Tag Archives: World Cup

Why Americans Don’t Care About the Climbing World Cup

world cup 2016

The 2016 Overall World Cup bouldering podium: Shauna Coxsey of Great Britain, Miho Nonaka of Japan, and Melissa Le Neve of France. Photo by Liam Lonsdale via Shauna’s IG.

Every year the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) hosts a series competitions in each discipline of climbing: bouldering, sport, and speed. This year the bouldering World Cup series has come and gone, and now the sport climbing World Cup series is underway. Did you even notice? Okay, maybe you noticed, but how many comps did you watch? How many did you care about? For most of us, at least Americans, the answer sounds something like “Not many”, “Zero”, or “Huh? You mean that Euro comp?” Having covered each Bouldering World Cup competition this season on Crux Crush, we also noticed that very few of you read, commented on, or shared these posts. I’m not calling you out here, I’m just saying that we, as Americans, don’t seem to care.

There are really two sides of the not-caring-equation: the competitors and the spectators. Each side isn’t getting into it for different, but related reasons. To dig into the issues surrounding the World Cup we caught up with a bunch of American climbers who have competed in the series, including Megan Mascarenas, Margo Hayes, Ben Hanna, Sierra Blair-Coyle, Michaela Kiersch, and Josh Larson. Here’s what we found out.

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From WC Champ to the WCS: An Interview with Shauna Coxsey

vail world cup

On point at the Vail World Cup. Photo from Shauna’s Instagram

Shauna Coxsey stole the spotlight earlier this year at the Bouldering World Cup Series with her poise, confidence, and all-around grit and determination. She became the first Brit to win the series, and has a promising future ahead of her with the inclusion of climbing in the 2020 Olympics. We were honored to chat with her, not only because of her recent accomplishments, but her continued dedication to empowering women by founding the Women’s Climbing Symposium at the age of 18 (!!), which has taken off in popularity since 2011. Read on to hear some exciting news on who will be featured at this year’s WCS!

CXC: What is the future of comp climbing?

SC: Who knows what the future of competition climbing is. I think that things will definitely change now climbing is in the Olympics. The Olympic format is bouldering, lead climbing and speed climbing combined, so it seems that it may have an impact on the World Cups and other climbing events. Change is inevitable, but I think it can be a good thing if it’s right for the sport and done in the correct way.

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Coxsey & Narasaki Win World Cup #3 in China


So far the 2016 World Cup series is a clean sweep for Shauna Coxsey.

This weekend was the 3rd IFSC Bouldering World Cup competition of the season in Chongqing, China. Here are some of the results from the weekend:


  1. Shauna Coxsey (UK)
  2. Akiyo Noguchi (Japan)
  3. Miho Nonaka (Japan)


  1. Tomoa Narasaki (Japan)
  2. Jan Hojer (Germany)
  3. Johgwon Chon (Korea)

Also, a big congrats to Sierra Blair-Coyle (the only US athlete to compete) for making it into her first Semi-Finals of the season. She ended Qualifiers in 19th and moved up to 12th! Another huge congrats to Shauna Coxsey, who took home her THIRD consecutive win for the season, a feat rarely done. The last to accomplish it was Akiyo Noguchi in the 2014 season. For the men, the relatively unknown 19-year-old Tomoa Narasaki won the comp as the only male with 3 tops in finals. The men’s competition has been especially stiff this year with no single competitor having qualified for all finals this season.

Next weekend is a speed-only competition in Nanjing, China with no Americans competing. But, May 14 will be back to bouldering in Mumbai, India with 4 Americans, including Lisa Chulich. Stay tuned!

Climb on!

Photo credit: The Circuit World Cup and Performance Climbing Magazine

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Coxsey & Gelmanov Win World Cup #2 in Japan

Photo credit: Shauna's Instagram

So far Shauna Coxsey is 2 for 2 in the 2016 Series. Photo credit: Shauna’s Instagram

120 climbers competed in the 2nd IFSC Bouldering World Cup of the 2016 season in Kazo, Japan this past weekend. Hope you guys all got a chance to enjoy the live stream. Here are the podium winners and US results from the past weekend.


  1. Shauna Coxsey (UK)
  2. Melissa Le Neve (France)
  3. Miho Nonaka (Japan)


  1. Rustam Gelmanov (Russia)
  2. Michael Piccolruaz (Italy)
  3. Kokoro Fuji (Japan)

US Results:

21. Sierra Blair-Coyle (one attempt away from making Semi-Finals)
52. Juliana Price
68. Peter Erard

After topping all the finals boulders Shauna earned a well-deserved victory, her 2nd of the season! After an injury last year she had to sit out many of the competitions, but has now recovered and plans to attend all the events this season. Previous bouldering world champion and Japanese favorite Akiyo Noguchi placed 20th, after not topping any of the semi-finals climbs, but the 18 year old Miho Nonaka stepped up for Japan and managed to make it onto the podium with 2 tops in finals. Sierra Blair Coyle is the only US climber who will be continuing on to the next competition this coming weekend in Chongqing , China. Tune in next week for more climbing goodness!

Climb on!

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Alex Puccio’s Controversial Crowdfunding


Alex competing in the 2014 World Cup series, where she placed 5th overall. Photo: Seb Lazure.

While crowdfunding may be commonplace amongst start-up businesses, bands, and filmmakers, it has rarely been used by climbers, until last week when Alex Puccio posted a request for donations on the crowdfunding website RallyMe. Setting her goal at $10,000, Alex plans to use the money to fund her 2015 World Cup circuit travel expenses, where she hopes to, once and for all, clinch the title of World Cup Champion. Her request for funding has received a range of responses from the climbing community, from “I couldn’t think of a better cause worth supporting! So honored to be able to donate to see this hero make her mark on the world!” to “I feel insulted that Miss Puccio feels she’s entitled to money that could go to better causes.” With these two opinions and many in between it got us thinking about why the climbing community seems to be so polarized about Alex’s crowdfunding.

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Chasing Goals Not Grades: Interview with Alex Puccio

Alex competing at ABS Nationals just a few weeks ago. Photo by Mary Mecklenburg.

Alex competing at the 2014 ABS Nationals. Photo by Mary Mecklenburg.

Eight-time American Boulder Series (ABS) National Champion, Alex Puccio, is undoubtedly the strongest female competition boulderer in the US. In talking with her we learned that becoming the best took clear goals, a strong sense of competition, and a surprisingly laid-back attitude about climbing. We had the pleasure of chatting with Alex on a pretty average day; she had just come back from a practice session and was about to sit down to a hearty dinner of brisket. It was a just a few days before the 15th Annual ABS National Championship, where she clinched her 8th national title in a row. Here’s how our conversation went: 

CXC: During competition season what does a typical week of training look like?

AP: The week before [a comp] I try to practice flashing boulders or making up new climbs and doing them in as few tries as possible. Some days I’ll do a bit more power, and I’ll try to eat better. Maybe eat one day of brisket instead of a few days of brisket. Maybe a few cookies instead of a whole pack [laughs]. I try to be a little bit more scheduled. It’s really hard for me to be on a schedule. I’m not very good at it. Months out I have a rough plan, but it’s a very flexible plan.

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Guide to the World Cup Climbing Series


Next scheduled World Cup competition, June 1-2 in Toronto

From groundbreaking sends, to changes in crag access, to international climbing competitions, we do our best to keep up with the latest climbing news and events. However, while covering climbing news over the past few months, I’ve come across one competition series that completely baffles me: the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World Cup series. For example, why does it seem like there’s a World Cup every weekend? And how can there be more than one World Cup in the first place? Who gets to compete? Why aren’t we seeing more American women in the mix? And what the heck do the ‘t’s’ and ‘b’s’ mean?

So here goes my attempt at deciphering the 97 page handbook

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