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People with disabilities have been climbing for a long time. Often they are alpinists who due have incurred permanent physical damages due to an accident and have continued to climb, while at times people with disabilities with no climbing background have discovered this sport thanks to friends and family. Furthermore, the importance of climbing as a powerful means to recover, develop and integrate the disabled has been recognised by a series of organisations for at least a decade.

It is worth underlining the importance of the advent of artificial climbing walls, as these have enabled the people to climb who otherwise would not have been able to due to nature’s insurmountable obstacles.

The ParaClimbing story is now a reality and over the last decades the number of disabled athletes has continued to grow and some National Federations – in particular Italy, Russia, Japan and Spain – have created walls  dedicated to the disabled.


The first Paraclimbing competitions in Italy, Japan and Russia date back to 2005. The first IFSC Paraclimbing Cup was organised in 2008 in Moscow, while an international cup with stages in Russia, Japan and Italy (Daone Trentino) was held in both 2009 and 2010.


The first  Paraclimbing World Championships will take place in Arco from 16 – 19 July 2011.
The event will be held during Sport Climbing World Championship, demonstrating clearly the integrated nature of this enormous, unique community of sport climbers.

Arco – the world’s sport climbing capital – will truly become the home for all climbers. A single, unique Opening Ceremony will celebrate the start of the two Championships and the parade will be led by the Paraclimbers.
The competitions take place on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 July.
Apart from Italian athletes, competitors are expected to arrive from at least 15 different countries, including Russia, Spain, Japan, France, Austria, Germany and Norway.

Athletes will compete in male and female categories depending on their disability:
- blind and reduced vision (three categories depending on level of vision)
- amputee – leg
- amputee – arm
- physical disability (paralysis or other forms, both arthritis and neurological).

Athletes with physical disabilities – not amputees – will compete in a single category with a correction factor on the basis of the disability.

Lead takes place on Monday, Speed on Tuesday, with two competitions for each discipline.
The Paraclimbing program will be completed with the conference “Sport & Disabilities” on Monday 18 July at the Casinò Municipale di Arco.