Sports climbing

Reaching for the SumMIT

MIT Outing Club hosts annual bouldering competition

8099 aaa 5945
A competitor scales the climbing wall at SumMIT.
Damian Barabonkov - THE TECH

This past weekend, the MIT Outing Club hosted SumMIT (ΣMIT), its annual bouldering competition, at the MIT climbing wall in Walker Memorial. There were 75 competitors across the recreational, intermediate, and advanced men’s and women’s divisions. The competition was run in a red point format, where competitors climbed for two hours and were ranked based on the cumulative points of their top four climbs.  

Since 2013, this annual climbing competition has been held off-campus at local climbing gyms. This year, the climbing wall manager and head competition organizer, Tony Zhu G, worked hard to bring the competition back home to our cozy climbing wall in Walker Memorial. Aakash Ravi G and Cathie Yun G also helped organize and run the event. To get the wall in competition-ready state, they lead an effort to replace old t-nuts, remove and clean all holds, patch holes, and buy new volumes and holds. The organizers, along with Arnaud Gutierrez and other setters from the MIT and local climbing communities, set 57 bouldering problems in the MIT climbing wall ranging from V0 to V9 in the week before the competition. The problems spanned all styles, including delicate slab, overhung dynos, crack climbing, and bat hangs.

Avilash Cramer G, a member of the MIT climbing team, won first place in the advanced men’s category and overall. Liane Bernstein G won the advanced women’s category, Aurelien Mordret G won the intermediate men’s category, Sherry Chu G won the intermediate women’s category, Harry Bleyan ’17 won the recreational men’s category, and Jenny Schloss G won the recreational women’s category. Prizes such as rope bags and crash pads, from CAMP and other sponsors, were awarded to the top three competitors in each category.

Adriana Jacobsen ’20, who won second place in the advanced women's category and is a member of the MIT climbing team, said that “the best part was getting to meet other MIT-affiliated strong female climbers. It was a great opportunity to climb together, give climbing advice, and exchange contact info so we could train together in the future.” Avilash, the overall competition winner, remarked: “The setters did an amazing job. The variety of routes - crimpy and technical, large dynamic moves, or just straight up weird and awkward - was cool to see, especially in such a small space. MIT has a really vibrant climbing community, and it was great to see everyone come out and climb together for a weekend.”

Catherine Yun is a graduate student in CSAIL.