Preparing for the climb of their lives

Photo credit: Holley Clark

The Rock Gym – Rexburg will host its first bouldering competition of the year for local climbers Saturday, March 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

According to the Durham Climbing Centre, “Bouldering is a style of climbing done close to the ground without the use of ropes and harnesses, and with crash matting for protection. This popular branch of rock climbing practices climbing moves and problem-solving skills to move up the wall.”

The Rock Gym bouldering area consists of five walls with routes ranging anywhere from V1 – Beginner to V7 – Expert. Volumes, small holds and unique route patterns add to the level of difficulty that climbers may encounter.

Aspects of climbing include technique, balance, strength and mental toughness to improve skill sets and to be ready for other bouldering problems.

“Climbing in general throughout the week will help me to prepare for the competition,” said Ty Snarr, a freshman majoring in general studies who has been climbing for over two years. “Working on grip strength and building stamina will help to give me a leg up on other competitors.”

The Rock Gym has recently moved to a brand new facility in Rexburg that has attracted many climbers from the community as well as students from BYU-Idaho.

“I plan on climbing as much as possible,” said Dominic Auclair, a freshman studying civil engineering who has been climbing for two months. “There are certain aspects and techniques of bouldering that I need to work on to improve my weak points.”

To do well in a competition that demands so much of a person’s body, balance and mind, they must train daily and focus mindfully on their weaknesses to ensure top performance.

In an interview with National Geographic, Alex Honnold, a pro-free-soloist, said, “My comfort zone is like a little bubble around me, and I’ve pushed it in different directions and made it bigger and bigger until these objectives that seemed totally crazy eventually fall within the realm of the possible.”