Climbing Team

Climbing team history and philosophy

When the team first started at our Redmond facility in 2002, there were seven athletes. Fast-forward 20+ years and the team now hosts over 100 athletes at two different locations. We are proud to be six-time National Team Champions, with a first place in sport/ropes this past Nationals 2023 and a second place in boulders at the same event. We have also been Divisional Champions nearly every year since 2002, and Regional Champions every year since the team was formed. We have athletes representing Vertical World at local competitions all the way up to the Youth World Championships. Beyond the youth circuit our climbers consistently compete in the Open National Championships, Collegiate Nationals and Worlds, as well as IFSC World Cups. We have seen our athletes on the podiums at our local competitions all the way up to IFSC World Cup level and our dream is to continue to excel and produce competition climbers at every level.

As a team our focus is training for and testing ourselves in competition climbing. We are dedicated to providing some of the best training and coaching in the field to produce great climbers whether it’s here in the PNW, in the U.S., or internationally. We strive to not just produce great athletes but also great climbers. Because great climbers make great people. Being a part of this team means starting down the path to become life-long climbers which means being a part of one of the best communities in the world: The climbing community.

Being a member of Vertical World Climbing Team means you are committing to trying to be the best you can be as a climber, and as a person. Many of our team members are ambitious students and excel at many other aspects of their lives, climbing is just one of them.

Training schedule and logistics

As far as training goes, team members are welcome to attend three practices a week, with some exceptions determined by the coaches. We have three practices at each of our locations, with a different combination of days at each gym. Several of our coaches travel between the gyms to create unity in the program. In order to provide a wide range of abilities and skill sets, our coaching staff are both aged-out or current team members as well as people brought in from other backgrounds. For practices, we divide the team up into our Team and Competition Preparation Team. Comp Prep is composed of our youngest and newest kids and provides a slightly slower paced and more step-by-step introduction to team. Our older Team group is everyone else and the idea is that athletes start in the Comp Prep group to work their way up to the older, more independent group. Everyone regardless of group is required to participate in the competitions, bouldering and ropes alike.

Fall practice schedule (subject to change)

  • Group 1 Practice
    • North: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 4-8 pm
    • Seattle: Friday 4-8 pm
  • Group 2 Practice
    • Seattle: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 5-7
    • North: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 5-7


As a team we compete in the USA Climbing youth circuit which runs from September to July. Our bouldering season runs from September to February and rope/speed climbing season runs from February to July. Each season consists of Qualifying Events (QE), Regional Championships, and Divisional Championships. The National Championship for bouldering and rope/speed is a combined event at the end of July and the World Championships is in August. All athletes no matter if it’s their first year or their 10th year on team start at the Qualifying Events (QE) to then climb their way through each stage of competition. Seeing as our training is lined up with these seasons, all of our athletes, regardless of age/experience are required to compete. Everyone is required to compete in both bouldering and ropes (with speed being optional due to a lack of qualifying events).

Commitment, Expectations, Costs

Members of the climbing team are required to:

· Attend 3 practices a week

· Pay team dues ($450/month or $350/month)

· Have a USAC Competitor Membership to be able to compete at competitions ($110/year, not including competition fees)

· Attend at least 2 Qualifying Events (QE) locally per season (bouldering season and rope season)

Climbing can be an expensive sport and being a part of the team means that team members can purchase the gear they need at a significant discount thanks to sponsorships set up with multiple gear brands. Uniform, travel, and competition fees can vary from climber to climber and these costs are the responsibility of the team member’s family. The most significant of these costs being the travel fees at the Divisional and National level of competition.


The VWCT runs rolling tryouts year-round! Tryouts happen Fridays and consist of a visit to a team practice where the prospective climber gets to meet and train with the climbing team for a day. This is so that the coaches can assess how they do in that environment and this way the climber gets a small introduction to what climbing team is like.

Closing notes

We recognize that a program such as this is big commitment and that there can be a steep learning curve in transitioning to team. We do our best to make sure you have a complete introduction and all the information you need to make the transition easy. This is possible thanks to a fantastic community of support from our team families and friends, as well as Vertical World staff. Our greatest pillar of constant support is our parent committee that aids in essential communication and organization. Our parent committee makes the big commitment smoother and less daunting as well as always being there to answer questions.

The Vertical World Climbing Team has been producing champions of climbing and life for two decades, as well as creating a community of climbers and families unlike any other. Once a team kid always a team kid. Hopefully this has painted a complete picture of the whos, whats, whys, and hows of the program.

Should other questions arise or if you’d like to inquire about scheduling a tryout, please contact climbing team admin at


Tyson Schoene

Head Coach/Director

And your VWCT coaches