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Students tackle 30-foot wall at climbing competition

Students tackle 30-foot wall at climbing competition

The UNK Outdoor Adventures Club held their 8th annual Climbers of the Corn rock climbing competition on April 1. Throughout the day, seven women and eight men raced up a 30-foot indoor wall to see who would conquer all as the climbing champion.

Primaries went from  9 a.m until 2 p.m. and in the afternoon, the finals started. There was a men’s and women’s division. Built into those brackets were three divisions — novice, intermediate and advanced — that climbers were placed into based on skill. The climbers had an hour to climb as many routes as possible and as fast as they could with only three attempts. The tricky part was navigating the wall without making any hasty mistakes while being under a timed race period.

“The climbing community really brings people together,” said Justin Stout, the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator. “That being the people who are competing, the staff or just spectators who just come to watch.” 

Stout explained that the climbing wall is for everyone. 

“Simply come to the gym and talk to the staff,” Stout said. “We will go through the basics and get you on the wall pretty quick. The people who come to these events we host most times get interested and want to try it out for themselves.”

Among the climbers in the women’s division, Rebecah Paulsen came in first in the intermediate bracket and Emily Conrad joined first place in the novice bracket. In the men’s division, Jonathan Dockweiler took first in the advanced bracket and Christopher Johnson won in the intermediate bracket.

Jennifer Bucci tied for second in the finals of the novice bracket. The graduate assistant, who recently was a rower at Michigan State, started climbing last January. Before climbing, she was afraid of heights but has learned to overcome her fear of heights from her new passion of rock climbing. 

“Don’t let fear, failure or embarrassment hold you back,” Bucci said. “We all started somewhere. Get out of your comfort zone and practice voluntary discomfort.”

If you are interested in trying out climbing or going on a UNK Outdoor Adventure, the club is having a climbing excursion on April 27-30 at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Climbing in Northern Arkansas. The pre-trip informational meeting will be at 5 p.m. on April 13, or you can contact Stout at

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