WMS hosted it’s annual USA Climbing Sport Climbing Series (SCS) competition on Saturday and drew a record number of competitors. Read on for news about the day and the great WMS climber finishes!
The routes were set by a professional crew in the days leading up to the competition, and they provided climbers with challenges for a wide range of ability levels. “The route setters are creative and always bring something new to the table. They really utilize our wall, which is unique in the climbing gym world because it has so many “features,” like cracks, pockets, arêtes, and flakes,” said Ted Teegarden, White Mountain School Director of Outdoor Education. He added, “we have the ability to run fourteen ropes at the same time, but the route setters developed eight different stations, so that the climbing routes would be able to traverse the walls and cover more area.”
Climbers and spectators alike enjoyed the event, which included free t-shirts, lunch, and two awards ceremonies. One climber mentioned to WMS staff that she loved coming to competitions at The White Mountain School because the staff is so friendly and welcoming. A coach from another gym recognized our students for their sportsmanship, commenting on the obvious encouragement they were giving each other, saying “members of the WMS climbing team are so supportive of each other. It creates a great environment.” Ted credits the school’s incredible community for much of the day’s success, and notes that as a school it is nice to have the opportunity to share our faculty and staff and their expertise as educators with our guests. Student and faculty volunteers helped as route judges and belayers, and ran a bake sale and raffle to raise money for the Rumney Climbers Association.
Stephen Roriston ’16 told us about his most challenging climb on Saturday. “The purple route was only about fourteen holds and you had to lean back and forth, stemming between two walls. At any point, you were never on more than two or three holds -small, difficult holds- at a time. It required lots of balance and smearing skills. The climb was very technical. The final move in the climb was a two-hand hold on these tiny little knobs. I just missed the very last hold on my first attempt, but I went back up and got it the next time.” (Stephen finished first in the Male Youth A division.)
There were about 60 climbers in Saturday’s competition. Twelve WMS Sport Climbers represented the school on Saturday under the leadership of Head Coach Nadya Vorotnikova. WMS climbers also have time to climb outdoors during all three seasons of the school year, which provides a nice balance and insures that they are learning new skills. “We value what students gain from climbing, and not just specifically competing. It’s about the life lessons, too, like learning about yourself and building confidence. Climbing is a healthy mind and body activity, that fosters connections with the environment and the people you climb with,” said Teegarden.
White Mountain School climbers earned the following finishes:
Ollie Laflamme ’17 (6th) and Liam McEnany ’16 (7th) in their division
Anna Meyer ’16 was 2nd in the Youth A Female division
Stephen Roriston ’16 was 1st, and Kyle Rosen ‘16 was 4th in the Youth A Male division
Morgan Barth ‘14 was 3rd and Elise Laflamme ‘15 was 4th in the Female Junior division
Eli Webber ‘14 was 2nd, Thomas Vaic ‘15 was 3rd, Jerry Li ‘15 was 4th in the Male Junior division
Ted thanks all those who volunteered their time and efforts on Saturday, specifically the maintenance team, food services, and the comp. volunteers. We look forward to hosting another great USA Climbing event this fall!