Wasatch Academy students arrived at the Iron Grip Bouldering Competition hosted at the Quarry Indoor Climbing Center in Provo, Utah ready for a challenge both physically and mentally. With Coach Paul Roberts experiencing a serious injury just days before, seasoned boulder competitor, senior Dasha Dickinson, stepped up to lead the team into a very successful day.
The competition hosted more than 100 athletes of various ages. Athletes compete in a range of difficulty levels and are given 3 hours to climb 5 of the hardest boulders to score points that rank the climbers.
Though she has been in the bouldering competition scene for a few years now, for Dickinson, this was her first experience coaching a team. “I am passionate about coaching because the climbing community is unlike any other sport community that I have ever encountered. It’s unbelievably supportive, compassionate, and personal. I also find it incredible watching the athletes I have coached become stronger and be able to do things that they would never have thought they could do,” says Dickinson.
It was this attitude that led to the Wasatch Academy athletes competing very well. Senior Char Hiller placed 4th in her category, and if she had climbed one more difficult boulder problem, she would have placed 3rd or 2nd place. Eighth graders Santiago Escoto and Bruno Brieno placed 4th in their categories. Eighth-grader Gabe Wolf and freshman David Cottam also placed very well within their categories. Cottam states, “At the competition, we were able to watch and learn from others and see what we needed to work on as a personal climber. I think that as we keep training, we will hopefully be able to reflect on this competition (a first competition for many of us) and hopefully know what to expect next time.”
For anyone interested in bouldering, Dickinson says, “Jump into the community! No one is there to see anyone else fail. Because it’s more of an individual sport, people are shooting for their personal best and everyone cheers each other on.”
The team is excited to continue their training and experience more competitions in the future.