Well, we now have our own big summer climbing festival and it's worth a close look.
Cliffhanger and the IFSC Bouldering Worldcup: 3rd and 4th July
Cliffhanger (website) at Millhouses Park is outdoor fun for all the family and this year hosts the IFSC Bouldering World Cup. Austria's Killian Fischhuber has a commanding lead, but Brits Dave Barrans and Stuart Watson are in the running. There are two more bouldering world cups in Moscow and Eindhoven before Sheffield then one after in Munich so it is going to be an interesting race.
We will have more on Cliffhanger and the IFSC Bouldering World Cup over the next few weeks at UKClimbing.com
Big news this year is that if you live outside the Peak it really is worthwhile travelling to Cliffhanger as Alpkit have pulled all the stops out.
The Alpkit Big Shake Out Weekend 1st to 4th July
In their own words.....
We are setting up camp on the edge of Sheffield, just minutes from the Peak District and a short walk from this year's Cliffhanger festival giving easy access to some of the best climbing in Britain, picturesque rivers, as well as miles of bridleways and footpaths for bikers and walkers to enjoy. Facilities will include camping around a central entertainments marquee, you will be able to cook your own food on our communal BBQs, purchase cooked food from our kitchen and drinks from a licensed bar, watch films on Friday night and boogie to live music on Saturday night.
Full details at www.alpkit.com/big-shake-out
Alpkit have also just announced that as well as the full monty, evening tickets for a £5'er are now available, with events every evening.
It looks like this:
Thursday night Real music, real people, real ale. Rock out to the best live music that a small field on the outskirts of Sheffield has to offer.
Friday Night Best of ShAFF plus special guests, a selection of the best bits from the hugely successful Sheffield Adventure Film Festival.
Saturday Night Cliffhanger Official Party, featuring DJ and live sets from balkan beat masters NaZdrove (tbc)
Sunday Night The climbing works take over for the night for there warm down party (invitation only) If you can get in this will be where the hardest and hottest climbers from around the globe will be.
Bouldering Worldcup Action: Ondra versus Fischhuber