Durango’s U.S.A. Youth Ice Climbing Team is headed to France to compete in the International climbing and Mountaineering Federation’s Youth Ice World Cup Championships.
The team will be heading to Champagny-en-Vanoise, France, February 10-11 to compete with the best young ice climbers in the world. It is the first time the U.S. will have a youth team represent the nation at the championships.
“It is a stepping stone we need to show our nation’s involvement in this sport as it grows into a Winter Olympics sport,” the team’s coach Marcus Garcia said in an email to The Durango Herald.
At last week’s Ouray Ice Festival, the youths went up against adult competition and did so well that the organizers received a proposal to add a youth division next year.
Georgia Witchel placed fifth in women’s speed and 10th in women’s difficulty. Cat Shirley finished 11th in women’s speed. Liam Foster was seventh in men’s difficulty and fifth in men’s speed competition while Cody Stevenson finished 12th in men’s difficulty and 28th in speed.
While the team has big goals, and impressive young talent, they need a bit of financial help securing their trip. Donations will be used for travel, housing and event entry fees, and can be made at www.rockloungeclimbing.com/new-products/uiaa-world-cup-donation.