Rock On at the Community Rock Climbing Festival

Scioto Audubon climbing wall by DJ White.
Scioto Audubon climbing wall by DJ White.

Scioto Audubon Metro Park’s climbing wall opened in 2009 and has been a resounding success with visitors, and especially with the climbing community. Our Community Rock Climbing Festival on Saturday September 10, 2016, is a celebration of that success and we invite all people to join us for a fun day of activities and adventure, with a Hollywood blockbuster movie to end the day. EVEREST will be shown outdoors after dark on our big screen.

The climbing community is not an exclusive group, it is an all-encompassing circle of people from all walks of life, joining together to partake in bouldering (free climbing below 12 feet) and climbing. We have seen individuals integrate into groups and provide direction, advice and encouragement to total strangers. These strangers felt a sense of belonging right from the get go and a desire to be challenged and learn more about rock climbing.

At 35-feet high, the climbing wall is one of the largest free outdoor climbing walls in the midwest. It has four auto-belays, requiring the user to wear a harness. It also has multiple top anchors allowing ropes and users to utilize the wall at the same time. Beginners will have ample opportunities to learn about the sport at a variety of climbing clinics from 2 to 4pm. There are opportunities throughout the year for beginners to take up the sport, by signing up for one of our ranger-led Learn the Ropes programs. They are usually held on the last Wednesday of the month and participants can learn the basics of top rope climbing including: knots, equipment familiarity, techniques of belaying and of course, rock climbing.

The festivities for the Community Rock Climbing Festival start at 2pm and continue through the evening:

2pm                    Yoga clinic

2-4pm                Ranger-led climbing clinics

2-4pm                Pre-registration for Climbing Competition *(Climbers may start climbing competition at their own discretion)

2-4pm                Columbus Clippers Mascot

2-6pm                Gus the Greenways Gopher Mascot

2-7:30pm           Columbus Recreation and Parks Climbing Wall available

2-7:30pm            Slackline, volleyball pickup games, obstacle course

2-7:30pm            Music

3pm                      Climbing Competition Official Start

4-5pm                   Lead climbing/Anchor building clinics/Demonstration/Discussion

5:30-6:30pm       Pre-registration for Sumo-Pad Wrestling *(Climbers are encouraged to bring their own bouldering pad and helmet as equipment will be limited)

6:30-7:30pm       Rules and start of Sumo-Pad Wrestling

7:30pm                 Announce winners of climbing competition

8pm                       Movie Start Time (Everest)

8-10pm                 Climbing by headlamp/Open climb

The festival brings rock climbing supporters together in the form of sponsors and local businesses. These supporters help climbers, spectators and total strangers get a sense of the rock climbing community as a whole (incorporating Scioto Audubon). Food vendors will also be in the area for those that work up an appetite while climbing.

Come “hang out” at the Community Rock Climbing Festival on September 10 from 2-10pm and, until then… Rock On!

(By DJ White, Park Ranger Greenway Trails)