Forty climbers from around East Tennessee joined in a bouldering competition Tuesday night at UT's Health and Physical Education (HPER) building.
The climbers competed in the last of a series of three climbing competitions that took place over the fall semester.
Everyone was allowed to compete, meaning the contest consisted of students from ETSU, UTK and even non-students who just came out to have a good time, and, as they would say, "crush."
The competition consisted of three different levels of bouldering: recreational, intermediate and advanced. The winner of each level received a prize from sponsors like La Sportiva, Black Diamond, Misty Mountain, Blue Ridge Mountain and Mast General Store.
Prize winners were awarded chalk bags, T-shirts and goodie bags filled with water bottles and Cliff Bars, and first place winners received a brand new pair of climbing shoes from La Sportiva valued at around 150 dollars. Jimmy Bray, freshman in mechanical engineering, helped with the competition and set the routes before it started.
"We tried to make the routes diverse, so that we had anything from a beginners course to the most advanced," Bray said. "We even made some more difficult routes so that advanced climbers would come back and work on their skills after the (competition)."
Some of the competitors just came out for the night, and others, like Scott Grayson, junior in computer science, were there to compete in every part of the fall series. An experienced climber, Grayson snagged the second place spot, narrowly finishing behind his friend and fellow competitor, Spenser Karl.
"I've competed and climbed for about seven years, competing mostly while I was in high school, but now I'm really doing it just for fun and to climb with some great people," Grayson said.
The final three in the advanced round of the competition were Karl, Grayson and Ben Garrison in third place. The women's intermediate winners were Kat Forester and Darya Meredith, who finished first in the recreational level. To end the competition, the tradition of a "dyno competition" is a fun way climbers finish the night. "Dyno," short for "dynamic," involves a short route that requires the climber to jump, fully off of the wall, from one rock to another.
Since it is such a hard task, the people willing to compete each put in a dollar to compete. The winner of the competition ends up with the prize of all the money placed in the hat. After battling it out with about 10 competitors, unfortunately, none could dominate the infamous route.
The spring competitions will begin next semester. Those with an interest in climbing are invited to drop by the HPER gym. Entry fee is five dollars.