Charles Moorman ’17
The Woodberry Forest Climbing team just finished a great season. With almost 40 climbers, this season’s team has been the largest of all time. As a growing sport at Woodberry, this amount of people is a tremendous step forward for the climbing team. Climbers were split up into two groups, Woodberry Forest Black and Woodberry Forest Orange who then competed as separate teams.
Each day everyone showed up ready to practice under the guidance of Coach LaVoie and Coach Woody with the occasional help from Coach Erikson and Coach Kappes. Some days, Dave and Anne from DNA Movement would come down to help the team with some mobility exercises. However, the usual weekly schedule consisted of 3 days of intense conditioning, a day for competing, and a final day of climbing so that our muscles could cooldown and develop into what we needed as climbers.
Thanks to the great training that the team has been put through, competitions where very rewarding. Woodberry Forest Black almost had an undefeated season until we were caught of guard by the very strong team, Georgetown Day School resulting in our only loss. Woodberry Forest Orange also had a great season with all members of the team doing better and better each competition.
A climbing competition is either categorized as a top rope competition or a bouldering competition. Top roping is where a climber has to climb a taller route tied to a rope and belayed by his partner. A top roping competition is scored by a conglomerate of each
climbers top two climbs. Top rope climbs are scored using the Yosemite Decimal System. With the Yosemite Decimal System, routes are given a five with a decimal behind it to represent how difficult the climb is. The average climber on both Woodberry teams can climb between a 5.9 and a 5.10. Bouldering competitions are a little different. The routes for bouldering are shorter and require more energy. Because they are shorter, bouldering routes don’t require ropes and a climber needs three completed climbs to finish the competition rather than two. Bouldering routes are graded using the V Scale. A route with the V Scale would have a V and then a number following it. The average Woodberry Climber climbs anywhere from a V3 to a V5.
This year’s batch of new team members has been very promising. Climbers like Sandeep Thapa, Max Weaver, and Rainey O’Malley have all shown up and performed exceptionally during many competitions. These new climbers have all shown a desire to improve throughout the whole season, and it is very apparent that this determination has paid off. In fact, the day before the championship, Rainey climbed his first V7 which is a huge accomplishment in the climbing world. Hopefully, the climbing team can continue to gain such talented members like it has this year.
Both the Woodberry Forest Black Varsity team and the Woodberry Forest Orange Varsity team travelled to the Earthtreks climbing center in Crystal City to compete against 8 other teams in our last competition, the championship.The championship format was two top rope climbs and two bouldering problems. This format is incredibly strenuous for climbers because after finishing two bouldering problems with short burst of a lot of energy, the climber has to hop on the ropes and figure out an arduous top rope route. This format forced the Woodberry Forest Climbing team to climb harder than they ever have before. By the time the two hour time limit was up, everyone was absolutely shot.
At the end of the day, Woodberry Forest Orange took fifth place while Woodberry Forest Black took second. It was a tough championship and all teams did well. Both Trevor Barker on Woodberry Forest Black and Tilden Winston on Woodberry Forest Orange finished with the highest scores for their teams. Tilden even beat his personal record by a large amount and showed all teams that he was not someone to mess with. Overall, a great way to finish the last climbing season for us seniors.