My daughter won first place in the beginner category at the EWU Climbtastic Voyage climbing competition on Saturday. And I was there for part of it!
Although daughter has done a tiny bit of climbing before, she recently joined her university climbing club. The Northwest Collegiate Climbing Circuit (NC3) provides a series of bouldering competitions at several universities across the Pacific Northwest. The first comp for 2013 was close to me so not only did I get to see Daughter, but also saw her climb.
Here is what I learned.
- Bouldering is a style of rock climbing. No ropes are involved and the climbs are usually no higher than 12 feet.
- Bouldering mats (crash pads) are placed under the climbing area to avoid injury on a fall.
- Spotters are fellow climbers that help direct a falling climber towards the crash pad.
- Points are given based on the route problem level. You only get points if you successfully reach (touch) the top hold for that problem. Receive extra points if you flash (successful on first attempt).
- The problems are color-coded and the points for that problem are listed. For example, if you choose the red problem, you must start at the red starting position and use only red holds (for hands and feet) to get to the red top/end of that problem. Very analytical.
- A climber has 5 attempts for a problem. At the end, all points are added up. The most points per category wins.
It was very crowded at the comp I attended, thus difficult to watch or video anything. Although Daughter flashed several attempts, I was not lucky enough to video those. I did get a video of her boyfriend flashing one of his problems though.
Here are a few of my personal observations.
- The competitors seemed to be generally helpful to each other. Spotters were always there.
- I saw several people offering assistance to others by pointing out potential holds.
- Everyone cheered when a difficult problem was successful.
It was a good learning experience for me and although it was hot and crowded (two conditions with which I have issues), I was glad I went. And this madre is so proud of Daughter!