Climbing to state

Greg Blanco, General Editor

The Gunnison High School (GHS) rock climbing team had an outstanding season, having eight regular season meets overall, including competitions in Grand Junction, Montrose, and Eagle, and several home meets at Western Colorado University.  The team placed in the top 80 in each meet. 

(Photo captured of Ethan pierce climbing at Western Colorado University)
(photo captured by Maria Kattnig of the whole rock climbing team)

Many people participated this year with 10 boys and six girls climbing either top rope, a  type of climbing where the climber is securely attached to a rope that runs through a fixed anchor at the top of the climbing route or bouldering,  a form of free climbing that is performed on small rock formations or artificial rock walls without ropes or harnesses.  

Regionals took place in Eagle, Colorado. Only four rock climbers qualified for the state competition. Recently the GHS Rock Climbing team attended the state competition at the American Scholastic Climbing League (ASCL) held in Broomfield, Colorado at G1 Climbing which is a rock climbing facility. This year only two girls and two boys qualified for state, with all four posting solid results. Isabella Harzell placed 23rd, Poppie Pleak placed 22nd, Robert Brackett placed 47th, and Jonathan Pierce placed 50th. 

Maria Katnig, the head coach of the rock climbing team, said ”the way they score each rock climber is by having 20 rope routes and 20 bouldering routes where 1 is the easiest route and 20 being the hardest route giving you more points”.  Spencer Hays commented about the scoring system, “Usually you win or lose as a team but for special events like regionals and state you win or lose individually.”