This semester my title is up for grabs. That’s right, the second rock climbing competition in the history of Messiah college has started just 3 weeks ago and is more intense than ever!
Two years ago, as I entered spring semester of my Sophomore year, I received word of a local rock climbing competition… on campus! I had known about the small rock wall in the garage of the Loft since Freshman year, and I was in fact a frequent participant in their recreational climbing sessions. Yet, this was news. It was very big news and I just had to sign up.
Though I had been climbing at the Loft for some time now, I still did knew only a select few people. Nobody really knew me or what I was capable of, I could climb but nothing really outstanding. Well, I learned the rules and paid the fee (an insurmountable 6 dollars).
- Every week there will be a new route marked with silver and red tape.
- If the route is completed and watched by a facilitator then the participant will receive a certain amount of points based upon the difficulty of the climb.
- Participants cannot use rocks/holds that are not marked with silver and red tape, otherwise their current attempt is void of approval.
- If the route proves too difficult and a participant cannot complete it within the set week he/she can finish the climb the following week for a lesser amount of points.
- In certain cases, when the route is very long, there will be a midpoint at which the participant will receive half points for the week’s challenge. A participant who completes the entire route gets the full amount of points rather than the full amount plus the half amount.
- Each successive week will
During the 4-5 month period I managed to complete all but one of the challenge’s. I was at the Loft nearly every day it was open for the full 2 hours until it closed. The only problem is there was one other person who matched my performance completing every single challenge except one. The only way to solve this was to have a climb-off!
The climb-off consisted of a game of add-on. The rules of add-on are: one person chooses the starting holds, the next person matches their holds and then adds another hold, then the person who chose the starting holds begins at the same spot, goes to the hold that their competitor chose and chooses another hold. This process continues until one of the two cannot complete the newly created route. Each person gets THREE attempts in a row to complete the route and add their next hold. When there is a person who is unable to complete the climb, the other person has to repeat their climb once to seal the deal.
We went back and forth adding hold after hold until we were twelve feet high, upside down on the ceiling. I had one close call right at the end but somehow managed to catch a rock as I was falling to save myself. We managed to add about three more holds on the ceiling when my opponent began showing what I was feeling… exhaustion. Attempt number one was spent on a silly mistake grabbing the hold the wrong way. Attempt number two, he makes the same mistake and falls wearing a disappointed face. My opponent is at attempt number three and tensions in the small garage are high. He is visibly tired, hardly holding himself up on the rocks that were so easy only 20 minutes ago. He reaches for the ceiling, grabbing the hold correctly this time, but the next move is one of the hardest yet. The seconds felt like hours as he hung there contemplating the best way to get the move. Then, in a last ditch effort, he grunts and makes a jump for it only to fall short just by a hair. Now the pressure is on. Can I complete the route one more time? I got in position, mentally preparing myself by going over every single move. The first half of the climb is simple as my muscle memory kicks into gear. I make it past the point where his mistakes cost him, making sure I didn’t repeat that mishap. At this point only my adrenaline is pushing me forward. I’m one move away from victory, there is no way I am going to let this fall from my grasp… victory at last!
Yeah the prizes might have been kind of lame… a shirt, and a 20 dollar gift certificate to a store that when I attempted to use it the store was no longer in business. But the title is mine and that is all that matters.
Well, it has been 2 years since then and finally I get to compete again… this time to defend my championship!