Salt Pump General Manager Will Wild ascends a climbing wall Monday. This weekend the climbing center will be holding its first-ever bouldering competition. Michael Kelley / The Forecaster

SCARBOROUGH —  The Salt Pump Climbing Company is challenging the public to reach new heights.

The rock climbing center, located at 36 Haigis Parkway, will be hosting The Clampdown 2020, an adult bouldering competition for climbers of all abilities, beginning at noon Saturday, Feb. 8.

Salt Pump Climbing Company General Manager Will Wild said the center has hosted numerous competitions for youth, but this is the first one offered for adults.

The Clampdown will be Salt Pump staff member Levi Hershey’s first competition. He was introduced to the sport of rock climbing three years ago after visiting a Portland climbing center with his father.

“I immediately fell in love with it,” he said.

Bouldering is one of the three rock climbing disciplines, which also includes sport climbing and speed climbing. The Clampdown, Wild said, will present 40 different “boulder problems,” or routes, up the wall.

“Competitors will have three hours to complete as many as possible, but you only get points if you get to the top,” Wild said.

The boulder problems, he said, were built for a range of climbing abilities ranging from easy to more advanced. As of Monday, close to 30 competitors had signed up.

“We will have a good distribution so if you want to climb and aren’t an elite climber, you can still get a lot of points,” Wild said.

Although the top three male and female finishers in the advanced category will split a $2,000 cash prize, and prizes will be awarded to top finishers in the intermediate and beginner categories, Wild said competitors in many ways are competing not against each other, but against themselves.

“Climbing at the competition level is about being able to problem-solve quickly and see what you have to use in terms of holds as you try to maintain upward progress without falling,” Wild said.

“It is a sport, competition-wise that is very individual,” Hershey said. “When you are in the gym climbing for fun, it can be a very much a team thing, with everyone working to get to the top of a climb. Lots of my friendships have developed that way.”

Wild hopes The Clampdown, which the public can watch for free, will be a fun event for everyone involved.

“The atmosphere when you go to a competition is one of positive encouragement. Everyone is wishing the climbers the best,” he said.

Salt Pump Climbing Company, opened in 2015, offers day passes, punch cards, memberships, as well as a variety of classes, seminars, skills series and youth programs after school and during vacations. The center also offers private lessons,  outdoor climbing instruction and climbing trips.

For more information about the Salt Pump Climbing Company or to sign up for the Clampdown, visit saltpumpclimbing.com.

 

 

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