With climbing events spanning a little less than two weeks, Innsbruck played host to the Climbing Youth World Championship from the 30th of August to the 10th of September. The events took place at Innsbrucks brand new climbing center, which has both indoor and outdoor climbing walls, making for a spectacular time. This was the 5th time that Innsbruck has hosted the championship, but the first time at this site. There were 1,300 athletes all between the ages of 14-19, from over 60 different counties all striving for glory!

Walking into the Youth Climbing World Championships at Climbing Center Innsbruck

Walking into the Youth Climbing World Championships.

Best of the Best : The International Climb

I am by no means an expert on the subject of climbing, I have dabbled in it here or there, but I definitely lack the skills that these climbers have! This championship had three main categories, because climbing is definitely not just climbing! Bouldering, lead climbing and speed climbing were the three categories in which these young, talented athletes could show their stuff. There was also paraclimbing at this World Championship featuring climbers with disabilities. It was really cool to walk through the crowd during an event and see climbers from so many different nations, Italy next to Korea, next to Australia, next to Russia, it was definitely a multi-cultural experience for me.

Speed Competition, Youth Climbing World Championships in Innsbruck

It is INSANE how fast these climbers could scale this wall!!

Lightning Fast Up The Wall

The first event that I got a chance to see live was the speed climbing qualification rounds and quite frankly, it’s events like this that show me just how impressive the next generation is, these are the climbing stars of tomorrow and they are already so talented at such a young age! I was watching two climbers side by side, racing up a wall as fast as they could… which pretty much meant rounds of only a few seconds, I cannot even imagine how many laughs I would get if I tried to climb the same wall! The laughter would be deafening…. Let me tell you! But these young climbers were lightning fast, and extremely impressive!

Speed Climbing Wall, Youth Climbing World Championships

Finding my perfect spot to watch the speed climbing qualifications.

Road to the Olympics

But we are not just talking about this event and these young athletes all trying to become the world champion, but in fact many are also trying to become olympians! This event is a major qualifying event for the Youth Olympic Games 2018 in Buenos Aires. If I understood the qualifying rules right, there will be 13 spaces given out to participants at this youth world cup!

Climbing set up

The outdoor climbing set up is absolutely massive!

Count yourself lucky if you had the chance to see this event live, and if you didn’t…. well, Innsbruck has played host several times before, maybe we will get lucky and the climbers will come back!

Indoor Climbing Hall, Kletterzentrum Innsbruck

Couldn’t get behind the glass, but still in awe of the massive indoor climbing set up at the Kletterzentrum Innsbruck

All Photos : © Laura Wunsch