A foot on the wall

UI hosts  the 16th annual climbing festival 

Jinrong Lei

Argonaut

A heavy snowy day visited Moscow Saturday, but it did not stop the approximately 200 climbers from taking part in the Palouse Climbing Festival.

The University of Idaho Climbing Center hosted the 16th annual festival.

This year, the climbers included students and non-students, from professional climbers to amateur climbers, Outdoor Program Coordinator Elise Clausen said. She said this competition adopted a method of self-evaluation.

“Each route is worth a certain number of points,” Clausen said. “All the climbers have their own scorecard with their names on it. They have to record which route that was, how many points that was, and how many times that took them to climb it. They can climb as many as they want. It’s only the top five they count. So we take the five best [scores].”

Laura Pianowski, a second-year Washington State University graduate student, competed at the festival. Pianowski said she began climbing when she was a sophomore in college. Now she has been climbing for six years, and she falls under the advanced level.

Pianowski said climbing is good exercise and requires thinking and concentration.

Pianowski treated the indoor climbing festival as practice and preparation for outdoor climbing, and enjoys the friendly nature of this competition, she said.

Climbing can release body strains and mental worries, build up muscles and is a good replacement for running and walking, 60-year-old recreational competitor Vaiden Blach said.

Blach said climbing is a great way to push oneself, but emphasized the importance of knowing one’s limits.

Pierce Franklin, a Chemical Engineering freshman at UI, said he has been climbing for about seven years and is part of the UI climbing team. Franklin said he is an advanced climber.

“For me, it is a way to push myself and continue to improve myself,” Franklin said.

He said strategy is the most important aspect of climbing.

Jinrong Lei can be reached at arg-arts@uidaho.edu


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