Far North Climbing gym is back and offering new climbing events. This month the gym will host Neon Dawn: a late night, glow-in-the-dark, costumed competition. Doors will open at 6 pm and the competition starts at 7 pm. Categories will be inclusive to beginners, intermediate, and advanced. The event also plans to be gender inclusive with men’s, women’s, and open (all gender) categories. Prizes will be awarded for each category.
So how does a climbing comp work? Fifty routes will be set in order of increasing difficulty. Climbers will climb to the highest number they can. Gym staff will sign off on each attempt. Each climb is worth a certain number of points. In the end, points are tallied to determine who climbed the hardest for each category.
Gym staff and HSU wildlife major Bella Norton plans to compete. For Norton, the gym offers a chill space with familiar faces. Norton expects the event to be an opportunity to climb with friends.
“The laid-back environment at Far North makes competitions more enjoyable,” Norton said. “I thought it would be like everyone watching me. But everyone all climbs together and hangs out, making it a lot less intimidating,” Norton said.
Joaquin Estrada, general manager at Far North, encourages everyone to come to the event. For those who would like to come as spectators, there is no entry free. The competitor entry fee is $15 for those with a gym membership and $20 for non-members. First-place winners have the opportunity to win prizes from local businesses, cash, or climbing equipment.
“There will be plenty of climbs accessible to folks of all climbing abilities,” Estrada said. “Many prizes to be awarded from climbing companies and local businesses, as well as at least $100 cash prize.”
Several of the setters are HSU students bringing their creativity to route design. Taylor Woodruff challenges climbers to use their bodies in unique ways in route problem-solving. Woodruff designs routes that require climbers to pull with their feet or try funky positions to make moves possible.
“The real joy comes when you get to watch people come up with different ways to solve the problem, whether or not they climb it in the way you envisioned,” Woodruff said. “I hope people come to Neon Dawn excited to get into some funky positions in order to get up the wall.”
Kyle Fisher, HSU alumn and avid climber, will also be setting some routes for the event. Fisher tries to create sequences that are available to all climbers. He hopes to see folks get involved, have fun, and get some sick prizes.
“There will be a boatload of sweet prizes for all categories,” Fisher said. “We’ve done some blacklight competitions before. It’s gonna be a great time”.
Far North Climbing gym hopes to create a community of sport and fun. Soon to be announced are more climbing events, student nights, and more competitions. To stay in the loop, find them on Instagram or Facebook, @FarNorthArcata.