University of Pittsburgh Climbing Comp Fundraiser

March 30th, 2009 by Paul Vidal
Addressing the competitors

The route-setters and event coordinators address the competitors to clear up the rules of the comp. Photos: Laura Caporizzo

U of Pitt Raises More Than $1100 to Support the RRGCC

This February, the University of Pittsburgh held a climbing competition to benefit the RRGCC. They’re generosity can’t be understatated, especially when their efforts generated more than $1100 for the Coalition’s annual mission to raise $30,000 for the PMRP mortgage

On February 21st, 2009, climbers filled Trees Hall at the University of Pittsburgh’s climbing gym for the final competition in a series of competitions with surrounding universities. For the past several years during the spring semester, Pitt’s climbing wall has been part of this circuit of competitions known as the University Bouldering Series (UBS). This year, the schools that took part in the UBS were: Kent State University, The University of Akron, Youngstown State University, West Virginia University, University of Pittsburgh, and Slippery Rock University. The UBS is not limited to climbers from these participating schools, nor is it limited to student climbers. Competitors at Pitt’s comp were not only from the schools participating in the UBS; some climbers were also representing Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pennsylvania, and the Pittsburgh climbing community, along with many other climbing communities. The past two seasons, Pitt has decided to donate all of the proceeds from its bouldering competition to a worthy cause. Last year, Pitt donated their proceeds to Conservacion Patagonica, a cause “dedicated to the protection and restoration of wildland ecosystems and biodiversity in Patagonia.” This year, because several of the event coordinators love and cherish the climbing in the Red River Gorge, it was decided to donate the proceeds to the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition (RRGCC).

On the day of the comp, competitors started to roll in at 10am and registration lasted until about 11:15am. After registration, all of the climbers were gathered, the rules of the competition were reviewed, and climbing started around 11:30am. The climbers were given 4 hours, until 3:30pm, to climb as many of 66 brand new problems that they could get their hands on.These 66 new problems were set over the 3 days prior to the event by dedicated staff and volunteer setters. Routes were graded based on difficulty, on a scale ranging from 50 to 500 points. The scores of the individual climbers were calculated from the sum of each climber’s 5 best scores. If a climber sent a route on their

he WVU Crew

After the comp, the WVU crew posed in front of the wall. Photo: Liz Stout collection

1st go, they were awarded 100% of the points; on their 2nd go, they were awarded 95.5% of the points; and on their 3rd attempt or beyond, they were awarded 90.5% of the points. The event drew a crowd of 66 competitors and raised $1,125, all of which was donated to the RRGCC. At the end of the competition, score sheets were turned in to be totaled up. First place in the men’s advanced category went to Matt Caporizzo, of the University of Pennsylvania, with a score of 2144.5 points. Dan Proudfoot from West Virginia University came in a close second, with 2112.3 points. Josh Wilson from Slippery Rock University was able to steal third place with a score of 1841.9 points. First place women’s advanced was taken by Maggie Hamill, a graduate student at West Virginia University, with a score of 1451.4 points. Second place went to Jame Buck, from the University of Pittsburgh, scoring1115.2points. And last but not least, third place women’s advanced went to Helen Moinova, representing an Ohio climbing community, with 1107 points.


A special thanks goes out to all of the sponsors of the event: the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition, Sterling Ropes, Black Diamond, Redwood Creek Winery, Mountain Hardware, Metolius, Rock Candy Holds, Outdoor Research, and Exkursion Outfitters. The event could not have been such a great success without the support and generosity of these sponsors!

Again, many, many thanks from the Board of Directors, supporters of the RRGCC, and the climbing community as a whole!

(If your university or organization would like to do something similar, please contact us.)

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One Response to “University of Pittsburgh Climbing Comp Fundraiser”

  1. David Statler Says:

    It was a blast to participate in the Competition Series and especially the Pitt Comp. Great job everyone on raising some funds!!!