Calling All Climbing Professionals – 2024 CWA Summit Week A to Z

2024 CWA Summit in Portland
2024 CWA Summit in Portland
The CWA Summit week is just around the corner, and this year’s lineup is packed with more pre-conferences than ever, a CBJ Grip Showcase on Olympic walls, a 10th-anniversary Setter Showdown, events at local gyms, and rocking afterparties. (Image by Climbing Business Journal)

It’s almost that time…when climbing industry professionals, from veterans to first-timers, get together to learn and share.

Since 2007, the annual CWA Summit has been the pinnacle event of the climbing industry stateside. It’s filled with networking, education, new products, and a few good parties. It’s the place to gather if you’re a gym owner, manager, routesetter, coach, instructor…or aspiring to work in one of those roles. It’s a place to learn from and connect with industry peers. And don’t forget to bring your climbing shoes!

The week is always filled with much more than just the Summit…

Grip Showcase Portland

Grip Showcase

Taking place in conjunction with the official Summit afterparty, the CBJ Grip Showcase is a time to celebrate the art of holds and setting. This year on May 17thPortland Rock Gym Beaverton will be filled with brand-new holds, macros and volumes, with each route set entirely with a single brand’s grips. Then it will be your turn to rank each one. If you’re not able to attend, you can still participate (the voting will be held online for two weeks). If you’re able to attend, bring your shoes, and get ready to climb on EP’s Titan Boulder, the same wall we’ll see in the Paris Olympics.

Setter Showdown

The weekend before the Summit, also at PRG Beaverton, you will find dozens of routesetters working to earn the Setter Showdown crown. In the Showdown’s 10th year, Louie Anderson is organizing this half-competition, half-clinic on May 11-12. There may still be spots for setters who want to learn and be challenged.

Events At Local Gyms

There is so much happening around the Summit:

  • Free climbing all week at The Circuit Bouldering Gyms with Summit badge or proof of registration.
  • Tuesday May 14th at Movement Portland: Pre-party at 6pm with music, beer and more, plus climbing on new routes from the Sup’r Setting Party (new routes open to public at 4pm). Free to Summit attendees with proof of registration.
  • Thursday May 16th at Movement Portland: Tommy Caldwell slideshow and Q&A from 6-8pm for gym members or via a day pass.
  • Friday May 17th at Rock Haven: CWA Appreciation Event with snacks, drinks and climbing from 3:30-9:00pm. Free to Summit attendees with a badge.
2023 CWA Summit photo by Erik Lambert
2023 CWA Summit Expo Hall. (Photo by Erik Lambert)

CWA Summit

Of course the CWA Summit is the main reason we’re all headed to Oregon! This year’s annual gathering will be held at the Oregon Convention Center in downtown Portland on May 15-17, the first time it’s been on the West Coast. The days prior will be filled with certification events and pre-conferences—opportunities for in-depth learning across a spectrum of topics.

Please stop by the CBJ booth and say “hello”!

It’s not too late to attend! It’s best to register in advance to save time and money, sooner for the best price. Once online registration is closed, walk-up registration is available with day passes. There are room deals still available at the Hyatt and Courtyard.

QR code to CWA Summit AppDownload the App

The Summit app is a must-have, allowing you to plan your schedule, message attendees and presenters, research sessions and exhibitors, and win Attendee Reward prizes! Note: The app uses your local time zone, so the schedule may be misleading if you are not in the Pacific time zone.

CWA Summit Pre-Conferences

Highlights and What’s New This Year:

  • Pre-Conferences: This year features more of these in-depth learning opportunities than ever before! Are you a manager? Owner? Routesetter? Coach or instructor? There is a pre-conference for you.
  • Multiple Keynote Speakers: This Summit also has not just one, not just two, but three keynotes! Pro climber and entrepreneur Sasha DiGiulian will open the Summit at 3pm on Wednesday, while legendary climbers Tommy Caldwell and Alan Watts will close out the event at 2:30pm on Friday.
  • Women’s Fireside Chat: Now in its second year, the Women’s Fireside Chat is a space for all women and nonbinary people of the climbing industry. It will be held in rooms adjoining the Expo Hall at 7:00-9:30 on Wednesday. Note: Women’s Fireside Chat is a ticketed event.
  • Portland to ParisEP’s “Portland to Paris” Afterparty: Hosted at EP-built PRG Beaverton, this year’s Summit afterparty promises to be the most epic one ever. In addition to music, drinks (beer sales benefit Access Fund), and food trucks, get ready for an evening of games, prizes, a slab comp by Kilter, and the climbing extravaganza that is CBJ’s Grip Showcase, where you can climb on the first Titan Boulder in North America! Note: There are free shuttles every 30 minutes from 6:00pm to Midnight to/from the Convention Center MLK Entrance and PRG Beaverton!

Combined Schedule of Events






  • 8:00am to 1:00pm – Variety of Pre-Conference Workshops
  • 1:30pm to 2:45pm – Welcome & Networking
  • 3:00pm to 4:00pm – Opening Keynote with Sasha DiGiulian
  • 4:00pm to 8:00pm – Expo Hall Open & Welcome Reception
  • 7:00pm to 9:30pm – Women’s Fireside Chat



  • 8:00am to 8:50am – Morning Yoga
  • 9:00am to 9:50am – Coffee & Collaborations (or Coffee w/CWA for Owners)
  • 9:00am to 2:00pm – Expo Hall Open
  • 10:00am to 12:20pm – Education Sessions
  • 2:30pm to 3:30pm – Closing Plenary Keynotes with Tommy Caldwell and Alan Watts
  • 3:30pm to 9:00pm – CWA Appreciation Event at Rock Haven (free to Summit attendees with a badge)

Climbing Business Journal is pleased to be the official media partner of the CWA Summit.

Harness Consulting