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Climbapalooza was a hit. With a constant influx of eager climbers and spectators, the climbing hall was packed to capacity. Due to the varied bouldering grades in the gym, everyone from novices to experts had something to climb. Additionally, with a choice between top-roping and bouldering, it seemed that everyone was happy with the climbing opportunities, enhanced by the music provided by YouJazz.

The climbers did not feel lonely up on the wall with YouJazz’s band members playing their instruments while suspended from the ceiling. Patricia Chan reports, “The goal [of climbing gym events] is to get more people in to climb and to continue developing the climbing community. We want our community to be known for being fun, welcoming, inclusive… and mostly fun.”

In addition to attracting new climbers, Climbapalooza was a great place to bring together climbers who had never met before.

Vanessa Voller and Emma Longcope, planned the event. Patricia Chan said they, “did a fantastic job pulling it all together! Each monitor is in charge of organizing an event per block. . . Monitors have full control of planning each event based on what they think will be fun and attract people to the gym.”

Organizing the event consisted of securing YouJazz and the climbing gym for that night and heavily publicizing the event through the ORC and Ritt Climbing listserv, in addition to much more organizing, specifically risk management planning.  According to Chan, “Of course, there was a risk management plan as well to make sure the event ran smoothly, and all the bases were covered.”

These precautions were noticeable, due to the bouldering pads on the floor and the use of the appropriate gear for top-roping. Top-roping belayers had to be previously checked out by a climbing gym staff member, and staff members prevented people bouldering from climbing above the end of the problem.

While climbing in the gym can be intimidating, Climbapalooza and other events put on by the climbing gym are great resources to get into climbing and become a part of the CC climbing community. Chan relates “we wanted [Climbapalooza] to be a high-energy way to kick off our events in the gym. Look for more each block! Next up… Ugly Christmas Sweater Climbing Competition.”

Nina Murray, Guest Writer

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