The World Climbing Championships finals are being held in Chamonix again this year on the 13th of July.
Last year’s event saw Chamonix the famous alpine village at the foot of Mont Blanc, absolutely packed for this event. Chamonix is generally quiet during what is not considered peak season. Surrounded by picturesque mountains and the weeks before holding the chilled pace of the Jazz festival, Chamonix is transformed. Scaffolding is erected barriers, go up and the PA is wheeled in and the whole place is mobbed with eager climbing enthusiasts, product stalls and most importantly the contenders for the event.
There are usually 2 walls one for speed climbing and both having varied routes from the year before. The event is run over 3 days and has competitors from around the globe competing in events with a variety of speed and technical disciplines.
It’s estimated that around 10’000 people visit this event and with, French food, drink and altitude this adds to the festival atmosphere. After the prises are awarded the party continues well into the early hours. It doesn’t stop there though the event is followed by the Bastille Day fireworks and the Cham’Biere Festival.
I’ll hopefully be visiting there again for the 2011 Championships where I’ll be bringing back more pictures and news from the event.