Pulling Plastic

Colleen Winn's picture

Spire's Full Gravity Day breakdown. 

The easy access to spectacular rock climbing in the Bozeman area makes our town a mecca of climbing culture, and that community was out in full force last Saturday for Spire Climbing Center’s 15th annual Full Gravity Day competition. The all-day bouldering event provided youth, beginner, and advanced athletes the opportunity to test their abilities in Bozeman’s recently expanded climbing gym.

youth climber
Climbers during the youth competition

The junior competition kicked off at 10am, with more than 60 athletes competing in this first heat. The young climbers displayed discipline and determination during their four hours of competition – impressive qualities for people of that age. 

female climber
Beginning the boulder problem

Adult climbers competed in the afternoon. They received points for each boulder problem completed, earning more points the more difficult the route. Each climber had four hours to complete as many routes as possible. At the end of the heat, points were totaled up from each climber’s six most difficult routes, and the top five men and women finishers from the adult open competition qualified for the finals held later that evening.

male climber
Gripped on one of Spire's many routes

In keeping with standard Bozeman behavior, the crowd was psyched, loudly cheering the climbers on. The energy peaked during the finals, with lots of whooping and cheering. We got to watch Bozeman’s best climbers battle it out on the boulders, with Becky Switzer winning the women’s competition and Charles Barron winning the men’s.

Andie Creel climbs during the open competition

Along with providing outstanding competition and camaraderie, Full Gravity Day is a fundraiser for Touch The Sky, a nonprofit organization that helps get youth into the outdoors through climbing. Founded in 1996, Touch The Sky provides support to low-income and at-risk youth organizations, and scholarships and fee-assistance to youth from low-income families. Since it was founded, it has provided climbing opportunities to roughly 1,000 kids.

Seth Dayutis works on a difficult route 

There is something exhilarating about the sport of bouldering, even if it’s just pulling on plastic inside a gym during the winter months. Competitors and spectators brought the excitement to Full Gravity Day this year. From the youth to the top athletes, the climbers impressed Bozeman with their grit and tenacity, keeping the tradition of Full Gravity Day.

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