IFSC World Cup Insights, funding the Olympic Dream, and becoming a climbing routesetter

Toby Roberts topping out the final boulder to in the Brixen 2023 World Cup
Toby Roberts winning the Boulder World Cup gold medal in Brixen © Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

Welcome to Behind The Wall, a weekly newsletter published every Saturday.

Each week, I highlight the favourite things I’ve watched, read and listened to from the world of indoor and competition climbing. I also track where you can buy competition tickets during the World Cup season.

This week, we got some insider views on the World Cups and other bouldering competitions from athletes. We explored the differences between the old and new combined formats, and we learned how a 2024 Olympian feels about money. We heard why Ashima Shiraishi prefers climbing statically, and we learned about how to become a routesetter from Kasia Pietras, who started setting in the 2000s.

I know there is lots of great content that I don’t know about. Let me know at behindthewall@inside-climbing.com, and I’ll give you a shout-out if I feature it.

Please subscribe if you’d like this newsletter delivered to your inbox each week.


Day 2 of a World Cup Training Camp from Toby Roberts with 6 World Cup Gold Medallists. Watch Day 2 of the Rock City World Cup training camp with Toby. We get to see 6 World Cup gold medalists take a second run at the “1 minute 2 attempts” format on some of the climbs they had already done on day 1 and some new ones, turning the competition into a redpoint comp.

Follow Alex Megos competing at the German Bundesliga Boulder Cup. Watch Alex compete at the Boulder Bundaslegia in Karlsruhe against Yannick Flohé and Jan Hojer.

A classic Bouldering Bobat session on the Blockfest final Boulders. Watch Jake Mason and Joe Partridge attempt the Female final boulders of the Blokfest Boulder series at Yonder Climbing Wall in London.

Escalade - Oriane Bertone en route pour Paris. Interview in French with Oriane Bertone on her Olympic journey, including what she thought about the Olympics when they were announced in 2016. French subtitles are available, and auto-translating the captions mostly works.

Studio Bloc Masters Semi-Finals Boulder Breakdowns from Epic TV. Teresa Corti from Epic TV talks to some of the semi-finals at Studio Bloc Masters 2024 about the boulders.


Interview with photographer and media producer Jon Glassberg. Learn how Jon started taking photos and making videos and what drives him to continue to share climbers' stories.

Who would have won Tokyo 2020 under the Paris 2024 scoring system? Xa White from UKClimbing tries applying the new Boulder&Lead format to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics for the Boulder and Lead rounds. The article really shows how the new points system rewards consistency compared to the Tokyo system, which emphasises ranking higher in one discipline.

Learn how Campbell Harrison funds his competition climbing career and his path to the Olympics on ABC News Australia. Learn more about how Campbell manages his money as a full-time competitive athlete.


World Cup Recaps and Revelations From Kyra Condie and Allison Vest on the Circle Up Podcast. Recap of the China IFSC World Cups in Keqiao and Wujiang from Kyra’s perspective and a rant about why we are still dealing with bad weather as an indoor sport.

Aidan Roberts and Sam Prior talk with Ashima Shiraishi on the Careless Talk Podcast. Learn how Ashima is returning to pursuing climbing with a focus on community and connection, how her relationship with her parents shaped her, and an ode to static climbing.

Interview with OG Routesetter Kasia Pietras on The Impact Driver Podcast with Holly Chen. Learn about how Kasia got started setting in the early 2000s, the importance of balancing routesetting with climbing at the same gym, and how to have a career as a route setter.

Interview with Udo Neumann and Will Brown on learning movement on Figuring Things Out Podcast. Learn about how Udo got started climbing, how to learn movements, and the relevance to competition climbing.

International Climbing Competition Tickets

The competition season has started, so here is the rundown of where you can find World Cup and OQS tickets.

That’s a Wrap

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Behind the Wall. Let me know what you think at behindthewall@insideclimbing.com or D.M. me on Instagram.

See you next week!

P.S. Please share with anyone you think would enjoy reading Behind The Wall.

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