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“We are extremely excited to partner with KAYA to immediately deliver competition for our climbers this season while at the same time bringing innovation that will engage an even larger audience in the future,” said Marc Norman, USA Climbing CEO, in today’s press release.
The news comes after USA Climbing’s recent changes to the season, which included a new annual Women’s Conference and recreational series as well as virtual qualifications for Youth Bouldering, Collegiate and Paraclimbing Qualifying Series. The virtual format allows the season to commence while prioritizing climbers’ safety, creating less travel between regions, and minimizing impacts on climbing gyms in the time of the coronavirus.
“Partnering with KAYA provided an opportunity for our members to qualify staying closer to home, minimizing exposure to large groups, creating a consistent competition with verification while also allowing for greater access for all members and ensuring minimal impact on climbing gyms,” said Norman.
Through KAYA’s app USA Climbing competitors can log ascents of designated problems at participating local gyms. These gyms are to set aside problems for the competitions, which participants can attempt at any time during a two-week window, starting in November.
The app itself is free, but event registration fees (standard at $30 nationwide) will be paid through the app. Climbers will self-score the number of attempts and successful boulder tops. The total score for each competition is the sum of the top five boulders topped, and participants must upload “video verification” of these top five boulders. USA Climbing members can watch the videos, and USA Climbing staff and Regional Coordinators will review them.
There will also be live leaderboards, updated with each successful boulder top, in the app.
“KAYA is here to help every climber progress. In Partnering with USA Climbing, we will be able to empower the next generation of climbers with the cutting edge of data and technology in the climbing world. This is as much about working with the very best of our sport as it is about inspiring the whole climbing community,” said KAYA Chief Strategy Officer Kimberly Ang in the press release.
KAYA is an app for climbers founded in 2019. It is expanding to include outdoor climbing, fitness logging, custom goals, personalized programming and coaching. KAYA’s goal beyond just making apps is to progress climbing.
More information to come.