Youth Climbers at USAC's National Cup Series

Youth Climbers at USAC's National Cup Series

FYA climber Ava asks: How do you qualify for the National Cup Series?

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Margo Hayes

Taking it slow on the infamous Mesa Rim Academy slab.

You have to be 16 years old by December 31. And that’s it.

So, that means 15 year old Youth A climbers who turn 16 by December 31st (and up) can participate! Each National Cup Series competition starts with a qualifier on Friday. The qualifier is a modified redpoint format and the top 8 in each gender get to go to finals the next night. Finals is onsite format with climbers coming out of isolation to climb. In San Diego, at the Mesa Rim Pro-AM, which was the second stop of the 2018 season, a bunch of youth climbers competed in the qualifier and a few made it to finals to climb next to a bunch of former youth climbers. It was a stacked field and made for an exciting night of action.

In the National Cup Series you get points for placing in the top 30 for each individual comp. There’s a prize purse for the top climbers at the end of the National Cup Series season. And those who rank in the top 100 in points qualify for USA Climbing’s Bouldering Open Nationals.

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Ross Fulkerson

Fighting hard at the Mesa Rim Pro-AM Finals.

In 2018 there are four events in the series:

September 21/22, 2018: Ascend Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA
October 12/13, 2018: Mesa Rim Academy - San Diego, CA
November 16/17, 2018: Momentum Silver Street - Houston, TX
December 14/15, 2018: Ascent Studio - Fort Collins, CO

Bouldering Open Nationals will take place in February of 2019.

Bring your team to spectate the finals if you live near one of these stops. It’ll be worth it. And if you’re old enough, definitely consider competing! You might just make finals to climb beside your heroes.

All the photos in this article were taken by the author.
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