Beaver Creek a "scale-up" resort |

Beaver Creek a "scale-up" resort

Andrew Harley

The Men’s and Women’s Bouldering Qualifiers marked the beginning of the Ford Adventure Sport Challenge’s impressive list of athletic competitions at Beaver Creek Friday.

The 360-degree climbing wall loomed large, like the tail of a whale submerging into a vast, blue gym mat, above the muscular field of relatively-miniscule climbers.

The boulder offered each competitor the opportunity to flex their skills on three different “problems” – climbing problems begin with a hold at the bottom of the wall, end at a hold near the top and how to get from the beginning to the end is the problem.

“The problems were pretty stacked,” said Dave Marquess of Colorado Springs. “And the field was strong with people from all over the world.”

The 19 men and six women were competing for amateur-qualifier spots in this weekend’s professional competitions.

Pam Winberg won the Bouldering Women’s Qualifier round, while Rachel Orth took second and Leslie Strang placed third.

Winberg, Orth and Strang each finished all three courses fully and earned the opportunity to compete in the professional competitions.

Mike Aldridge took first in the Bouldering Men’s Qualifier round, and was the only competitor to complete all three courses. Marquess came in second, and Nate Gold and Jordan Davis took third and fourth – Gold and Davis finished the same percentage of the three courses.

“There was nice, hard competition,” said Danel Wods, 13, of Longmont, who is the 3-time USCCA Junior National Route Competition Champion.

Wods was the youngest competitor in the field.

“(Being the youngest competitor in the field) doesn’t matter,” said Wods. “I don’t care.”

Adventure-sport action continues today at the Ford Adventure Sport Challenge. The Balance Bar 24-hour Adventure Race begins at State Bridge Landing at 4 a.m. Men’s Climbing Practice runs from 7-9:30 a.m. in Adventure Village at Beaver Creek. Women’s Climbing Practice runs from 9:30 a.m.-noon. Men’s Bouldering Semifinals run from 1:30-4 p.m. Women’s Bouldering Semifinals run from 5-7 p.m. The Nike ACG 10K Trail Run starts at 9 a.m., the 5K starts 15 minutes later. The 10K, 5K and the Kid’s K will all begin in Adventure Village.

Andrew Harley can be contacted at (970) 949-0555 ext. 608 or at

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