DENVER (CBS4) — There is no shortage of things to do here at the Ice Climbing World Cup, including this free, family-friendly event called “Barbegazi”… which means frozen beard in French. This all was started as part of an effort to get people outside and cultivate a love for the outdoors and cold weather.

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“We feel that people, even more Millennials, they’re on their cell phone all the time, they don’t get out as much as they used to… ‘It’s too cold, it’s too hot,’ whatever. So we want to make sure people get together and it’s a very big, family-friendly event,” said Nicolas Synott, Barbegazi Organizer. “We feel that people need to fall back in love with Winter.”

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The event at Civic Center Park features food trucks, ice and axe throwing, fir throwing, even human curling. Thousands of people are expected out here for the World Cup, so you do want to get here early.

Preparations Underway For First Ice Climbing Wall In Heart Of Denver

“It’s awesome to be here, it’s very great, the venue looks amazing,” Enni Bertling, a member of Team Finland said. “It’s a amazing to have the competition in the middle of the city, it’s going to be a lot of people watching, I hope.”

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Athletes from around the world are competing in the World Cup after traveling to other countries for different legs in the series. IN past competitions, the location is remote so the teams are thrilled to see the finale take the stage in the center of the city.

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The American Alpine Club, based in Golden, is organizing the event.

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“We’re here in this amazing venue, we’ve got a new wall, a new structure,” said Eimir McSwiggan, a member of Team Ireland. “I think the Denver wall is very spectacular, it’s very vertical and an amazing roof structure.”

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The competitors aren’t the only ones amazed with the wall. Tami Velasquez, Director of Sales for Eldorado Climbing Walls, is beyond proud of what construction crews have accomplished.

“This is a really big deal for us. I am proud of our team for putting it together I’m proud of the city of Denver for bringing it here and hosting it and it’s really wonderful to bring climbing to everyone that may not have been exposed to it before.”

Friday night, the Eldorado team had some final touches to add to the wall.

“There’s a lot of final little touches that have to be done to make sure that we’re ready for the athletes to come on. We have to put belays up at the top, some equipment to hook up, we have some final panels to go up, some lines to draw on there to create the lanes for the ice climbing. So all these little items. It’s the rush before the dance!” said Velasquez.

Everyone is welcome and it continues through Sunday.

LINKS: UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup | Winter Festival

Shawn Chitnis

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