Rock Junior 2011, a 10 year climbing celebration
Saturday 1 Ocotber 2011. Boom of participants during the first day of the 10th Rock Junior at the Climbing Stadium in Arco. 207 athletes competed in the Under 14 Cup while 130 middle school students from Arco participated. Another 300 climbers are expected tomorrow for the Kid's Rock.
Perhaps it's because the World Championship atmosphere is still tangible here in Arco. Perhaps it's due to the sun shining onto the Colodri rock face and illuminating the entire Climbing Stadium playground. Or perhaps it's simply because Rock Junior is celebrating its 10th anniversary. But today, on day one of the biggest youth climbing festival in the world, the atmosphere here is akin to that of truly great events. In harmony, naturally, with the spirit of these young and extremely young climbers who have travelled to Arco to put themselves to the test in the Under 14 Cup and also to share a love. That very same love for climbing which often is often shared by their parents, too, and these are another fundamental Rock Junior component. Because this, more than simply a youth competition, is above all a moment for the entire family to celebrate. A party which has never been as crowded as this year.

Many - more record-breaking first day over 200 - turned up for this unmissable event. They arrived from 20 different nations and it comes as no surprise that Rock Junior is also an authentic European Youth Climbing Days. As unstoppable as ever, the youngsters literally invaded the stadium and gave life to that continuous circle of climbing which is the hallmark of this event. This could have sufficed to say that Rock Junior was filled to the grim... But today the Climbing Stadium walls were not only climbed by the young athletes competing in the Under 14 Cup, but also by 130 students from Arco - whose middle school is located just a stone's throw away from the Climbing Stadium - who got their first taste of climbing today.

A beautiful initiative which came to life thanks to the interest and participation of the teachers, in particular Vice President prof. Laura Mattei and the director of the Arco Istituto Comprensivo Lorenzo Pierazzi. The middle-school students experienced three absolutely special hours of "climbing lessons" which they enjoyed with the enthusiasm of those who discover something new, coupled with that inborn ability which all children have of interpreting this sport. So much so that their "technique" was obviously different while their commitment (always maximum) proved identical.

Talking about ability. This fist day of the Under 14 Cup demonstrated that the children's ability is truly impressive, above all in the bouldering event. Those here today definitely caught a glimpse of the future of this sport. It has to be said that what these athletes got up to today would have tested even an experienced marathoner, as the climbers raced up the Speed - on the very same World Championship piste used in July - to then session it out on the boulders before continuing with the Lead event. No peace for the wicked... but there was no stopping these young climbers!. At the end, when it was all over, some continued climbing on the warm-up wall. Others gave the boulder problems another go. And tomorrow the whole event kicks off again with the second Lead route which is joined by Family Rock - the special parents and children relay race - and above all Kid's Rock, the climbing game for the youngest climbers in the world. More than 300 young climbers are expected tomorrow in the Climbing Stadium... the celebration will continue...

Check out the results of Day 1

ROCK JUNIOR TEAM: The event is organised by the Rock Master Association, with the technical support of the Arco Climbing Association and Mountain Guides FreeAlp and the FASI. Maximum safety is guaranteed by the Guardia di Finanza Mountain Rescue services, the Moena Police Alpine Training Center.

- Portfolio Rock Junior 2011
- Video Rock Junior 2011
- Results Rock Junior 2011

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Rock Junior, the great love for climbing
Rock Junior 2011, a 10 year climbing celebration
Rock Junior 2011: the first photos