Season starts off on the right foot (and hands) for local climbers

Tue, 02/27/2007 - 2:35pm
By: The Citizen

rock climbing kids

By Margaret Amalfitano
and Jessica Tinker
Special to The Citizen

“Climb On!”

These were the words that kicked off the 2007 Sport Climbing Season in the Southeast. Members of Team Reality from the Reality Climbing Gym in Peachtree City participated in the Southeast Region Season Opener at Adrenaline Climbing Gym in Suwanee, Ga. on Feb. 10.

“Excellent” was the word that Coach Nicole Colvin, owner of Reality Climbing, used to describe the performances of her team at the competition. “Each climber excelled in their own way, and that is what climbing is about. Their performance was beyond what I could have expected for the first competition of the season.”

One hundred and two competitors competed at the season opener. Trey Johanson-Smith, co-owner of Adrenaline Gym, was only expecting about 80 people as previous competitions had only attracted about 40 – 50 participants.Indoor climbing has become an increasingly popular form of rock climbing that is performed on artificial structures. The textured terrain attempts to mimic the experience of real rock climbing but in a more controlled environment. The walls have grips for hands and feet, with the grips copying the conditions of outdoor rock. In addition to textured surfaces and hand holds, the walls contain surface structures such as indentions, protrusions, cracks, and overhangs.

There are two competition formats – Redpoint and Onsite. Local competitions follow Redpoint. Higher level competitions such as Regional, Divisionals, Nationals, and World follow Onsite. At Redpoint Competitions, such as this one, climbers are given the opportunity to view the routes ahead of time and watch other climbers to identify “trouble” spots.

Points used to compute a climber’s score are only earned for a complete ascent, though climbers are also permitted multiple attempts to complete the climb. At this Redpoint competition, climbers had four hours to complete at least five climbs.
(If time permits, climbers may complete more with the advantage that the top five scores are recorded.) Points are scored based on the level of difficulty of the route. Routes range in point value from 600 to 1300.

The higher the score the better you place. Team Reality member Alexander Amalfitano, age 12, said, “There’s a lot of strategy involved. You obviously go for the hard ones for more points. But if you’re having trouble on them you use the lower routes to gain points. Four hours really isn’t a lot of time with so many competitors. So you have to plan the best routes based on your ability.”

All team members regardless of their division train together twice a week at Reality Climbing Gym. Coach Colvin encourages extra sessions to hone their skills. However, this isn’t usually necessary as most team members can be found spending their free time “climbing the walls.”
The results from the competition were:

• Alexander Amalfitano - 3rd Place Speed Climbing / Honorable Mention Youth C Division

• Abby Birrell - 6th Place Youth C Division

• Sarah Black - Honorable Mention Youth C Division

• Daniel Blair - 2nd Place Junior Division

• Tyler Jones - Honorable Mention Youth A Division

• Jane Lu - 1st Place Speed Climbing / 1st Place Masters Division

• Hannah Montondo - 2nd Place Speed Climbing / 2nd Place Youth D Division

• Larry Shaffer - 3rd Place Speed Climbing / Honorable Mention Youth B Division

• Jessica Tinker - 5th Place Youth A Division

• Ben Watson - 6th Place Youth B Division

Reality Climbing Gym is located at 125 Depot Court off of Senoia Road in Peachtree City. For more information, go to the website at or call 770-48-REACH.

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Submitted by rokclmbr on Thu, 03/01/2007 - 11:12am.

Congrats to the TEAM for the great performance! Good luck this weekend in North Carolina. Climb Hard!

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