Climbing Center celebrates 25 years of competition

November 28, 2023 (Volume 47, Number 7)
Article by Thomas Garrett

Climbing competitors from across the state participated in Grand Valley's Climbing Center's 25th annual "Bring Your Own Beta Bouldering Competition" on November 18.

Competitors were arranged from recreational to advanced climbers; their goal was to climb routes to acquire points. The harder the route, the more points an individual acquired.

“It is a mental and physical challenge because you have to solve this puzzle on the wall and then physically execute your plan,” said Ru Khana, a GVSU senior and staff member of Outdoor Adventures. Khana herself was not competing but was one of the many students who helped prep and run the event.

As much as this was a celebration of competition, it was also a celebration of the climbing community.

“It’s really a great community filled with dynamic athletes,” said Joe Bitely, manager for the Climbing Center, located in the Recreation Center, and other Outdoor Adventures programs.

Competitors could be seen cheering on one another as they made their climbs, even providing advice to those trying to tackle the same problem.

“The community is so welcoming, and the sport itself is just fun and inclusive, anyone can do it,” said Tori Miers, student and member of the GVSU Climbing Club.

About 60 competitors registered to climb at the event, half were GVSU students. Many competitors were members of the GVSU Climbing Club, also known as the Vertical Earth Club. The club climbs several times during the week and plans numerous trips to outdoor locations.

In 1997, the Vertical Earth Club requested a climbing wall be constructed to support the growing sport. Bitely said President Emeritus Arend D. Lubbers approved the construction of the rock-climbing facility, making the facility just a year older than the competition at 26 years old.

 

 

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This article was last edited on November 27, 2023 at 9:34 a.m.

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