Sanctuary Rock Gym prepares for bouldering competition

As the weekend approaches, many go out to enjoy a night out with friends or are putting off homework until the last possible minute; however, some are preparing for an upcoming bouldering competition held this Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Sanctuary Rock Gym in Seaside.

Among the many participants are Carmel High School juniors James Delehanty, Ihlara Gray and Preston Miglaw.

“It’s not really a competition,” Miglaw says. “It’s just a fun thing to hype and bring us all together before the [main event].”

Competitors will engage in a series of tests of their skills for assorted climbing gear and other paraphernalia.

Along with that, the gym will also feature a screening of Reel Rock 11, a compilation of outdoor adventure films showcasing the sport’s biggest athletes, their exhilarating endeavors around the globe and their struggles against the laws of gravity—and the laws of the land.

Now, many may associate “competition” with oiled-up muscleheads battling head to head in unprecedented feats of inhuman strength on an Olympic stage, but this is not the case. Within the speckled walls of the gym, rookie and experienced climbers alike gather together in a relaxed and lively environment.

“See that greasy little kid over there?” jokes owner Spike Bascou, pointing at a little girl struggling to secure her tiny limbs onto a faraway handhold. “We get all kinds of people here, ranging from first-time birthday-goers to dedicated competitors and regulars who’ve been here since the beginning—it’s a real diverse place for everyone.”

In preparation for the event, Bascou shows profound dedication in what he does, spending long hours scaling walls accordingly to different skill levels by paving and marking routes with colored duct tape—a process that takes well over three days.

By doing so, he ensures the full participation of every attendee and provides less intimidating options for first-time climbers.

“There isn’t a ‘right way’ to attack a certain problem. That’s why it’s interesting to see different people work it out since you see and learn things you would have never considered doing yourself.”

Climbing, by Bascou’s definition, is a very personalized experience that exercises the entire body and hones decision-making skills.

Delehanty concurs. “It’s a really good imaginative outlet [and] there’s no [definitive] structure around it—you basically have free range over what you want to do.”

The entire day will be filled with various activities and will also provide catering from local restaurant Happy Girl Kitchen. Saturday’s bouldering competition will begin at 2 p.m. and will end at 5:30 p.m. Stick around a little longer for the 7:30 p.m. screening of Reel Rock. Pre-registration is required to compete and competitors are automatically entered into a prize raffle and will receive a free meal.

So whether you’re seeking a good alternative body workout or simply spectating, Sanctuary Rock Gym’s Reel Rock and Bouldering Competition will surely attract climbers and those looking for a good time.

The gym is located at 1855 East Ave. in Sand City. For more details contact (831) 899-2595.

-Grace Liang