Let the climbing begin

Žilina, the largest city on the Váh river and the fourth biggest in Slovakia, is the destination for the opening round of the 2023-2024 UIAA Ice Climbing season on25 November.

Ahead of the eagerly-anticipated World Cups and World Championships events in early 2024, a series of Continental Open competitions are being held. Events will be staged in the Czech Republic and the Netherlands before the end of the year.

Žilina has become a regular early season event, hosted by the historic Slovak Mountaineering Union (JAMES) and the La Skala Lezecké Climbing Centrum.

The competition programme can be found here. Men and women will compete in the lead discipline. Representation comes 82 athletes from the following national teams – Czech Republic (9), Finland (2), France (4), Great Britain & NI (12), Germany (1), Hungary (1), Italy (1), Japan (3), the Netherlands (3), Poland (15), Romania (1), Slovenia (4), host nation Slovakia (13), Spain (3), Switzerland (6) and the United States (4).

A livestream of the competition, provided by the organizers, will be available on the UIAA YouTube channel. Please subscribe for updates. An embed of the feed is available below:

Among the registered athletes are seasoned World Tour regulars like Virgile Devin (France), Marianne van der Steen (Netherlands), Olga Kosek (Poland), David Bouffard (Romania), Vivien Labarile and Sina Goetz (Switzerland) and Tyler Kempney (United States). The largest visiting teams come from the bordering countries, Czech Republic and Poland. There is also a significant presence of athletes who performed impressively at last year’s UIAA Ice Climbing World Youth Championships. This represents an opportunity for the next generation to begin climbing against top level ice climbers.

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