Less than two decades ago, indoor and outdoor rock climbing was still seen as somewhat of an alternative sport reserved for dirtbag, granola munching, lazy-ass hippies. Big names like Chris Sharma, Adam Ondre, and Steph Davis have started to change all of that, along with recognition from gear companies like North Face and major retail stores such as REI outfitting the masses with various climbing accouterments. In certain pockets of the world, particularly Boulder, Colorado, climbing is seen as a legitimate sport whose participants are dedicated athletes even if they are a little crunchy around the edges. This years SCS National Championships, hosted by Movement Climbing and Fitness Gym in Boulder, proves that this organized and sponsored sport is steadfastly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Read on to find out why:
The Thrill of it All:
Spot-lit, sexy, scantily-clad climbers. Queen’s “Under Pressure” blaring as the finalists get their first 5 minute look at the beast of a 5.14cish route they’re about to jump on. Beer. Burritos. Raffles. Did we mention the sexy climbers? The SCS Championships did it up right and seemed to give climbing enthusiasts exactly what they wanted.
More importantly, watching muscley men and women hang by their fingers, 40plus feet in the air, is exciting as shit. Big falls, technically stunning and powerful moves, coupled with the grace and elegance of these fit bodies in motion, made the championships a heart-stopping experience.
Sponsorship, Sponsorship, Sponsorship
The North Face, Evolv, Sterling Rope, and Cliff Bars were among the many sponsors who made the championships possible and seem to give this event and the sport a certain legitimacy. Many sponsors set up tents outside the event and raffled off gear or other prizes.
Three Words: Hot. Shirtless. Dudes.
A mixture of Channing Tatum meets Spider Man, these dudes make the ladies swoon as they lunge for holds and flex back muscles we didn’t even know human beings possessed. A big shout out to Colorado local dude, Daniel Woods, for taking home first prize! Daniel has been spotted training at Movement for months leading up to the finals and it looks like that hard work paid off. This blogger will definitely be inquiring about his girlfriend status the next time she sees him at the gym. Wink, wink.
Decked out in jewel tones, many with ribbons in their hair- These gals took time while they were climbing to pump up the audience or ask for cheers as they attempted a difficult move. Where the men were fun to watch because of their strength and power, the ladies mesmerized the audience by doing the splits to get on foot holds, knee-barring for balance, or matching their feet gracefully and making pirouette like turns into moves. One climber even completely inverted herself in an effort to get on a hold, much to the delight of the crowd.
With events like this, a growing fan base, and dedicated climbers determined to make a name for themselves and the sport, this dirtbag past-time is too legit to quit.