Friday 15 July 2011

Cliffhanger 1

Cliffhanger happened in Sheffield, Yorkshire on July 3rd. It was billed as an Outdoor Event for Outdoor Enthusiasts and happened in Millhouses Park, quite close to the city centre.

There was lots going on including mountain biking, kayaking, golf, archery, orienteering... but, in all honesty, a lot of it was a bit young or tame or involved a lot of watching, rather than doing.

The attraction which really made the event was the IFSC Bouldering World Cup. IFSC is the International Federation of Sport Climbing (I learned that at Cliffhanger :) ) and they hold a series of competitions throughout the world. The event in Sheffield was preceded by ones in Spain, Netherlands, USA, Canada, Austria, Slovakia and Italy, and will be followed by competitions in Germany and Italy (again). During the year, climbers are ranked according to their placings in the individual competitions, until, at the end of the season, the World Champion is determined!

We watched part of the semi finals in the morning. Everyone stands to watch and I had to do quite a lot of shifting around to see between taller heads. As a result, I managed very few photos from the semis, but I did manage to catch a couple of the British ladies, including this one:

Diane Merrick finished seventh in the semis, just missing out on a place in the finals (top 6). I was particularly interested to see her climb, because she was at the first ever competition held at Alter Rock, where the lads climb in Derby. Both lads took part in that competition (Mark as a senior and Ben as a junior) and both won events in their divisions. At the time, we all chatted to Diane Merrick without really knowing much about her (except that she was really good!).

Another British competitor who I managed to snap was Katy Whittacker:

Katy eventually finished 16th.

This German is Juliane Wurm.

climbing well enough to make it into the last six, and thus the final.

In the afternoon, Mark and I arrived very early for the finals and sat around on the grass for well over an hour, milkshake sipping and people watching. Our reward for such patience was a ringside view of the competition. I'll post a few stills tomorrow, but also see if I can download a short video of one climber's success on the most 'dynamic' problem in the final..


  1. The sport of climbing (especially in an urban setting) does seem to be catching on. They have just opened a new centre in an old flour silo down the road in Brighouse. I must confess, I have not been tempted yet.

  2. Lots of fun! I'm reading a book right now "The Salt Road" in which climbing plays a significant role.

  3. Funny Millhouses Park was my playground from ages 4-18.
    I sailed my yachts in the pond and swam in the pool...and other more daring things, like fishing for tadpoles in the stream.

  4. I can't even imagine attempting this sport!