Vail climbing squad excels at nationals |

Vail climbing squad excels at nationals

Ian Cropp
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyLogan Jauernigg, 12, of Edwards, recently placed seventh at the American Bouldering Series Naitonal Championships in Boulder.

BOULDER, Colorado ” In the climbing world, Vail has built a name for itself as one of the top importers of talent.

But recently, Vail has been exporting some pretty good climbers.

At this year’s 2008 American Bouldering Series National Championship held at the Spot Gym in Boulder, three climbers from the Vail Athletic Club joined the hundreds of top athletes in the country.

Logan Jauernigg, 12, placed seventh in his division, while Luke Rasmussen, 15, and Cam Lewis, 19, were 31st in their respective divisions.

“That’s great,” said Larry Moore, who runs the climbing program at the Vail Athletic Club. “That’s Luke’s third national event, and this was Logan’s second year at nationals.”

Each summer, top climbers from the U.S. and world assemble at the Teva Mountain Games, and last month at nationals, the trio of Vail Valley athletes competed against those same athletes.

“It was a ton of fun ” everyone was there,” said Jauernigg, a Minturn Middle School student.

Jauernigg followed up his 12th-place finish in 2007 with an impressive berth into the finals this year.

“That’s a really strong leap within one year ” to jump that many places at nationals is super strong,” Moore said of Jaurenigg. “His composure and focus are incredible.

He’s learned a lot of technique, and now a lot of it is just getting stronger.”

In only his second competitive season, Jauernigg showed how much he’s picked up since his last appearance at nationals, in Maryland.

“I wasn’t as scared as a lot of people who went in,” he said.

Vail Athletic Club brought 19 climbers to regionals, which were in Albuquerque, N.M., where it qualified three for nationals for the second year in a row. This time, however, the Vail climbers had geography on their side.

“We had our competitors going to Boulder as frequently as they could,” Moore said. “It helps to have experience climbing features they’ll have at the contest. The gym has particular rocks that emulate particular types from throughout the world.”

“I knew where the natural (holds) and stuff were on them,” Jauernigg said.

Lewis, who attends Johnson and Wales University in Denver, now serves as a coach for climbers at the Vail Athletic Club. Rasmussen, a Battle Mountain student, was in the younger half of his division.

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or

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