Montana State University

MSU to hold climbing contest, festival Jan. 22, 23

December 15, 2010 -- MSU News Service

Scott Wiessinger, an MSU film student from Ithaca, N.Y., practices his bouldering technique at the climbing gym in MSU's Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center. A bouldering competition and festival will be held in the gym on Jan. 22 and 23.(MSU photo by Kelly Gorham).   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN - Montana State University will host its second annual boulder climbing competition and festival on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 22 and 23.

The "Prince and Princess of Plastic Bouldering Competition and Climber's Festival" will be held at the MSU Climbing Wall in the Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center to raise awareness about the climbing wall expansion project. Climbing wall manager Kevin Volkening said the project is still in the planning and approval stages, but the idea is to remove a portion of the wall to the adjacent racquetball court to provide as much climbing space as possible.

The contest will consist of two parts: a bouldering competition and a slackline competition. Both are open to the public and all MSU students, faculty and staff.

The Prince and Princess of Plastic Bouldering Competition will run from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. both days of the competition, with the finals to be held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. each day. The men's beginner and women's open categories will be held on Jan. 22. The men's open and women's beginner divisions will be held on Jan. 23. A slackline competition will be held the evening of Jan. 23.

For the bouldering competition, climbing routes will be set no higher than 14 feet, Volkening said. The routes will be brand new, with each assigned a point value based on difficulty. Competitors will have three hours to climb. At the end of that time, the top five point values will be added up to give a final overall score. Prizes will go to the top three overall scores in the beginning division. In the open division, the top five scorers will move to the final round.

Competitors in the final round will climb two different routes. Each person will have three tries to climb each route, with a 45-second break between the attempts. The winner is the person who completes the most of each route no matter how they scored in the qualifying round.

For the slackline contest, competitors will have three minutes to stay on the line and complete as many tricks as possible. They will lose points if they leave the line. Simply standing on the line for three minutes instead of attempting tricks will result in a lower score than attempting a trick and falling.

The festival will also include climbing clinics, student films, local vendors, a raffle and free food served all day, both days.

Attending the festival and competing in the slackline competition are free. Competing in the bouldering contest costs $35 if participants register ahead of time and $40 on the day of the competition. Climbers will only need climbing shoes to compete. They can rent shoes from the rec sports department or use their own.

The event is organized by ASMSU Recreation Sports, with more than 20 MSU and Bozeman community sponsors.

For more information, contact Kevin Volkening at or Matt Parks at

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or