ISU Headlines

Idaho State University Pocatello Pump Climbing Competition/Festival celebrating 32nd year Sept. 14-15

Posted August 27, 2013

In its 32nd year, the Idaho State University Pocatello Pump set Sept. 14 and 15 is the oldest rock climbing competition in the United States.           

It takes place on the basalt cliffs of Pocatello's Ross Park, and runs from 7 a.m. to early afternoon Saturday, Sept. 14.

The Pump takes most of the afternoon off so participants can take advantage of the CW HOG Pig Out dinner adjacent to the climbing area. Climbing resumes Sunday, Sept. 15, at 8 a.m. The awards ceremony is at 4 p.m.

Early registration that includes a T-shirt closes on Friday, Sept. 6, and is $35. Those registering on-site pay $40.

"The emphasis of the Pocatello Pump is placed on the fun of climbing," said Peter Joyce, Pump director and ISU outdoor recreation coordinator. "We play down the competitive aspect of the event, which I believe has led to the event's success."

The Pump has a variety of categories for both men and women, but it doesn’t group climbers in the typical elite, expert, advanced, and recreational rankings. The Pump's categories are mostly named after climbing areas.

The leading categories are Yosemite (California), City of Rocks (Idaho) and Shawangunks (New York). In leading categories, the climber risks a fall while climbing above pre-placed gear. The climber clips the rope into the gear while climbing past it.

The non-leading, or top rope, categories are Smith Rocks (Oregon), and Red Rocks (Nevada), Seneca Rocks (West Virginia), Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons (Utah) for children and Everest (Nepal) for the physically challenged. In top rope categories, the climber is attached to a rope that has been already secured at the top of the rock before the climb. Both types of climbing require a belayer to manage the other end of the rope to safe guard the climber. Climbers must provide their own belayer.

To preregister, contact the ISU Outdoor Adventure Center, 282-3912, ISU Campus Box 8128, drop by the office in the Pond Student Union Building, or register online at www.isu.edu/outdoor/pump.shtml.

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