Climbing to the Top

Photo+by%3A+Laura+Davilla

Photo by: Laura Davilla

Manoela Spinella Vaz, Assistant Editor

 

The beginning of the first rock climbing season is about to start, and two of our Reedy Lions are working hard to compete for Frisco. Senior Michelle Yang and junior Laura Davilla have been climbing for over five years and practice multiple times a day to bring victory. 

 

“I do four practices a week, three hours each time,” said Yang. “I also go to another gym and I train about four to six hours a week at that gym.”

 

Unlike many sports, rock climbing lasts all year long and is divided into two seasons.

 

“There’s bouldering season which is towards the beginning of the year, August, November, December,” Davilla said. “ And then there’s rope season, which is January, February, March.”

 

Boulder season means that the climbers do not use a rope or harness, only using their balance, technique, and skills to go through the route. Rope season, on the other hand, involves the use of a rope to prevent large falls. 

 

Not only do both seasons have different routes, but they are also scored differently. While bouldering only focuses on height, rope takes into account movement. 

 

“You’re scored on every single hold,” Davilla said. “It makes it easier for ties to not happen when there’s movement considered.”

 

In a sport with height and strength involved, injuries are prone to happen. To minimize them, climbers warm up and build muscle strength. 

 

“Injuries happen pretty frequently,” Davilla said. “If you don’t warm up well, or climb without your pinkies on, it’s very easy to get injured”

 

This year, Dallas is hosting the Rock Climbing World Championships towards the end of August and beginning of September. 

 

“It’s going to be like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Davilla said. “Seeing all the different climbers from all around the world competing will be inspiring.”

 

Both Davilla and Yang are having the opportunity to help with the event. Davilla will help sun scores, and Yang will help judge and will be hosting one of the competitors in her house.

 

“I’m hosting one of my friends from Team USA,” said Yang. “Our climbing gym this year also hosted national teams from Ukraine, Japan, Germany, Italy, and other countries.

 

While our Reedy Lions will not be able to compete in the World Championships, they are preparing for the approaching competitions. 

 

“Last year I was one step away from going into Nationals,” Davilla said. “I’m hoping this year I’ll be able to do better this season and compete in it.”

 

In the break between seasons, they were able to work towards their goals.

 

“I’m really excited for the bouldering season,” Yang said. “I feel really prepared for competitions again and I’ve had a lot of time to work on my weaknesses.” 

 

With all the hardships, long practices, and injuries, they keep going until they climb to the top.

 

“My favorite part of climbing is probably just like that feeling that you get once you make a route that you’ve been working on for such a long time and you finally make it,” said Yang.