While the academic year is coming to an end, bringing with it finals and the end to the sports seasons, another less conventional Idaho team has also finished its season of competition. The Idaho climbing club team has been competing in the Northwest Climbing Competition, also known as NC3, throughout the semester.
The NC3 is a circuit competition consisting of teams from 11 different northwest universities and hosted at eight different university climbing gyms, including the University of Idaho. The circuit started in 2006 with three universities and has since grown to one of the largest collegiate competitive climbing series in the country.
The competition ended on April 27 with the Whitman College Sweet Onion Crank with 344 competitors competing from 15 different schools. The University of Idaho finished the season in fifth place after struggling to stay competitive throughout the year.
The Idaho climbing team is made up of student climbing enthusiasts who get together on their own time to climb and practice together.
“We are supported by our club fees and the little money that we get from being a university club,” senior climber Chelsea Murn said.
Murn, who was one of the unofficial leaders of this year’s team, finished the season 14th overall despite only competing in three of the eight competitions due to injuries. Murn said she thought the year’s best competition was the Palouse Climbing Festival hosted by UI for not only herself but for the team as a whole.
This year’s 11th annual Palouse Climbing Festival was the fourth stop of the NC3 circuit this year and arguably the best competition for the Idaho team this year. Two Vandal climbers finished in the top three for their heats this year. Senior Andy Gonzalez placed second in the men’s open and Murn finished first in the women’s open, putting up her best score of the year.
Murn expresses high hopes for next year’s team despite not being able to compete after graduation.
“I have faith in them, they need to choose a good team leader and compete well next year, but I know they will do well,” she said.
One of those climbers who will be continuing to compete is Junior Joe Osborn. This year was the first year that Osborn competed in the NC3 and he said he has high hopes for the upcoming season and the team.
Osborn said that the club is always open to new members and they do not require experience. He encourages anybody to come and try out for the team, no matter what their skill level is.
“We are always open to new members and we need more people to compete so we can do even better next year. Just come on out,” Osborn said.
Murn and Osborn both expressed their suggeston for potential team members for next year to get out there and just climb.
“It doesn’t matter if you are climbing in the gym or go out to climb real rock. It is all practice and will improve yourself,” Murn said.
Curtis Ginnetti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org