Last Friday, the Ritt Kellogg Rock Gym was transformed into a winter wonderland for the annual Ugly Sweater Climbing Competition. Snowflakes and ornaments dangled from the ceiling, carols played, and climbers and observers came wearing everything from olive green underwear and a towel to cropped sweaters to a speedo.
Dan Crossey, CC carpenter and outdoor enthusiast, was recognized and awarded a golden piton award for his incredible dedication and mentoring of the CC climbing and outdoor communities.
Chris Dickson graciously passed a set of three number 5 cams (protective climbing gear) to Hanson Smith. These cams are available to be borrowed within the Colorado College traditional climbing community.
Prizes raffled off included Mountain Chalet, Gearonimo, and Wooglin’s gift cards, a certificate for a free pair of climbing shoes, Outdoor Education hats, Christmas ornaments, and other trinkets.
“[The event’s success] was due to the hard work put in by so many people – Hannah and Melissa with the planning, the setters for the hours and hours of work they put into the routes, and the local companies for the awesome prizes they donated,” said Patricia Chan.
The stack of 100 competition scorecards ran out within an hour. Each climber had two hours to complete the most difficult boulder problems they could. The top three finalists from each division made it to the finals.
Jonah Seifer won the boys amateur category; Michael Kauzmann and Christian Blandon also qualified.
Lauren Hebert won the girls amateur category; Erin Burk and Maya Williamson also qualified.
Jamie Rushford won the boys pro category. Mark Parlier and Brett Baekey also qualified.
Galina Parfenov, Nina Riggio, and Erin Bostic qualified in the girls pro division. Parfenov left the competition before the finals round, so Luke Raussman took her place. He was promptly disqualified for stripping while climbing, and Riggio took the win.
In the most important category, Nikki Holzman won the ugliest sweater award, taking home a framed motivational unicorn poster.
“It’s great to see a community of people who are connected by climbing come together and have a good time at an event like this. I think it represents what the gym is all about,” said Chan.