Regional bouldering series returns to Chattanooga following two-year hiatus

Photo contributed by High Point Climbing and Fitness / A climber shows her skill during the 2019 Southern Grit Bouldering competition at High Point Climbing and Fitness.


It's back, y'all. After two years, the biggest bouldering series in the Southeast returns to High Point Climbing and Fitness.

The Southern Grit Bouldering Series is a multi-stop competition, which invites climbers of all ages and ability levels.to compete at various High Point locations throughout the region. The series began in mid-October with round one in Memphis.

Round two takes place Nov. 5 in Huntsville, Alabama, and round three is on Dec. 10 at the downtown Chattanooga climbing gym. The last round and the finals are scheduled for Jan. 7 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Each competition features a high-gravity, hard day for climbers, with a variety of angles and holds for viewers, plus festivities for all involved, including onsite local brews, music, food trucks and a raffle with a haul of climbing prizes from various sponsors -- Patagonia, Southeastern Climbers Coalition and La Sportiva, to name a few.

Feeling up to the challenge? Here's how it works.

There are three categories: recreational (VB-V3); intermediate (V3-V6); and advanced (V7 and up). Within each, there are three divisions: men; women; and non-binary. Competitors are given an allotted amount of time to climb as many competition boulders at the gym as they like – with each boulder assigned a point value. The three highest point-value boulders count toward their total score. Then, the top three scorers within each category win prizes, which include a trophy plus a big boost in tickets for the raffle, which takes place 30 minutes following the competition.

The first-place winner of each category automatically earns a spot at the January finals, but there's another route for getting there, too. The competitors with the four highest cumulative scores are also invited to compete in Birmingham.

To enter the climbing competition and fight to be named Southeast's Strongest Boulderer, simply sign up on the High Point website. For High Point members, the entry fee is $45 and $50 for nonmembers. This year the competition will even be live-streamed.