Western played host to their annual Veni Vidi Ascendi event opening the Northwest Collegiate Climbing Competition with strong individual performances by juniors Nick Saether and Alicia Christianson this Saturday.
Western performed strongly and was well represented on the podium again this year. Alicia Christianson a junior recreation major, representing Western, placed third in the women’s open division, the most difficult of the four entry categories.
Junior physics major, Nick Saether took first in the men’s advanced division. Saether was able to get two more difficult routes in the last 15 minutes of his heat to really improve his score. He said his goal for the year is to continue to improve his skills and techniques to eventually compete regularly in the open category.
The Vikings’ climbing team is filled with returning talent this year with the likes of sophomore Chayse Jones, and senior Johan van der Veen. Van der Veen returns for another season after having the single best men’s performance in NC3 accumulating 498 points out of a possible 500 points over five competitions.
More than 100 climbers from 10 different colleges across the northwest packed into the Wade King Student Recreation Center to compete in the first of 10 events in the 2016 climbing season.
The competition has four categories of entry: beginner, intermediate, advanced and open division. After the three heats the top four climbers in the open division enter a play off round to determine the winner. The climber who has the highest aggregate score wins the difficulty category they are placed in.
This year the NC3 is choosing an alternative scoring system one which prevents competitor from entering themselves in a skill level that does not reflect their true climbing ability.
The University of Washington climbing team placed first with 93 points, and Western placed second right behind UW with 88 points.
The competition was divided into three heats of 45 climbers. Each heat lasted two and a half hours with 50-minute intermission periods between the heats. Within that two and half hour time frame climbers are given five attempts to complete a route. A route must be completed within five attempts for it to count toward their individual score.
Christianson said she has been climbing for more than six years but only just started competing again since transferring from Central Washington University.
“It was a great set, super solid and I think my favorite one was the last one, it was a very sustained problem in the cave. I really liked the style and setting, and I only got around only three-quarters of the way through, I got tired pretty fast,” Christianson said.
“It was a really good set, all of the people working the comp. put their best efforts in and you could see it. It was awesome,” Christianson said.
In between heats, the meet featured a trick climbing round. Climbers signed up for what is essentially the slam dunk contest of rock climbing. In the event climbers had to perform a move called a dyno, where the climber launches themselves to a hand hold that is out of reach. The skill level would increase for each dyno completed.
“If I have a couple more good days [I will] definitely get into open competition,” Saether said.
The next NC3 competition will take place on Jan. 30, at Eastern Washington University.