Lafayette climbing team brings home five awards at competition last weekend


Six members of the Lafayette rock climbing team attended the Gravity Vault Radnor competition last Saturday, where they had three hours to complete as many climbs as possible. (Photo courtesy of Tessa Landon ’22)

By Jefrey Alexander, Contributing Writer

The Lafayette climbing team prioritizes fostering a sense of community over competition. Despite this, the team had a strong showing at their competition last Saturday at The Gravity Vault in Radnor, PA.

The team, which is a part of the Lafayette Outdoors Society, did well overall, but awards in climbing are handed out to individuals. Senior Tessa Landon explained that rock climbing is “a very individual sport.”

Freshman Gavin Dimpter placed fifth and sophomore John Hollington placed ninth in the advanced bracket. Senior Jack Burton placed first and senior Marjana Tafader placed second in the intermediate bracket. Rounding out the intermediate event, freshman Matthew Thompson placed 15th out of 19 competitors.

At this competition, everyone had three hours to complete as many climbs as possible. Depending on the difficulty of the climb, how quickly they completed it and how many tries it took them, the competitors received a set amount of points, according to Burton. When the three hours were up, the climbers then tallied the score for their top five climbs. Based on these scores, they were placed in the beginner, intermediate or advanced bracket. 

The members of the team encourage people of all experience levels to join. For example, while Burton has been climbing for four years, Landon has only been climbing for a couple of months and still managed to secure a third-place spot in the beginner bracket.

Despite their successful weekend, members of the team emphasized how important having fun is.

“No matter where you are or who you’re with, you’re going to have a good time,” Landon said.

The team usually practices twice a week, with each session lasting around three hours. Tafader emphasized that although it is a big commitment, members are not expected to go to every single practice. The purpose of the practices is for members to enjoy climbing.

When it comes to the future of the rock climbing team, Tafader said that a lot was up in the air. However, the team plans on entering many more competitions and attending an event each month. Furthermore, they expect to coordinate with the Outdoors Society to host more outdoor climbing events.