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Climbing Through the Winter State Games of Oklahoma

The end of January is here. Do you know what that means? It means it’s time for the Winter State Games of Oklahoma! I’ve registered again for the event, and I'm looking forward to climbing in it.

However, the upcoming winter games are going to be different. The event won’t be at Climb UP Norman; it will be at Climb UP Oklahoma City. It’s something new the organizers are trying out this year.

New Location, New Format

Climb UP OKC building from the outside.
Photo credit: Climb UP OKC

Because of the location change, the competition format will be different from last year because most of the climbing done there is roped climbing. Something I should mention is, Climb UP OKC is in what used to be an old grain silo. Previous owners have converted it into a climbing gym. So, some of the routes are very tall compared to others to climb. Changes were made to the comp format to accompany the gym.

According to the State Games of Oklahoma website, climbers will earn points based on the height and/or difficulty of the routes. The routes here will be scored differently than in previous state games events. Climb UP OKC says this comp has an “endurance format.” The more difficult and longer routes have higher point values.

On routes, there may be intermittent "scored" holds for credit with the highest point values earned upon reaching the top without falling. The total number of points of the routes climbed will be tallied up for a climber’s final score - so the more climbing one does, the higher their score. The routes will be top-rope, lead (for qualified climbers/categories), and auto-belays.

Why Compete If There Isn’t Any Bouldering?

Unfortunately, there won’t be a bouldering event. Climb UP OKC doesn’t have a bouldering area to use for the event. Not being able to boulder at this comp makes me sad because I enjoy that part of comps.

You’re probably asking why I should compete then? I want to because I like roped climbing too. I’ve never participated in a ropes only comp before. I think it could be a lot of fun. Plus, I want to how I would do.

How Strong Are You?

For this comp, I’m competing in the women’s intermediate category. Intermediate climbers climb at least 5.9 to 5.10. I’ve been climbing solidly in those grades, so it makes sense to register for that group. In previous competitions at both Climb UP and Threshold Climbing and Bouldering Complex, I’ve noticed more women climb in intermediate. I think it’s cool, but it makes me aware that I’ll have more competition if I want to rank at the event.

Thus, I have a confession to make. I haven’t been training for this comp. I will admit, I was hesitant because some of the routes are long and tiring. Some are also very tall and to complete it; you need endurance. I don’t think I have a lot and if I was serious about the comp, I should have been building it up. It came down to an “oh, what the hell,” in finally deciding if I was signing up or not.

So, it’s my fault for not preparing adequately. I prefer to climb at the gym in Norman, rather than OKC because the routes aren’t so tiring. I know I’m going to be sore as hell the next day or a couple of days. I’ll pay for it, but I hope to have fun in the process.

In the next article, I’ll let you know how the comp went and how I did. I hope I’ll be able to type after the comp because I’ll have sore arms and sensitive fingertips from all of the climbing. Wish me luck and may the odds be ever in my favor! Until next time, happy climbing!