Southern Sendfest brings climbers from all over the South

Photo: Heather Yeomans

Emily Arnold

Last Saturday, college climbers from all over the South came to the RAC for the annual Southern SendFest. The Southern SendFest is a bouldering competition hosted by the Southern Adventures Club at Georgia Southern University. A bouldering competition is essentially rock climbing without a rope, but at low heights. There are specific routes called “problems” that follow the entirety of the rock starting from the bottom and ending at the top. Climbers have to follow those routes, some being more difficult than others, to gain points.

“Out of all the CCS Collegiate Climbing Series, this has the best set routes, I think,” Clemson climber Devin Horgan said. “This definitely has the best routes and then they have pretty sick prizes.”

The atmosphere at the rock wall was as chill as it comes. Despite the competition, there were competitors helping each other, hanging out and just enjoying the day. GSU sophomore outdoor recreation major Basil Phucas said the competitive yet encouraging atmosphere is his favorite part of this competition.

“Everybody is competing against each other, but they all help each other out on the problems,” Phucas said.

There are three divisions for both men and women at this competition: beginners, intermediate and advanced. The 69 registered climbers chose five routes to perform and the more difficult they are, the more points are gained.

“I like the diversity of different problems,” Georgia State University climber Michelle Villarimo said. “Honestly, compared to our last competition this is much harder and this is what we needed to really improve.”

The prizes awarded at this competition are one of its biggest pulls. Southern Adventures gets donations from companies they have formed relationships with, which are awarded to the top climbers as well as rifle winners.

“The prizes that we have to offer is really second to none in the area,” Matt Graham, graduate assistant for Southern Adventures, said. “We have everything from Adidas and climbing-specific jackets to free-climbing shoes, packs, different rope bags, water bottles and chalk bags.”

According to Graham, the recognition of this event has increased as one of the premiere bouldering competitions in the area. Being an annual and popular event, students can expect to see this competition again next year and are welcome to try their hand at bouldering with some of the best climbers in the South.