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CRMS hosts climbing meet

Joelle MilholmGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE – Frozen rocks and freezing temperatures are becoming an obstacle to Rock climbing outdoors, but they are not stopping the climbing team at Colorado Rocky Mountain School from scaling walls.Driven off the rock by the weather, the 28 members of the CRMS squad climb indoors, on the hundreds of climbing molds bolted to the CRMS gym walls. The gym is expected to be packed this weekend as CRMS hosts an American Bouldering Series sanctioned climbing competition on Saturday.Last year, 92 climbers ascended upon the school to compete.”This year we are hoping to have a bunch more than that,” said second-year CRMS climbing coach Jack Gerber. “It should be fun.”Four teams from the Western Slope, one from Utah and a few more from the Front Range are expected to attend the event. Individual climbers are welcome to join in categories ranging from open to recreational.Most of the climbers from the CRMS squad are also going to compete, along with some CRMS students who aren’t on the team. Although the team only had its first competition in Breckenridge in November, Saturday’s event is highly anticipated by the climbers. At the Breckenridge event, Grady Lenkin placed second in the boys youth B division, Kirti Math finished fourth in the boys youth A category and Riley Skinner took sixth in the girls youth A competition.”This is kind of the one that kicks off our season,” Gerber said.CRMS, whose team is filled with students who are also on one of the five ski/snowboard teams at the school, lost one of its best climbers, senior Chase Cazedessus, from last year’s squad. But Gerber is still hoping for good things from his team.”They are pretty good this year. We graduated a lot of seniors last year, so it’s pretty young team, I guess, but there are some seniors that are pretty good,” he said. “I think there is a good chance that between our last competition and this next one and a few more, we could definitely have some kids qualify for nationals.”The team has been training hard for Saturday’s competition and the ones to follow in 2008 by doing more than just climbing. “I think our kids have been pretty motivated this year, we have been doing a lot more specific training,” said assistant coach Sarah Selling, who lived in climbed in Italy for four years before join CRMS this year. “Focusing on fitness, getting strong, endurance, rather than just climbing for fun.”The fitness training has included a lot of running, which the team at times does not care for. But Math, a senior who has climbed all four years at CRMS, said it is helping the team improve.”I have definitely gotten a lot stronger climbing this year because the past three years we just kinda climbed and its was just free climbing. We weren’t really focusing on our strengths,” he said. “This year, we are doing drills and working specifically on techniques. So it is definitely a lot better.”


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