ChalkUp to test students in uphill battle

Chico senior Jacob Creighton demonstrates the rock-climbing style of bouldering, climbing without the safety of a harness, on Thursday evening, Sept. 27, 2012, in the McLane Student Life Center. On Saturday, Outdoor Adventure will be hosting Chalk Up, a bouldering competition.
Matt Hellman | Lariat Photo Editor

By Holly Renner


Ropes can be left at the door as participants compete Saturday at Baylor’s annual ChalkUp event.

The event is a mixed-format bouldering competition that will be held at the rock wall, also known as the Rock at the McLane Student Life Center.

Bouldering is a type of rock climbing that does not require ropes and harnesses, as climbers do not ascend past 12 feet.

Two options will be available for participants: a redpoint course will be offered from 9 a.m. to noon, and an on-sight course from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Staff at the McLane Student Life Center rockwall will set the routes, which are also called problems in the bouldering world.

The redpoint competition allows participants unlimited attempts at all problems in the given time frame.

Competitors are able to see the problem beforehand and can give each other tips.

The level of difficulty for each completed problem determines the final score, and the top male and top female competitors for the beginner and advanced sessions will receive first and second place prizes.

Daniel Ezell, manager at the Rock, said the onsight competition is geared toward the more advanced climber.

Competitors are prohibited from seeing or attempting the problem beforehand. Onsight consists of four rounds — each round must be completed in three minutes, with a three-minute rest in between.

If a competitor fails to complete the problem in a round, he or she must wait for the next route and move on. The level of difficulty for each problem determines the climber’s score. First- and second place-prizes will be offered for top male and top female competitors.

Beginning climbers are encouraged to sign up for redpoint, while the onsight event is targeted toward advanced climbers, although participants may sign up for both. A total of 35 climbers can register for redpoint and 15 for onsight.

The redpoint contest is “a great way for new climbers to get their feet wet as far as competition goes,” said Sarah Groman, Waco senior and rock climbing team president.

Former Rock manager Drew White created ChalkUp in 2006. Since then, bouldering problems have expanded, offering two competitions for beginner and advanced climbers.

Ezell said bouldering problems are smaller and more challenging than standard rock climbs.

Seabrook, Texas, senior Andrew Sayers will compete in his third ChalkUp event Saturday. Sayers will participate in redpoint.

“It’s a good representation of how well you can climb under pressure,” he said. “You want to win, so you climb as hard as you can until you can’t climb anymore.”

Sayers said he prefers bouldering to standard rock climbing because each move is powerful and controlled, using more strength. Bouldering is a battle of endurance, Sayers said.

For some, ChalkUp is strictly competition-driven, but for others, it is a way to challenge, encourage and motivate each other, Ezell said.

Keller senior and rock climbing team officer Jake Heffley will compete for a third time Saturday. Heffley said he prefers climbing with a rope but loves both forms.

“I climb slow and controlled, with a lot of technique. I’m more endurance-driven,” he said. Registration will be open through the competition, which is open to the public. Baylor students can register at the front desk of the Student Life Center, and all other participants can register at

Registration is $20 for one session or $30 for both.