Roca Climbing & Fitness will be hosting the first of an annual climbing competition, "Full Tilt".
Up to 160 people will be climbing the walls in hopes of challenging themselves, and in some cases, winning.
"It's the first rope competition in town since about 15 years ago," said Roca Climbing & Fitness owner, Jeremy Schaar. "So we're pretty excited to host the competition. It's a local competition which means it's not sanctioned. It's kinda just for fun. We're going to be having competitors from North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota, obviously."
This may be the first time in recent history that there's been a competition in Rochester, but it isn't completely unexpected.
"Usually climbing gyms will put on a local competition just kind of build the community and to do something fun for everybody," said Schaar. "It's a fun party, it's more than a competition. Although people are competing for prizes and things like that, it's more friendly rivalry than anything else."
Even if you're a member of Roca you won't have seen any of the competition routes before. All of those will be new and participants will be scored based on how high they get.
"We have four categories, beginner, intermediate, advanced and open," said Schaar. "So based on your ability there's something for everybody to try. All the way from somebody that's never even climbed before to someone who has been climbing for years."
The stones on the wall may look randomly placed, but they are not.
"The route setting is kind of like choreography for dance," said Schaar. "It's all about body position, body movement, all those things, and a really good route setter will choreograph a really cool route. If it's set well it will flow just like a dance you see on stage."
Climbers will not be able to see all the routes before competing.
"The biggest part of the whole thing is our finals," said Schaar. "So the top two categories will have another round of competition and you can see right here these are our special ones that's why it's covered up with tarps, because no one can see those before the actual finals. For the finals round we actually bring the competitors out one at a time. So we put them in isolation so they can't see anything before they actually climb the route in front of the whole crowd."
The crowd will make the whole experience of climbing different than a normal day at the gym
"The energy during a competition is really cool," said Schaar. "Just being in the building and watching people succeed or really try hard. The energy around the whole competition is really cool."
The competition is this Saturday, January 14. Doors open at 9:30 for competitors and spectators
For more information, click here.