Colorado to host first ice climbing World Cup finals event in February

Antonio Olivero
Summit Daily
For the first time in February 2019, the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation will host a world cup finals event here in Colorado.
Courtesy Patrick Schwienbacher, UIAA | Special to The Daily

Next winter, the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation will, for the first time, bring a World Cup finals event to the state of Colorado.

From Feb. 22-24, Denver will serve as the sixth and final host of the 2019 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup circuit.

It’s the first time an ice climbing World Cup event has taken place in Colorado since Durango hosted the first World Cup event of the 2017 circuit in December 2016.

Bozeman, Montana, is the only other American city to host such an event since the circuit’s inception in 2002, as the town kicked off the world tours in both 2015 and 2016. In 2002, the province of Quebec became the only other North American city to host a tour event.

The 2019 calendar for the ice climbing world tour is the biggest to date and includes six World Cup events, four European Cups, a World Championships, a World Combined Championships and a World Youth Championships. The World Tour will visit 10 different countries on three continents and features two events taking place in major cities — Moscow and Denver.

The UIAA will provide live streaming from all World Cup and World Championship events, Denver included, as details have yet to be announced. Athlete registration opens Nov. 1.

“The 2019 season promises to be the biggest and best yet with a diverse and exciting array of competitions and events which will provide athletes with even greater opportunities to showcase their talents,” said UIAA head of sports Thomas Kahr. “Not only is this the biggest season to date, it is also the earliest we have published the seasonal calendar — something of great benefit to the athletes and thanks to the hard work of the UIAA Ice Climbing Commission and UIAA Office.”

The world cup circuit in 2019 will feature six events in six different countries over just a seven-week period, wrapping up with its first stop in Denver.

The other world cup events include the first of the season in South Korea’s apple county of Cheongsong from Jan. 11-13, and another first-time host in Hengshui City in the Hebei province of China. Other hosts include the well-established ice climbing venues of Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Rabenstei, Italy, and Champagny-en-Vanoise, France.

The season’s showcase event will once again be the biennial UIAA Ice Climbing World Championships, which will close the season from March 8-10 in Kirov, Russia. The annual UIAA Ice Climbing World Youth Championships will be held on the previous weekend in Oulu, Finland. And also next season, from Dec. 15-16, the city of Moscow will host the first-ever World Combined Championships.