Climbers from across the region will be tying, zipping and strapping on their climbing shoes to show their stuff in the third annual La Sportiva 2012 Summer Series hosted by Urban Rocks Gym.
The competition, which began June 22 and continues July 20 and Aug. 24, is open to climbers of all ages and abilities, regardless of whether or not they participated in the first day of the series.
"We are hoping that climbers of all skill levels will be inspired to just come and try some of the problems without worrying about scoring," says Urban Rocks Gym co-owner Rebecca Robran.
There will be five categories of competition ranging from novice to professional and the winners in each category will receive a pair of La Sportiva climbing shoes. Other participants will also have the chance to score some brand-name gear during a raffle held each day of the competition.
The sport climbing and bouldering season ends in June, and as the temperatures increase, so do the number of climbers heading to indoor climbing gyms.
"The competition gives the climbers incentive to stay in shape during the summer months," says Robran. The Summer Series is not only an opportunity to climb routes, but a portion of the funds raised will be given to Access Fund, the national organization that conserves U.S. climbing areas.
The finale of the Summer Series on Aug. 24 will be marked by a cookout and dyno competition (climbers attempt to make a gymnastic-style leap to grab a hold that would be otherwise out of reach) for all participants and spectators. "I am hoping this will be a fun wrap-up to the competition and a way to give back to the climbing community," says Robran.
The event is free for members of Urban Rocks Gym and $10 for non-members.
For more information on the La Sportiva 2012 Summer Series contact Rebecca Robran at 423-475-6578 or email at Becky@urbanrocksgym.com.
Rebecca Robran's Tips for Competition:
Warming up should consist of a couple of exercises to limber up your body as well as several routes well-below your climbing limit. If you are climbing 5.11's, warm up on a couple of 5.9's and work your way up to your limit. This will help reduce your risk for injury.
DON'T GET STUCK
Finger injuries occur in gyms due to the repetitive nature of trying a single climbing movement over and over again. It is fun to work a problem, but after a few attempts move on and try something new.
Gyms allow for easy access to hundreds of different problems. It is tempting to keep trying problem after problem without resting sufficiently. Each climber should rest at least five minutes between each boulder attempt.
FORGET ABOUT THE GRADE
And have fun. It is easy to get caught up in chasing numbers, but remember climbing grades are subjective. Try a route or bouldering problem because it looks fun, not for the grade written on the bottom. Most importantly remember to enjoy the experience and don't forget that climbing is all about challenging yourself.