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

What is the North American Cup Series?

Posted by: Ross Leonhart

NACS bouldering is coming to the 2022 GoPro Mountain Games

The North American Cup Series features five stops for athletes to compete at an elite level and develop outside of the World Cup circuit, including competitions in Virginia; British Columbia; Montreal; Arizona; and at the 20th anniversary 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 2022. And the NACS is working — one athlete has already been recognized for his results in NACS this year and has been 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.

Currently, there are more athletes registered to compete at the NACS at the GoPro Mountain Games (over 200 participants) than any other stop 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 at the Mountain Games is open to all, and the GoPro Youth Climbing lets young climbers take on the pro-level wall.

The North American Cup Series bouldering competition in Vail will be a full day of qualifying rounds on Friday, June 10, leading into a Saturday Finals. The Celsius Citizen Climbing takes place Sunday, June 12, and the GoPro Youth Climbing is Thursday, June 9, and Sunday, June 12.

For more information about the North American Cup Series, visit usaclimbing.org.

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