Dyno-climbing a hit at Teva Games | SummitDaily.com
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Dyno-climbing a hit at Teva Games

Jason Starr

VAIL – Dynamic moves have always been a part of climbing. But it wasn’t until recently that they became a sport of their own.

Dyno-climbing isolates the most spectator-friendly aspect of the sport of rock climbing, pitting competitors against each other in a contest to see who can make the largest vertical leap from one hand-hold to another.

The sport was on display Saturday at the Teva Mountain Games in Vail Village. For many of the competitors – there were 12 men and five women – it was their first official dyno-climbing contest. The sport’s only been around for a couple years.

“It’s a good thing for the crowd to watch,” said female competitor Rachel Orth of Salt Lake City. “It’s easy to understand what’s going on for someone who has never climbed before. As long as they realize this is not all there is to climbing.”

A large group of spectators gathered around the temporary climbing wall set up next to Gore Creek, where the kayak events were going on. Competitors were given two minutes to do as many leaps as they could, attempting progressively bigger moves as the time went on. They were awarded points based on the difficulty of the move, often trying the hardest ones over and over – the crowed exploding when they finally hit the big one.

“It’s a little more athletic in the traditional sense,” said Boulder climber Ty Foose. “It’s fast and you’re jumping. Real rock takes more stamina and endurance. This is all about power.”

Climbers who like long outdoor routes in isolated locations should not enter a dyno-climbing contest.

“There are a lot of climbers who are some of the world’s best who are really static and move more slowly,” Foose explained. “That doesn’t work well for this at all.”

The taller climbers used their longer reach to their advantage, but the key was lower body strength.

“Being taller helps, but you see guys with the most powerful legs, they can make up for it,” said event organizer Scott Mechler of the Salt Lake City-based Professional Climbing Association.

Traditional climbing competitions involve longer routes, and the competitor who goes the highest wins. They test a overall climbing ability as opposed to dyno-climbing, which tests a climber’s leaping and holding ability.

“A lot of people are really against dyno-climbing because it’s a one-move wonder,” said Massachusetts native climber K.K. Gregory. “But I think it’s fun.”

“It’s such a small facet of climbing,” Orth said. “It’s kind of like a novelty. But it’s still a skill. It’s still something you work on, so it’s still self-gratifying. It’s not all for the crowd.”


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