Climbing to the Top

By: Gracie King | Contributing Writer

Last Sunday, October 20th, South Alabama students competed in the second leg of the three-part Triple Crown Bouldering Series. This string of competitions is a chance for boulderers of all skill-level to compete head to head for a chance to win in their division. Different divisions are split up according to gender and skill level. 

For example, a more inexperienced male rock climber would enter into the “Beginner Male” division and climb boulders that are assigned an easy grade, between V0 and V2. “Problems” are short rock climbing routes with an assigned grade and certain amount of points. If you “send”, or complete the problem, you are then awarded the points set for that specific problem. The person who obtains the most amount of points wins their division. 

The Triple Crown Bouldering Series started this year in Hound Ears, North Carolina on October 5th. Henry Ritterpusch and Rojeen Kamali both took first place in the “Open Men” and “Open Women” divisions respectfully. This weekend, the titles went to Dylan Barks and Sarah Grainger. The next and final leg of the series will be in Horse Pens 40, Alabama on November 23rd. 

The rock climbing community is quite condensed in the lower parts of Alabama, where rocks to climb are just as hard to find as a day without humidity. However, there is a small community that exists on the campus of South Alabama. These students typically gather at the rock wall facility in the campus recreation center. They take trips to these competitions as well as other leisurely trips, which are typically more laid back. 

South Alabama student, Will Massingill, placed in the “Intermediate Male” division after successfully sending multiple difficult problems. Landon Miller and Tyler Banser, also South students, placed in the Hellbilly 4.2 mile run prior to the competition. “It’s just such a wonderful place to be. The atmosphere and the people are undeniably wonderful,” Miller said about being at the competition. 

Aside from the competitive aspect of the events, there is truly a sense of comradery. Climbers support each other as the prizes for each division are just objects to them. What matters most is the sense of accomplishment and enjoying what the earth has to offer. 

Good luck to our climbing community as they take on the next competition!