What is the North American Cup Series?
Photo: Dominique Taylor

What is the North American Cup Series?

Posted by: Ross Leonhart

NACS bouldering is RETURNING to the 2023 GoPro Mountain Games

The North American Cup Series features events for athletes to compete at an elite level and develop outside of the World Cup circuit, including competitions in the U.S. and Canada, such as at the North American Cup Series Vail Presented by Celsius at the 2023 GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, Colorado. The NACS features three individual disciplines – bouldering, lead and speed – and includes athletes registered through their respective National Federations.

After its inaugural year in 2021, Climbing Escalade Canada and USA Climbing are excited for the return of the NACS in 2023. And the NACS is working — athletes are being recognized for their results in NACS and are being invited to compete internationally.

“We are very happy with the success of the inaugural North American Cup Series in 2021 and thrilled to once again partner with our friends at Climbing Escalade Canada to develop the next generation of climbers,” said Marc Norman, CEO of USA Climbing.

In 2022, the NACS event at the GoPro Mountain Games featured the largest number of registered athlete anywhere on the circuit — a larger field than some World Cup events receive.

What’s the difference between “sport climbing” and “bouldering”?

Both are forms of rock climbing, but the most significant difference between sport climbing and bouldering is the way that they are executed and protected. Sport climbing is done with a rope and protective gear, while bouldering only requires your climbing shoes and the use of a crash-pad to break your landings. The NACS at the GoPro Mountain Games will feature bouldering.

Bouldering is the simplest style of climbing. Without the encumbrance of a rope, the climber is free to practice the sport at its highest level. The object is to complete boulder problems, which requires a serious blend of gymnastic ability and grip strength.

Feeling inspired by the pros? You too can chalk up and show how weekend warriors own the wall built at the base of Vail Mountain. The Celsius Citizen Climbing Competition is open to all on Sunday, June 11, 2023. And the GoPro Youth Climbing events on Thursday, June 8, 2023, and Sunday, June 11, 2023, are perfect for children looking to tackle the pro-level climbing wall.

The North American Cup Series Vail Presented by Celsius will take place Thursday-Saturday, June 8-10, 2023. For more information about the NACS, visit usaclimbing.org.

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