On Feb. 15, the Youngstown State University’s Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center hosted the third bouldering competition in the 2014 University Bouldering Series. Bouldering is a style of rock climbing without the protection of a safety harness.
Bouldering participants climbed along a taped route on the rock wall with 52 different routes available for this competition. Routes are marked with a taped “V,” with tape to signal the holds along the route.
Tom Marshall, who worked the competition, said each route was worth a varying amount of points.
“The routes are worth 50-600 points depending on the degree of difficulty,” Marshall said.
Marshall said the series is made up of six schools: Kent, Pittsburgh, Akron, YSU, Slippery Rock and West Virginia University.
“They take turns hosting competitions from the first weekend in February ‘til they’re done,” he said.
Ian Theiss, a YSU student and bouldering participant, said the routes have letters to distinguish the features of each pathway. “FN” stands for foot natural and “FF” stands for foot follow.
“Foot natural uses natural features, not holds, unless the holds are marked with the same tape. Foot follow uses only the taped holds,” Theiss said.
Competitors received a scorecard, signed by two staff members, at the end of their climb. They gained extra points by flashing a route.
“Flashing is when you finish a climb without making mistakes or falling — you get it on the first try,” Theiss said. “If you flash a climb, we’ll add a 1% bonus to your climb score.”
The winner of this competition received a certificate and 1000 points to go toward his or her series score.
Bevin Flaugher, a YSU student and competitor, said she has been bouldering for about a year.
“I like to watch the climbers and learn from watching them climb,” Flaugher said.
Christopher Daniels, another competitor and YSU student, said his favorite routes are ones that demand control.
“It’s almost like dancing with the wall,” Daniels said. “This was a overall wonderful competition — I like the people here.”