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Climbing’s popularity has been on the rise in recent years This has been driven by factors such as the increased accessibility to indoor climbing centres, greater media coverage of climbing events, but importantly the inclusion of climbing in the Olympics. With it’s exciting format and the spectacle of seeing the best climbers competing on the biggest stage, there is no wonder competitions have such a huge affect on climbings popularity. Competitions are not just for the elite though, comps are being held across the country on a regular basis and mostly aimed at getting everyone involved.

On Friday 23rd February, we hold our first climbing competition of the year with the aim to get everyone involved. In this article, we will run through some tips to make your first competition experience the best possible.

There are different types of competitions in climbing. What you see on TV is the grandest format with qualifying rounds followed by semi-finals and finals. This format isn’t for everyone though so here at Highball we also host comp nights where all you need to do is find the competition circuit, attempt all the boulder problems in this circuit and then log how you get on. Our winter comp will be using this format so we thought we would give you our top 3 tips for before the comp, when you arrive and during the competition.


Climbing comps, whether at an elite level or at your local centre, are a busy affair. With climbers coming together to test themselves against the boulder problems set, we see a big influx of people at the start of the event and there are a few things you can do to make everyones experience on the night the best.

  • Register at Highball – If you have not visited the centre before, you will need to make sure you have registered before you arrive.
  • Book your place – You will need to book on to the competition ahead of time. Book this by visiting Capitan and booking on to our Highball Comp event.
  • Download the Griptonite App – Download this before you arrive as this will be needed to log your climbs.


When you arrive, you will need to do a couple of things before you get going.

  • Sign In – When you arrive, make your way to reception where a member of staff will guide you through signing in for the comp.
  • Log in to Griptonite – You will need to log in to Griptonite and sign in to the competition so you have access to log your climbs as you complete them.
  • Get Climbing – Once your in, get your climbing shoes on, warm up and get going!


When you are out there, crushing blocs, there are a couple of thing you will need to remember.

  • Look for the Orange climbs – The competition boulder problems will be set with orange holds so you will be looking for all of the orange climbs as you move about the centre.
  • Griptonite Tag – Next to the start hold of each climb, there will be a small Griptonite tag with a QR code on it. Scan this to be taken to the climb you are looking at in the app so you can log your attempts. 
  • Orange Tape – At the beginning of each climb, there will be 4 strips of orange tape next to holds indicating where your hands and feet need to be to start the climb. Feet are normally lower than hands unless something like a bat hang is expected of you.
  • Zone Holds – There will also be blue tape indicating a zone hold. This is an extra hold where you are awarded an extra point for reaching this but not the finish hold and is there in case we have a draw and need to countback to decide the winner.

Tips from the setters…

On the night, there are a few things we recommend as it will make your experience of the night even better.

  • Scout all the climbs – It is always best to take a walk around initially and figure out which climbs are easy and hard. This gives you an opportunity to plan your evening so you get to try as many problems as possible.
  • Try as many climbs as possible – When attempting the boulder problems, we recommend a “three attempts” rule. Have three attempts at a climb and then move on to the next as this will stop you from getting stuck on one climb. You can then go back to any you were unsuccessful on to have your final attempts at later in the evening.
  • Be sociable – Climbing comps are a friendly event so be nice and sociable and chat with the other climbers around you. People will be more than happy to help you and it is fun working on climbs together.

With all of that in mind, we feel our competitions are a perfect evening of climbing so whether you are new to climbing or a seasoned W.A.D., if you have not yet booked your place, hit the button below and secure your space at our first event of the year!