The penultimate round of the IFSC Bouldering World Cup promises to be bigger and better than ever. With the bi-annual IFSC World Championships in Italy just two weeks after Cliffhanger, the field of elite climbers will be stronger and wider than ever before. 35 climbers have already confirmed their entry to the Cliffhanger round including Alex Johnson and Puccio from the States and Sean McColl from Canada well as some Mexican competitors – all lured to Europe by the World Cup round being so close to the World Championships.
Graeme Alderson, who's organising the Cliffhanger round and works at most of the other IFSC Boulder events as the IFSC Technical Delegate says: “There will be 400 competitors at the World Championships at Arco. It means we're expecting some nationalities who wouldn't normally travel to compete in the UK will be signing up for Cliffhanger. In my opinion, the Sheffield round held at Cliffhanger is up there with the very best competitions on the worldwide climbing calendar. The feedback we had from those who took part last year was really positive.”
Cliffhanger Festival Director (and former Dyno Guinness Book of Records holder) Matt Heason says: “I'm really excited by the dyno competition. Skyler Weekes has already booked his flight over from the States. He's competed at Cliffhanger every year and broken the record every year. He'll be up against stiff competition with Nicky De Leeuw and Peter Wurth having both in the past broken records held by Skyler.”
Matt adds: “Cliffhanger is the proof that Sheffield can justifiably claim to be the climbing capital of the UK. With the Peak District's gritstone classics on the door step and four top class climbing walls, the city's home to some of the world's best climbers in every field. Over the Cliffhanger festival weekend, you can watch more than a hundred of the world's elite boulderers will battle it out for £13,000 in prize money. The wall itself is a record-breaker – the 32 metre structure is the world's biggest, single-expanse, artificial bouldering wall ever built. It's a mammoth job to put up – taking more than 50 days' of labour by a team of expert builders over a couple of weeks.”
This year the climbing wall has a new home - a visually stunning, bespoke inflatable cube to replace the traditional big-top marquee.
Sheffield City Council's Outdoors Events Manager Kevin Cheetham says: “The Cube is a futuristic, eco-friendly, low-energy structure. We believe it'll really enhance the event. And we're proud a local company, Airspace Structures (www.airspacestructures.co.uk), are designing especially for Cliffhanger.”
© Matt Heason
© Matt Heason
Based in one of Sheffield's biggest green spaces, Millhouses Park, Cliffhanger is the UK's biggest outdoors event for outdoors folk. With more than 20,000 visitors over two days we aim to INSPIRE and INVOLVE people of ALL AGES. Featuring elite competitions and professional demonstrations in rock climbing, orienteering, kayaking, mountain biking, running, mountain boarding, skateboarding, slack-lining, adventure racing and more, Cliffhanger's visitors are able to watch incredibly talented sports-people of all ages at the top of their game, and then take part in the very sports they have just been inspired by.
When: Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd July 2011
Where: Millhouses Park, Abbeydale Road
How much? £6 for adults and £1 for under-17s. (Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult).
Clfifhanger is organised by Heason Events and Sheffield City Council. It's supported by Welcome to Yorkshire; Decathlon, The Climbing Works and Hammer Design. For a full list of sponsors see www.cliff-hanger.co.uk/sponsors.
Watch Adam Ondra at last year's Cliffhanger Bouldering World Cup in award-winning film-maker Alastair Lee's video.
A selection of images and videos from previous years are here.
For all the latest news follow us on twitter @HeasonEvents (#Cliffhanger) and facebook (facebook.com/heason.events)