Young climbers spend long hours keeping wall in top shape

Anyone watching the world’s best climbers scaling the impossible-looking wall for the IFSC Climbing World Cup presented by Chipotle for even 15 seconds can taste the strength and seriousness that goes into their effort. Hypnotizing as it is, not many people notice the kids wielding the chalk brushes, poised and ready to jump up and prepare the problems for the next pro climber.

Nobody appreciates or understands what it takes to get to the top this like this young volunteer team. They are climbers themselves, members of the Vail Athletic Club (VAC) climbing team. A few of them have been at it for 10 hours a day during these GoPro Mountain Games.

“They’re excited to be part of this,” says Larry Moore, VAC climbing team coach. “They’re excited to see the best climbers in the world right in front of them.”

The excitement is obvious with the care and concentration with which the young climbers brush and prepare the wall after every competitor leading up to the IFSC Climbing World Cup finals on Saturday afternoon.

“Their reward for all of their hard work is that they’ll be able to sit in the front row of the competition during finals,” Moore says. “To, them, that’s pretty cool. Then, they get to climb the same wall themselves. All in all, they love every minute of it.”

Many of the VAC team will compete in Sunday’s Chipotle Youth Climbing Competition at Mountain Plaza at 8 a.m. on Sunday.