WCU’s 9th annual Rock and Rumble Bouldering Competition

College of Charleston killin the game. Photo by: Claire Lippy

College of Charleston killin the game. Photo by: Claire Lippy

Climbers from schools across the Southeast came together Saturday, Feb. 20, for WCU’s 9th annual Rock and Rumble Bouldering Competition.

60 students competed to see who could complete the most routes and rack up the most points at Western’s climbing wall in the Campus Recreation Center. Base Camp Cullowhee’s staff hosted the competition.

Students came from NC State, Brevard, and College of Charleston to name a few.

“The thing I love about rock climbing competitions is how everyone is competing but we all help each other out. When someone tops out everyone cheers “WOOHOO!” The atmosphere, in summation, is what I love,” said Kristin Eskridge, sophomore on WCU’s climbing club.

Bouldering does not involve ropes or harnesses. There were multiple different bouldering routes set up all over the wall and arch, up to the fourth panel. The routes are made up with the same color tape for each hold. In Rock and Rumble, there were the four different bouldering categories spread out on the wall, which involved multiple routes, ranging from easy to difficult.

There were two heats, each lasting three hours. The heats gave climbers plenty of time to get warmed up on some of the easier routes, and then challenge themselves on the more difficult routes that require lots of strength, endurance, and agility.

If a climber doesn’t finish the route the first go round, they have unlimited chances to complete it. Once they succeed, move on to the next problem.

The categories had a male and female winner from each category. In order from easiest to hardest, the categories included “R” for recreational, “I” for intermediate, “A” for advanced, and “O” for open.

Lacey Photo by: Sam Cook

Lacey Callahan on the arch. Photo by: Sam Cook

2016 Results:

Open Overall – 1.) Sean Reckert

Female Advanced – 1.) Corey Mitchel 2.) Lacey Callahan

Male Advanced – 1.) Tyler Sim 2.) Frank Kunkle 3.) Simon Engle

Female Intermediate – 1.) Maia Gawor 2.) Krista LaPlante 3.) Nicki McArthur

Male Intermediate – 1.) Jackson Grimm 2.) Gabe Berganza 3.) Alex Wray

Female Recreational – 1.) Stephanie Henson 2.) Holly Deuterman 3.) Katie King

Male Recreational – 1.) Grant Newman 2.) Devon Ashley 3.) Kris Odem

Judges score based on if the climber successfully completes a route or not.

Some students were in it to win, others just participated for fun.

“It was exciting to see a lot of Western students come out and climb. As for the club, everyone climbed really hard and it was fun because there were raffle prizes at the end and it got everyone really psyched on climbing,” said Taylor Stack, WCU climbing club coach.

Awards were given out at the end in a raffle, as well as to the winners which included chalk bags, climbing shoes, chacos, t shirts, headlamps, water bottles, and more.

“I like everyone coming together as a community. Everyone is pulling for you, and it’s awesome,” said Hayden Frank, President of WCU’s climbing club.

It was an overall success. The next competition WCU’s climbing club will be participating in is on March 5 at University of Tennessee in Knoxville.