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climbing

Bouldering Competition Tonight

Get ready to send it. Today, students, staff, and faculty at the U are competing in the second annual SENDsations bouldering competition, sponsored by the U’s Outdoor Adventures.
Climbing will begin around 4:30 p.m. and go for about two hours in The Summit, the George S. Eccles Student Life Center’s climbing wall. Competitors can climb as many bouldering problems as they want during that time and will receive points based on the difficulty of the routes they complete- which were all set by the U’s Climbing Team. Judges will choose the top three men and women for the finals, and after the best climbers duke it out, they will announce winners.
With sponsors like Petzl, Black Diamond, CoalaTree, and Deuter, winners (and most participants) can plan to walk away with such gear as chalk bags, t-shirts, and crash pads.
Keith Howells, GA of operations at Outdoor Adventures, said as of this morning, 40 of the 60 spots are taken, and while people can sign up for the competition at the door, he strongly suggests signing up before time online. The entrance fee is $5.
This event is one of two bouldering competitions Outdoor Adventures hosts during the school year. The other is the Dyno Comp during spring semester.
“I think overall these events like SENDsations are an opportunity for the U of U climbing community to get together at The Summit, build each other up as fellow climbers, and have a lot of fun while doing what they love,” Howells said. “For me, there’s no community quite like the climbing community.”


c.webber@wasatchmag.com

Photo courtesy of University of Utah Outdoor Adventures

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Bouldering Routes Damaged by Vandalism

Walking into your home to find the door ripped off its hinges, broken glass covering the floor, and some of your valuables missing would be tragic. For climbers, this was the feeling as they walked up to their favorite bouldering routes in Little Cottonwood Canyon last week.

On Oct. 30, Jimmy Keithley, a local climber, and his children walked up to a project they were working on to find holds smashed off of famous bouldering routes like Twisted [V4] and Lance’s Dihedral [V6]. Ten total boulders were damaged, affecting 20 boulder problems up Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Julia Geisler, executive director of Salt Lake Climber’s Alliance, said vandalism in climbing areas is a recurring problem, and it is becoming more frequent.

“This is part of a greater problem that is happening in Little Cottonwood. Vandalism in general is really high,” she said. “There’s tons of graffiti, trash, and fire rings that we’re constantly cleaning up.”

While these crimes are common, Geisler said this is the first known act of deliberately tampering with bouldering holds. These rocks were likely damaged by a crow bar or hammer.

Geisler and the SLCA do not know who damaged the climbing holds, but they say this does not reflect the normal behavior of climbers, who tend to care for the places they climb.

While changed forever, these climbs are still doable. Some have found these climbs to be even easier. Other vandalism, such as graffiti, makes damage irreversible because the graffiti ruins the friction needed to grip the rock.

That’s why the alliance rallies over 350 climbers to complete 1,000 hours of volunteer work during their Adopt a Crag events, picking up trash and cleaning graffiti off their rocks.

“This is your land. It’s here for all of us to enjoy,” Geisler said. “Make an effort to come out and clean up.” Geisler also suggests that people report vandalism whenever they see it.

This weekend, Salt Lake Climber’s Alliance will host a graffiti removal project. They will meet at the Little Cottonwood Canyon Park and Ride at 9 a.m. on Saturday. All are welcome to attend.

Bouldering Routes affected:

Standard Overhang (V3), Isabelle’s (V5), Superfly (V8), Barfly (V8), Pro Series (V11), Baldy (V5), Smiley Right (V4), Mr. Smiley (V6), Butt Trumpet (V8), Twisted (V4), Copperhead(V10), Lance’s Dihedral (V6), Hug (V8), All Thumbs (V10), and Cronin’s Slab (V2), among others.

Photo courtesy of Tommy Chandler

c.webber@dailyutahchronicle.com

Corrected from: Geisler and other members of the Salt Lake Climber’s Alliance want everyone to know that this was not a climber who damaged these rocks. They are still not sure who did it, but they assume the crime was committed by an unstable individual.

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140 Ways to Climb Maple Canyon

Maple Canyon is one of the most unique climbing destinations in Utah. The texture of the cobblestone rock is like no other place in the state. Just two hours south of Salt Lake, it’s the perfect destination for a weekend stay. With a variety of climbs and numerous locations to explore throughout the canyon, it is a great place to test your ability as a climber.

Climbers can camp near the crags in the huge canyon, but campsites need to be reserved in advance before the end of the season in October. This is the perfect spot for large groups, and amenities like single-family sites, walk-in tent sites, and picnic tables with fire pits make it easy to plan last minute. Ephraim is about 15 minutes south of the canyon, and is great place to stock up on food and supplies before spending time at the crag.

The main attraction of Maple Canyon is the 140 climbing routes ranging from 5.4 up to 5.14. The best places to start would be on Pipeline or Orangutan Wall. Pipeline has a great selection of short but steep routes while Orangutan has a variety of longer climbs. The best time of the year to go is during the summer months and the beginning of the fall. In October and November, it can get cold at night, but this is one of the best times of the year to be outside in Utah as the leaves begin to change and the days aren’t unbearably hot. The majority of the climbs offered in the canyon are single pitch sport routes, but there are a couple of multi-pitch routes. If you don’t get there before the snow comes, don’t sweat it. Maple Canyon also has a variety of ice climbing routes. The best times of the year for ice climbing range from December to the beginning of March. Keep in mind that you will have to skin up or hike to the climbing route as the campsites are closed down during the winter months. The majority of the ice climbs are single pitch, but there are a couple of multi-pitch climbs as well.

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Daniels

Photo courtesy of Lindsay Daniels

If you’re not big into climbing, Maple Canyon itself is stunning enough to go camping for a couple nights to experience its cobblestone cliffs. There are campfire rings, wildlife viewing areas, biking, horseback riding, as well as a couple hikes to explore throughout the canyon. There are three hikes to choose from that range from three to five mile loops branching out from the center of the canyon that feature small caves and waterfalls through the Box Canyon hiking trail. The Maple Canyon Loop trail will be great during the fall season to see the leaves changing because the trail takes you through and out above the canyon and overlooks the valley below.

Whether you are a seasoned climber who has traveled all over the world for climbing or someone who is just looking for a vacation from the Salt Lake Valley, Maple Canyon is definitely a location for your list. Its close proximity to Salt Lake will keep you coming back multiple times a year to experience all that the canyon has to offer.

DIY Trip

DAY 1: The first day is spent packing and getting to Ephraim, Utah, which is the nearest town to Maple Canyon. Pick up all the supplies you need for your stay and anything you might have left at home. You can leave later in the day since the drive only takes a couple hours. Next, make your way back towards the canyon and your campsite.

DAY 2: Today is spent climbing many of the crags the canyon has to offer. I recommend starting out at Orangutan Wall or going to Pipeline.

DAY 3: Today will be a break from climbing and a day spent exploring the rest of the canyon. I recommend hiking on the Maple Canyon Loop. This hike is 5 miles long, so be sure to take your time. There is no need to rush!

DAY 4: Today is spent rock climbing in Box Canyon. These climbs are longer but they offer a couple more challenging aspects such as large overhangs. Plus, the approach through Box Canyon is something you can’t pass up. Today can either be your last day in the canyon, or the next day. It depends on your stamina and how long you are able to keep climbing.

p.creveling@dailyutahchronicle.com

Photos courtesy of Lindsay Daniels

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