The countdown for Sheffield City Council's Cliffhanger festival is well under way. Last week BMC President Rab Carrington represented the climbing community at a press launch for Cliffhanger attended by Sheffield City Council leader Councillor Paul Scriven and Sheffield Hallam University vice-chancellor Philip Jones.
Councillor Paul Scriven said: "In just three years Cliffhanger has grown to become one of the most exciting and well attended outdoor events in the UK. It offers fantastic variety for all the family and further proves Sheffield's status as the UK's climbing capital." Renowned athletes were also in attendance to help provide a snapshot of what what will be on offer at Cliffhanger. Athletes included climber Steve McClure; world champion mountain biker Steve Peat; orienteer Oli Johnson; and runner Richard Patton.
Cliffhanger is one of the UK's largest outdoor outdoor-pursuits festivals, based in one of Sheffield's biggest green spaces. It is the brainchild of Sheffield City Council's Parks & Countryside Department and has been developed to its current level with support from Heason Events. Last year the family orientated festival attracted 15,000 people.
The event features competitions and demonstrations in rock climbing, orienteering, kayaking, mountain biking, running, skiing & snowboarding, skateboarding, free running, adventure racing and more visitors will be able to watch elite sports-people of all ages competing or demonstrating, and then take part in the sports they have just been inspired by.
There will also be scuba diving, angling, kite flying, assault courses, caving, a massive bargain area, music, plenty of children's rides and other activities, food stalls, a market and much, much more.
The activities are aimed at people of all ages. New attractions for this year include urban fell race, adventure race, trailquest, archery, rollerskiing, skateboarding demonstrations, mountain bike trials coaching and bouldering coaching.
For climbers not to be missed are the BMC's British Bouldering Championships, the Plant Fear Dyno Competition and a new event for kids, Alpkids on the Blocs.
Cliffhanger, the UK's biggest open air outdoor pursuits festival, will take place in Sheffield's Millhouses Park on July 11th and 12th. Last year, 15,000 people enjoyed the sunshine and atmosphere, tried sports from snowboarding to kayaking for free, watched sports pros compete, browsed the stalls and bargain-hunted in the outdoor gear area. The main climbing events are the British Bouldering Championships and the open Dyno Competition.
You can find out more about Cliffhanger at www.cliff-hanger.co.uk. Most events are free once you've paid the £5 to get in (kids under 16 get in free).
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Sarah Stirling is a freelance writer and public relations consultant, specialising in outdoor sports and travel.
You can find out more about Sarah at www.sarahstirling.com