Did you know that climbing competitions aren’t just for professionals? Climbing is a beautiful sport because you can make it what you want. Are you looking for a way to stay active? Climbing is excellent for increasing and maintaining fitness. Are you looking to make new friends? Climbing is a highly social sport. Are you looking to challenge yourself and enter the competitive climbing scene? Awesome! That's what we were hoping to hear you say!
While enrolling in climbing competitions is not a requirement to enjoy the sport, it is one of the most fun things you could do and a great way to further immerse yourself in the wonderful climbing community. Unlike highly competitive and often intimidating sports such as football, local climbing competitions end up being equally as social as they are competitive.
Make Friends at Climbing Competitions
Since local competitions are epic community events, climbers of all levels are in attendance. This means that no matter whether you started climbing two months ago or five years ago, there will be climbs for you to try to complete! Usually, there are recreational, intermediate, advanced, and open (sometimes) categories for both men and women at local climbing events. So you can choose which level you want to compete at based on your current ability! Who knows, you may win a fun prize. It depends on the climbing gym hosting the competition, but awards can range from gift cards to chalk, climbing rope, and even crash pads!
Set Your Own Goals
However, while winning and trying hard is fun, local climbing competitions are all about choosing your challenge. You can focus 100% on the social aspect and not care about how you place, or you can enter into advanced and gun for that top prize. There is no right or wrong way to treat a local climbing competition, which makes it the perfect opportunity to try out the competitive climbing scene. Ultimately, a climbing competition is a fun challenge that allows you to put your climbing and training to the test in a laid-back and low-stakes environment. We'd suggest doing your first local competition at your home gym (if they host them, of course) so that you feel super comfortable competing!
Get Out of Your Climbing Comfort Zone
Climbing competitions are also an excellent opportunity to try out new climbs and climbing styles, as the gym will have setters, and guest setters, put up tons of brand-new climbs. The setters may opt for more comp-style boulders or routes. Comp-style climbs usually contain unique movements and fun holds and are an exhilarating mental and physical challenge to figure out the climb and get to the top. While the competition climbs may remain in the gym after the competition, there’s no better feeling than climbing on a fresh set with the hype and adrenaline of the climbing community surging around you! In the rush of the moment, you’ll likely have more fun trying climbs out of your style at the competition than you would any typical day. So, you definitely don’t want to skip the local comp and miss out on this opportunity!
And, how could we forget the best part about local climbing competitions? Complimentary food and drinks! Many of these events include food and alcoholic beverages (for those 21+) as a part of the entry fee! Of course, you can only consume alcohol post-climbing, but the little "afterparty" adds to the social and community aspect. Who doesn't love food and a beer after climbing?
By now, if we have yet to convince you to enter a local climbing competition, it's your loss. They're fantastic events filled with fun climbs and epic people! We'd love to hear if you decide to sign up for a competition and what your experience is like in the comments below!