Vail Athletic Club kids’ climbing open house is Saturday |

Vail Athletic Club kids’ climbing open house is Saturday

Camile Olson climbs at the Vail Athletic Club during the USA Climbing event.
Special to the Daily |

VAIL — The final local event of the USA Climbing Sport Climbing Series event for Colorado was held recently at the Vail Athletic Club and drew more than 100 competitors. Athletes traveled from Arizona, New Mexico and from all around the state of Colorado to Vail for this event. This series is a collection of climbing competitions where the athletes climb holds on the wall while tied into a rope for safety. This competition is designed for youth climbers of all ages and abilities and attracted some of the nation’s best climbers for the last event before the Regional Championships.

All Climbing Styles Represented

The hard work of the route setters (those who assemble the holds on the wall to create routes) was rewarded with competitors being challenged and finding success on the wide variety of interesting routes. Virtually all styles of climbing were represented to test the various climbing skills and athletes from ages 7 to 19 were all challenged to their individual physical and mental limits. This highly competitive climbing series is used to determine the USA Youth Climbing Team through an elimination process of competitions starting with the Regional Championships this past weekend in Colorado Springs. This event will had over 240 youth competitors, which represents a 50 percent growth rate over this past year. There was over 40 competitors in some categories (split by age and gender), with only the top seven in each age group advancing to the next round of competition, the Divisional Championships held in June in Utah.

Vail Athletic Club Climbers

VAC climbers were prepared for the big event this past weekend, the first stop on the road to the National Championship. Athletes competing include Willie Girten, Deagen Fahrney, Ethan Pitcher, Amalia Manning, Zach Turner, Oliver Chantler, Brody Nielsen, Lukas Bergsten and Benji Dantas. The team has been training year long and the athletes were ready to step it up at the most challenging Regional Championships in the nation. Dantas and Bergsten both qualified to advance to the Divisional Championships, which will be held on June 13 and 14. And once again, Dantas is the regional champion as he received first place in the state of Colorado.

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About Open House Event

The goal of the VAC Climbing program is to introduce and refine proper climbing technique to kids, maintain a strong emphasis on all aspects of climbing safety and promote a positive team environment. These mainstays of the VAC Climbing Team enable students to build confidence, improve self-esteem, and become stronger climbers in a fun, supportive atmosphere. The summer climbing season begins this weekend with the Open House event on Saturday, and children ages 5 to 18 are eligible to participate and no equipment or experience is necessary. The Open House is a free event and there are two sessions to choose from on Saturday: 10 a.m. to noon or 1-3 p.m. at the Vail Athletic Club, located 352 E. Meadow Drive. Call 970-476-7960 for details and to RSVP.

Family Activities

The team will practice both indoors and outdoors throughout the summer, taking the teaching environment to the real rock. Three teams of varying abilities ensure the proper fit for your child, regardless of experience. In addition, there are three camping and climbing trips planned for the team families to get out and experience rock climbing together. The team is active in the climbing community by hosting competitions, establishing charity fundraisers and nationally acclaimed trail improvement events. For more information regarding climbing at the Vail Athletic Club or the children’s program, call Larry Moore at 970-477-3239.

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