Bloomsburg University recently held its annual bouldering competition at the Recreation Center on campus.
According to BU sophomore and climber of seven years, Chris Vanek, the purpose of the competition is “[To have] a place for climbers all over the area to socialize and help each other out.” Vanek also stated that he does not view the competition as competition, it is a place for climbers to gain experience, relax, and to have fun.
The process through which the event is put together is very easy going. The group picks a date and invites people through a Facebook group. A comment was made that a Facebook group is the easiest way to let people know about the competition because it can reach out to other schools and other people who don’t go to Bloomsburg but want to be a part of the event.
There are 64 different climbs that the employees of the rock wall put up for the competition. Vanek said they range from easy to really difficult. So difficult that most, if any, people may not even complete them. Senior Ryan Alichwer said “We usually shoot for around 70 [climbs] so there’s a lot of variety for people.”
Before the competition started Alichwer sat everyone down for a brief explanation of the rules and how the competition works. He discussed things such as the 10% bonus you get if you complete the climb on your first try, that the judges will help you if need be, and some general safety rules.
When asked why he decided to do the competition, Zach Prost, who has been climbing for two years, said “It’s a lot of fun to try the new trails.” Also when asked the same question, Chris Houser, who has been climbing for a year and three months, said “I originally thought there was no point in doing [the competition], I don’t need to win. Then I realized it’s not about winning. [The competition] is about seeing people you don’t get to see a lot.”
What has been learned is that this is a less competitive competition. Everyone supports each other, and everyone helps each other. This competiton isn’t about the competition, it’s about having a good time as well as learning new things about climbing itself.
If you were at the competition, check out the gallery below and find yourself!