Middle School Climbing League and The McAuliffe Climbing Team

Middle School Climbing League and The McAuliffe Climbing Team

Maren Huss, Author

The McAuliffe Climbing Team is our school climbing team that trains once a week at our nearby UberGrippen Indoor Climbing Crag. Their goal is to improve strength, endurance, and technique, but their main focus is to have fun with our school climbing community. 

The McAuliffe Climbing Team competes in the Middle School Climbing League, which is held at UberGrippen Indoor Climbing Crag monthly. During these competitions, competitors from middle schools around Denver can climb to earn points for their school and themselves as individuals. Students have the opportunity to hop on ropes climbs and boulders with the chance of earning points for each climb. The goal of the competition is to personally achieve a high placement on the scoreboard and to earn your school lots of points in the attempt to get the top school score. 

For every competition so far, McAuliffe has placed the highest on the school scoreboard, with many competitors achieving a high score on the individual scoreboard, too. 12 to 20 students from McAuliffe have competed in each competition, earning our school the highest number of participants, which is a great achievement, even if it doesn’t earn bonus points. 

For those who don’t know what rope climbs or boulders are, they are two different types of climbing within a gym. Bouldering is where you are on shorter walls, with a mat underneath you to catch your fall. This style of climbing is usually quicker and more individual, as you don’t need a climbing partner when bouldering indoors. Next; ropes climbing. There are two forms of rope climbing, which are leading and top roping. Top roping is usually the safer form of rope climbing, as your rope is above you, connected to an anchor. When you fall, you don’t fall very far. Your knot catches you and you can be safely lowered to the ground by your belayer. Lead climbing is for more experienced climbers, because your rope starts under you and you clip into clips as you climb up the wall, creating anchors as you scale the wall. If you fall when climbing, you are more likely to have a larger fall, which can be terrifying to both experienced and junior climbers. Top rope climbing and bouldering are the two types of climbing used at the middle school climbing league, as it is a safer option for students. 

The climbing league is a way to have fun with your friends and experience a simple competition, while showing school spirit! The main goal is to have fun and climb!