Boulder Bash brings competitors to climb

Amanda Wymore

This is the fifth year Boulder Bash has brought together young and old, beginner and advanced climbers to challenge the mind and body at Lied Recreation Athletic Center. 

“We have always kept a tight-knit community with the climbers at Iowa State and beyond,” Taylor Heyman, event coordinator, said.

The climbing enthusiasts were divided into two heats, both given two hours to “touch rock’ and prove their level of mastery to the judges.

“I was introduced to this sport by my mom, and two and a half years later, I’m still here,” Jack Friesen, junior in financial economics, said. “These are exhilarating events. You choose what you climb and you have to be strategic and on your toes, literally, at all times.”

The Boulder Bash offered four levels of difficulty: beginner, intermediate, advanced and open.

“I chose open climbing because I wanted to try a range of routes,” Friesen said. “I ended up completing the hardest classified route, which was an exciting accomplishment.”

Friesen won first place in the open skill, followed by two other experienced male climbers.

“We all wanted to compete for the fun of it, but it’s always a nice bonus to win,” Friesen said.

Others, not as experienced in the sport, found success throughout the day as well.

“I have been climbing for about two months,” said Lydia Heydlauff, sophomore is psychology. “But I haven’t missed a day. My boyfriend and I have practiced to prepare for this event.” 

This was Heydlauff’s first indoor climbing competition, but is already anticipating next year’s Boulder Bash.

“The event was so well put together and everyone from the [Outdoor Recreation Program] is so friendly,” Heydlauff said. “This seems like such a competitive sport, especially it being an individual competition and a mental sport, too, everyone is still supportive and tries to help explain routes, no matter their difficulty level.” 

The result is that Heydlauff went on to finish in second place in the female intermediate division.

“I had the biggest smile on my face when I was called up for winning second place,” Heydlauff said. “Hopefully, next year I will climb in the advanced division.”

The routes, designed by staff at the Outdoor Recreation Program and Climb Iowa, will remain at Lied Recreation Center for all interested climbers to test. Plans have already been started for Boulder Bash 2018.