On October 21st. 2019, The Rock Club hosted the annual USA Youth Local Bouldering Competition. It was loads of fun, the route setting was so fresh, and we would love to give a big thank you to everyone who came out to compete!
Usually competitors are a part of a gym team and they all come together to warm up, climb and cheer each other on. This time around we asked the kids from our Junior programs if they would be interested in joining the competition. Knowing that it was going to be very difficult and strict with rules, we gave them a pre-comp training day where we discussed how the competition was organized, the rules that the judges were going to go by and how to have fun because we know that competitions can be stressful.
All of them rocked out on the wall but we were super excited to hear that two of our climbing students qualified for regionals! Both Aidan Kenny and Owen Lannarone were psyched to hear the news. We got a chance to catch up with the boys and they were glad to share their experience of the competition and what they love about rock climbing.
Aidan has been climbing for a year and a half, he was introduced to climbing by a friend from school. The USA youth bouldering competition was his first time competing. He loves playing on the wall, getting unlimited tries and how unique rock climbing is from other sports.
“I joined the comp because it was something new and I really enjoy climbing. I love how the climbs are new and no one knows the beta. Also, I really like watching others climb the same problems. Before the competition, I bouldered a lot more and tried as many difficult climbs as I could. For the next competition, I will be focusing on traversing. When I first started, I thought climbing was very basic like ladder climbing but there’s a lot more to it. There’s a lot of technique and different ways of moving on the wall. I learned a lot of climbing vocabulary in class, how to belay and be safe in a climbing area.”
Owen has been climbing trees since he was 4 years old! He started rock climbing when he was 7 years old and has been developing his skills since. The first competition he participated in was last year in the TRC Youth top rope competition.
“I really enjoy the nerves before competing, it’s exciting and challenging myself is something I always look forward to. What makes climbing so much fun for me are the heights and adrenaline! Outdoor climbing is cool too because you can do your own thing, grab and step anywhere. Before the competition, I bouldered for 2 weeks straight, worked on grades above my send level, took a couple of private lessons and watched as many rock climbing videos as I could. My dream wall is The Dawn Wall in Yosemite Park, CA, I really want to climb it. I also would love to keep on learning about Royal Robbins and in the future try free soloing!”
We are so excited for the future of these two bright, young climbers. We wish them the best of luck as they compete in the USA Youth Regional Bouldering Comp. Go Team Rock!