“It’s important to us to foster the connection between young climbers and companies like Metolius, who give so much back to the climbing community,” says YCL Director Andy Puhvel.
With five participating gyms and multiple competitions in Northern California, the YCL offers youth a unique opportunity to compete against peers in a fun and relaxed format. The climbing league was founded in 1996 and is America’s longest running competition series, bringing together kids ages 7-18 from over 10 gyms throughout the greater Bay Area. A typical season includes four competitions and a Championship event. For many of its kids, the YCL is their first time ever climbing, and one of the league’s goals is to spark their curiosity about getting them outdoors to climb (one graduate of the series is renowned climber Alex Honnold).
“It’s a great structure for getting kids motivated to push themselves and to realize the unique and fun community of people who participate in the sport of climbing,” says Puhvel.
With 2013 youth league season just wrapping up, the YCL looks forward to growing the program for next season. The league is presented by Metolius and Evolv, and receives support from a list of other sponsors including Clif Bar, Sanuk, Climbing Magazine and Yo! Basecamp Rock Climbing Camp. YCL participants are given support and gear from these sponsors, making participation in the season and competitions possible.
“The YCL is a wonderful program,” says Metolius VP Brooke Sandahl. “It’s cool to see Andy create and organize leagues like this for the kids. We are honored to give our support and take part in it.” The YCL joins the Hueco Rock Rodeo in a list of recent youth climbing initiatives Metolius has extended support to.