World Ch's continue in Arco, which has earned it
Jul 19th 2011
The lead-climbing arm of the 2011 World Championships, held in Arco, Italy, begins tomorrow, to be streamed live. Women's qualifications are Wednesday, men's on Thursday, with women's semis and finals on Friday and men's to follow on Saturday.
The multi-event World Championships, currently well underway, meld two of the most prestigious events in climbing, the former Arco Invitational with the World Championships, which only occur every other year. The town of Arco beat out mega-metropolis areas like Paris and Moscow for the IFSC World Championship bid.
Arco is a grand stage for competitive rock climbing, its prestige arising naturally from the huge limestone cliffs that border the city on one side. Climbing has been a significant aspect of the area since the 1930s when Bruno Detassis made multiple first ascents of difficult routes, like Brenta Alta and Sass Maor in the Trento area. In the 1960s and '70s big names like Messner, Holzner and Martini frequented the area, solidifying Arco’s reputation for quality. Then in 1987, Arco would become the home for the influential Rock Masters climbing event, where the world's top climbers were invited to see how high they could climb.
Arco capitalized on the tourism climbing provided, built a climbing “stadium,” and became a top destination for competitive climbing.
Emily Harrington, U.S. team athlete and competitor in this years World Championship lead event says in her blog, “It is a climbing town, THE climbing town. Arco is the most celebrated and nostalgic place in modern sport climbing’s history and rightfully so. Competition climbing has its roots here.”
Among those in Arco currently to compete in lead are Sasha DiGiulian, Carlo Traversi, and Emily Harrington. The Bouldering event finished up this past weekend, July 17, with DiGiulian taking second place overall. Sean McColl of Canada is known as another athlete able to do well in both disciplines.
The qualifying rounds for the lead event start July 20 and the magnitude of the event is on the minds of the athletes.
Carlo Traversi says in his blog, “It is by far the largest and most difficult climbing competition that I have ever attended. Because it only occurs once every two years, the event is taken much more seriously.”
The registered Americans competing in the lead event are: