What is competitive climbing?

Competition climbing is unique because, unlike other sports, it’s not about beating another climber or team; climbers compete with other climbers as opposed to against other climbers. The goal is to be the best climber you can be in that moment, regardless of how others are climbing.

Climbers compete with others in their age categories in three climbing disciplines: bouldering, sport climbing, and speed climbing. The governing body of youth climbing competitions in North America is USA Climbing (USAC).

Climbing competitions occur according to specific seasons:

  • The USAC Bouldering season takes place September-February
  • The USAC Sport/Speed season takes place March-July

These competition seasons include local competitions at Bay Area gyms, as well as championship events that take place around the country. Climbers on the Competitive Team are expected to travel to competitions on some weekends and to compete in championship events when they qualify. The USAC competition circuit provides climbers with the opportunity to compete with the very best young climbers in the nation. It is truly a world-class opportunity for any climber who wants to climb at the highest level.

USAC Regionals 2016

Who should be on the Competitive Team?

In selecting climbers for our Competitive Team, we aren’t necessarily looking for the best or strongest climbers; we’re looking for climbers who love the sport and are excited about participating in the youth competition circuit.

Climbers on this team attend USAC climbing competitions and compete at both the local and national championship level. This team focuses on technique development, strength training, and competition strategy.

Though this team focuses on preparing climbers for competition, this is also the best team environment for climbers who simply want to train hard and climb their best.

Which days/times does the Competitive Team meet?

The Competitive Team meets on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, 4-7pm at all gyms except for San Francisco and Sacramento. The San Francisco and Sacramento teams meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 4-7pm.

Practice runs September-July, with additional time commitments during competition seasons.

Team practices and sign-ups are held at a climber’s home gym. For example, a Team Touchstone athlete who lives in Oakland will likely sign up and practice most frequently with the team at Great Western Power Co. The coaching regimen and training plan is the same for all of Team Touchstone, regardless of a climber’s home gym. Touchstone encourages cross-gym training and we facilitate travel to other gyms for team practice.

Though practice is held at various Touchstone gyms, we compete together as one team at climbing competitions.

How much does the team cost?

The Touchstone Competitive Team rate is $240/month and includes a Junior Membership with full access to all Touchstone gyms. Please note that this does not include USAC membership or individual competition fees.  


Are there any additional commitments for the Competitive Team?

Yes, parents and climbers should be aware that competitive climbing requires additional time and financial commitments.

Time commitments beyond normal practice hours include, but are not limited to:

  • traveling to local and championship competitions on some weekends
  • attending extra practices during peak competition season
  • parent-volunteering at competitions

Financial commitments include USAC membership dues, competition fees, and travel costs.

Minimum financial commitment:

  • USAC membership, $95/year
  • Local competition fees at $30/comp and a minimum of two comps per season, $120/year
  • Regional championship (one per season): ~$220/year

While all Competitive Team climbers must attend at minimum two local competitions per season (4/year), we encourage our climbers to attend as many local competitions as possible. For climbers who qualify for higher-level championship events, there will be additional competition registration and travel fees.

Still have questions? Email team@touchstoneclimbing.com with any further inquiries. Please note which location you are interested in.