“Don’t suck,” said MSU sophomore Neil Johnson, only semi-sarcastically, at Spire’s Full Gravity Day. On Nov. 9, Spire Climbing Center put on their annual bouldering competition. An estimated 185 climbers participated, making it the largest bouldering competition in the Northern Rockies. Competitors from Montana, Utah and Idaho gathered together to compete in the one-day bouldering extravaganza.

The competition consisted of three different categories: beginner/intermediate, open, and gravity. The open and beginner/intermediate categories rewarded competitors a certain number of points depending on the difficulty of the route, while the gravity category rewarded contestants points for how many bouldering routes they could complete. 

Students from MSU were represented well, and they dominated the podium. Neil Johnson placed second in the gravity category, while sophomore Ian DeFaria placed third. When asked for a motivational quote from DeFaria, he happily exclaimed, “Go up, there is always a hold above you.” Noah Burke, a freshman at MSU, was one of the five individuals that made it to the finals in the open category. 

The finals started at 7 p.m., and a large crowd gathered in the corner of Spire’s bouldering wall to excitedly watch the final five climbers compete. Charlie Barron, a competitor originally from Billings, ended up taking first place and winning a cash prize. 

Full Gravity Day also held a large silent auction, with prizes like local art from Bozeman Creative, a hammock, two twelve-packs of Montucky, and a backpack from Mystery Ranch. Competitors and spectators were also welcome to enjoy s’mores and all day service from Bozeman’s favorite taco truck, Truck’o Montes.  

Spire Climbing Center hosts this bouldering competition every year, so climbers interested in participating in next year’s annual Full Gravity Day, get climbing now, and remember the wise words of Ian DeFaria, “Clench, and always believe in yourself.”

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