Nathaniel Smith of the Rock Garden Junior Climbing Team catches a hold on his first difficulty climb at The Edge Winter Classic. (Wayne Takashiba Photo)

Rock climbers take face challenge

Vernon rock climbers competed in The Edge Winter Classic

Four Vernon rock climbers competed in The Edge Winter Classic in North Vancouver – an Olympic-format rock climbing competition combining the three disciplines of rock climbing.

Junior climber Nathaniel Smith (Youth D, age 11 and under boy) placed first, while teammate Riley Harrison was seventh in the girls category for the same age and calibre. Diego Glanz (Youth B, age 14 – 15 boys) placed 12th, while Mike Weldon was 14th in the the Open Men’s.

This was the first Sport Climbing of B.C. event to feature the Olympic format of three climbing disciplines: difficulty, bouldering and speed. Difficulty climbing tests a climber’s endurance by having each climber climb a 10m or higher wall while lead/top-rope climbing.

In contrast, speed climbing pushes climbers to move quickly as it consists of climbers racing twice to the top of a 10m wall while bouldering requires strength and power facing six or seven highly technical problems (routes) on lower walls.

Rock Climbing will be in the 2020 Olympics. Next up for the Rock Garden team are the B.C. Boulder Provincials, Jan. 27-28, in North Vancouver.

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