Rock royalty coming to the U of CRock royalty coming to the U of C

"Chaos reigns supreme," admitted Ian Gordon, a staff member at the University of Calgary Outdoor Pursuit Centre, about the upcoming King and Queen Climbing Competition on Oct. 13. "The air is saturated with sweat and anticipation."

Sounds like your typical Thursday night at the Den. But, instead of scoring some hottie’s phone number, the winners walk away with infinite respect from their peers (and bragging rights at the wall, of course).

"[Competitors] climb as many routes as they can in a limited amount of time. Whoever does the most wins," explained Ryan Lunge, an avid climber and an employee of the OPC.

The competition is divided into the three levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Everyone is welcome to compete.

"The underdogs get the most cheers when they try tough moves," said Lunge. "Everybody cheers each other on. It’s really friendly."

This event has been held on campus annually since 1989. So what keeps people coming back for more, each and every year?

"The door prizes," said Gordon. "But seriously, in a sport where the greatest competition lies within yourself, it’s important to get out there and see who’s doing what, and how. Plus, it’s a whole lot of fun. The competition caters to the climbing social scene, which generally keeps a low profile on campus during the rest of the year."

Even spectators can get a feel for vertigo, as they hang their heads over the edge of the three-story wall to get a good view of the action below.

Whether you want to flex your stuff, or sit back and enjoy the spectacle, the King and Queen competition promises to serve up the best U of C climbing has to offer.

"It’s like a feeding frenzy," recounted Gordon. "The smell is overwhelming."

Now if that doesn’t get you pumped, I don’t know what will.

Climb on.

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