By Garrett Aleckson —


Now is the time for rock climbing. Rock climbers—coming from different schools—compete against each other in the Wisconsin Indoor Climbing Series (WICS).


Throughout the course of time, there have been 14 climbing competition events held by the University of Wisconsin–Stout. This competition was number 15 for Stout, and the fifth official WICS competition event.


Competitors that are a part of the WICS pursue points at each event in hopes of gaining the most points throughout the year.


WICS consists of six schools and competitive events that award points for competitors representing their schools.


“All of us banded together and formed a climbing series. A lot of people that are competing here just competed at University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point last weekend as well as competing at Oshkosh three weekends ago, and they just accumulate points throughout the series,” said Coordinator of Stout Adventures Houston Taylor. “There are some people that compete that are not affiliated with the schools, but for the most part people compete for their schools.”


Stout Adventures chooses to do themes for these events and the theme for this year’s event was a fun one for any Star Wars fan.


“The individual schools have a lot of autonomy within WICS. We came up with Star Wars, but not every event will be related to Star Wars,” said Taylor. “We had our staff vote on a theme, and everyone was excited about the new Star Wars movie, so we decided on Star Wars.”


Because of the autonomy within WICS, it gives Stout Adventures the chance to make their event more interesting and original than some of the other schools within the WICS.


“Not all of the events have themes, but we like to have themes. It makes it more fun, and people can get dressed up in addition to getting some good competition,” said Taylor.


Paige Kim (Superior, Wis.) was one of the competitors at the event. Relative to some of the other climbers, she is just getting started rock climbing.


“I typically fall into the beginner class. I have been rock climbing for a little over two years.”


For Kim, climbing was natural. “They had a couple rock climbing classes at Superior,” said Kim. “I just took a class and really enjoyed it. It grew into something where I started taking on more competitions and events.”


She is pretty new to the competitions, but that doesn’t affect her enjoyment of them.


“I came to compete at Stout last year. I have also done all of the other WICS events. That is about all I have done at this point, but I have been having a great time doing it,” said Kim.


Despite the majority of the competitors being in the WICS, the event was open to anyone interested. There were a couple children climbing the walls as well—with their parent’s right there watching them and cheering them on. After climbing, the children would run over to their parents, excited about having just completed their climb and with huge smiles on their faces.


Make sure to check out more of what Stout Adventures has to offer. Their regular hours and events are posted to the Stout Urec website.


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