Difficulty Season is Here!

With an amazing Youth Bouldering Nationals now behind us, it’s time to move on to Difficulty (roped climbing). There are some important things to be aware of to make sure every competitor is prepared for the second half of the climbing season:

  • Those in D and C categories (i.e. those who will turn 13 or younger on their 2015 birthday) will climb on top-rope (i.e. – no use of quickdraws).
  • Those in B, A and Junior categories (i.e. those who will turn 14 or older on their 2015 birthday) will climb on lead (i.e. – they must clip themselves into the quickdraws on their way up the wall).. Each gym typically requires a lead climbing test before allowing lead climbing in their facility. To save time on the day of the competition, we suggest going to the gym to have this test done on a day prior to the competition. If this is not possible, arrive early at the competition and have the climber complete the test prior to the start of the competition.
  • There will be a few different formats at our local Difficulty competitions this season:
    • The first two locals (February 28th at The Rock Oasis in Toronto and March 14th at Climber’s Rock in Burlington) will be scramble format events. There will be lots of routes to choose from, and each competitor may choose which climbs to attempt, in any order. Multiple attempts per climb are allowed time permitting. Points are earned only when a route is topped. Each climber’s top 4 routes determines their final score.
    • The third local (March 28th at The Junction in London) will use a different format. Competitors can still choose which routes to climb, in any order, but they may only attempt each route once, and they may climb a maximum of 6 routes. Each route will have 6 marked zones (holds with a box taped around them), with more points earned for higher zones reached. Each climber’s top 4 routes determines their final score.
    • The last local comp (April 11th at Boulderz in Etobicoke) will be the most competitive local format of the season, in order to prepare climbers for Difficulty Provincials. Stay tuned for details when the comp description is posted to my.climbontario.ca.
    • At the OCF Provincial Difficulty Championships (April 25/26 at True North Climbing in Toronto), there will be two Qualifying routes on Saturday April 25th, each in Flash format with a demonstration. On Sunday April 26th the semi-final and final rounds will each be Onsight format, with climbers in Isolation before climbing, and a group preview of each route. In each round, the climber gets only one attempt on the route, and the route is scored based on points per hold.
      • Remember that a competitor must have attended at least one local Difficulty comp in order to compete at Provincials.
      • Stay tuned for information about hotel discounts for those traveling to this event.
  • Any competitor who wishes to attend CEC Difficulty Nationals (May 16-18 at The Boulders in Saanich, BC) must declare that intention in advance of Difficulty Provincials. There will be a placeholder competition available at my.climbontario.ca to register to declare the intention to attend Difficulty Nationals. Invitations will then be issued only to those who have attended Difficulty Provincials, starting with the top 8 finishers per category, and only to those who have declared that they wish to attend Difficulty Nationals. Each invited competitor will be emailed a PayPal invoice for the competition fee of $115, and must respond by paying that invoice within 48 hours. They must also buy a CEC National Athlete membership if they do not already have one, and have a completed CEC waiver form. After that, we will invite the next competitor in the rankings from Difficulty Provincials, until the available quota spots, including any additional quota spots Ontario is offered as a result of other provinces not using all of their quotas .
  • At the first 3 local comps, there will be two sessions, divided by gender. This is in order to both even out the number of climbers, and ensure competitors are well-distributed across the range of routes. Please check the schedule for each comp to see whether boys or girls climb in the morning, as it changes from comp to comp.
  • There will be free Judging clinics and Belaying in Competition clinics offered before some of these events. These will be announced before each competition.