UWL REC Sports Hosts Back to the 80s Bouldering Competition

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UWL REC Sports Hosts Back to the 80s Bouldering Competition

Climbers plan their routes at UWL's Back to the 80's Bouldering Competition

Climbers plan their routes at UWL's Back to the 80's Bouldering Competition

Tyler Behm

Climbers plan their routes at UWL's Back to the 80's Bouldering Competition

Tyler Behm

Tyler Behm

Climbers plan their routes at UWL's Back to the 80's Bouldering Competition

Tyler Behm, Sports Reporter

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The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse hosted a rock climbing competition on Saturday. This competition invited climbers from all around the midwest to come climb in a 1980s themed competition. This event was a ‘bouldering’ event, meaning no ropes were allowed during the competition, and all contestants had to free-hand their climbs. 

REC Sports hosts a bouldering event every year, but this is the first year that there was a theme. There were a few climbers dressed in neon and leg warmers, however most of the climbers were in their ‘typical’ climbing garb.  

The event was a part of the WICS, or the Wisconsin Indoor Climbing Series. There are 6 different divisions, a Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced division each for both men and women.  

The event used blind categories, which Kyle Harding, a graduate assistant with UWL REC Sports, explained as, “Your final time will determine what division you will fall into. So, if you sign up for Intermediate, but you climb really well, your score might automatically bump you up into that advanced category.” 

Prizes were given to the winners of each division, and the rest of the prizes were raffled off. The event was sponsored by Adidas Terrex, who gave participants free climbing gear. 

When asked about the level of competitiveness in climbing events, Harding said, “Although it’s a competition, it’s very non-traditional. Climbers in general are pretty friendly and really encouraging. It’s not a super competitive atmosphere, it’s more of pushing your own limit.” 

Climbers came from all around to come to this competition, as Harding estimates that around 70 participants climbed in the event, which is “slightly less than years past, but nothing significant.” 

Elise Hotz, a student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities that came with a group of fellow student climbers said, “It’s a pretty close competition to where we are, we’ve been here a couple of times and love the setting and wanted to come back this year.” When asked about the 80s theme, Ethan Wolk, another U of M student in Hotz’s group said, “I didn’t know about the whole Back to the Future theme going on, but I definitely would’ve joined in if I did.” 

The Back to the 80s event was the fourth and final rock climbing event held by REC Sports, but students can still climb the wall. The wall is open 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.  

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