People from across the state can get excited this weekend about being stuck between a rock and a hard place.
The annual Bayou Bouldering Bash takes place Saturday at the Climbing Gym in the University Student Recreational Complex.
Chris Bullard, assistant director of adventure and experiential education, said this year marks the third hosting of the Bayou Bouldering Bash.
Bullard explained bouldering is similar to normal indoor rock climbing but without the use of a harness or being attached to a rope. Foam crash pads are placed on the floor in event a climber falls.
The competition is judged by how high the participants can climb — the goal line ends at 12 feet — and how many times it takes a climber to successfully complete a route. Those scores are added up to determine a winner.
Each route is marked by a certain color of tape on the artificial rock grips, called holds, installed on the vertical rock walls, according to Bullard. He explained each of the different categories has 10 to 15 routes available for participants to take on.
The different routes are categorized into three skill levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Bullard said the distinguishing difficulties of the routes come down to the orientation of the holds, the creativity of the route map and the verticality of a wall.
Bullard said points are deducted from climbers’ scores if they use holds from a different route while making their climb or if it takes them multiple attempts to successfully reach the finish line.
Each climber’s score from different routes is tallied to select a female and a male winner in the beginner and intermediate groups, but the single advanced champion spot can be either a man or a woman, Bullard said.
Along with awards for the best climbers, he said there are a variety of door prizes for other attendees to win. Most prizes are rock climbing-centric — things like crash pads, harnesses, holds and chalk bags. He also said the first 50 people to register will receive a T-shirt.
Bullard encouraged students to come to the event even if they aren’t planning on climbing.
“Even if people aren’t climbing, it’s a ton of fun to watch,” Bullard said. “If you are competing, it’s still a lot of fun to see how the people who are doing the same routes that you just did or ones you’re looking to do did. There’s a lot of camaraderie, lots of people cheering and yelling for each other.”
Registration for the Bayou Bouldering Bash can be turned in until the day of the event at 9:30 a.m. at the UREC front desk. The registration fee is $20 for members and $25 for non-members.
The event lasts from 9:30 a.m. until about 3:30 p.m.