bouldering wall

Construction of a new bouldering studio is wrapping up at SIU's Student Recreation Center and you can test it out during the inaugural Love a First Onsight competition Feb. 12. The photo was taken before the climbing elements were installed. (Photo provided)

January 28, 2022

SIU offering milk crate and bouldering climbing competitions in February

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Here’s your chance to climb right out of your winter doldrums during two special events at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Student Recreation Center.

Touch of Nature Environmental Center’s Basecamp is offering a pair of climbing adventures next month. Both events are open to the public for those ages 18 and older.

Crate stacking event is Feb. 10

The fun begins with the Milk Crate Stacking competition from 4 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 10 on the center’s Court 3. The goal is to stack as many plastic milk crates as possible upside down and climb them as the stack grows. It’s a fun exercise in concentration, physical fitness, concentration, problem-solving skills, trust and confidence.

Organizers will provide all participants with safety equipment and a spotter. Participation is free and there is no pre-registration. The winner receives a free entry into the premier climbing event coming to the center two days later, Love at First Onsight.

‘Love at First Onsight’ on Feb. 12 features new Bouldering Wall

The Love at First Onsight “bouldering” competition is Feb. 12 in SIU’s brand-new bouldering studio, located in the east gym area.

The bouldering wall is similar to a climbing wall, but with enhanced features and wall designs. Construction is wrapping up on the new facility and this friendly competition will give people a chance to check it out for the first time as they vie for prizes.

Climbers will compete in three different V-scale skill divisions:

  • Beginner, VB-V3.
  • Intermediate, V3-V6.
  • Advanced V6+.

The goal is for competitors to climb as many boulders as they can within an allotted time. The top three competitors in each division will advance to the final round.

Check-in begins at 10 a.m. and open climbing runs are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The competition finals are at 3 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony.

Sign up now

Registration is required by Feb. 10 for Love at First Onsight. The cost is $40 and includes lunch and a T-shirt. Sign up online.

For more information, contact Sydney Pogue at