SmokyHill.Rocks and it is time to get vertical!  Welcome to Smoky Hill High School’s climbing team.  This is our first year  as part of the Central Region of the Colorado High School Climbing League and we are getting ready.   It is a competitive league, but no experience is required to join! If you are already an accomplished climber, meet others like you in the school and improve your skills. If you are new to the sport, get ready to get vertical! 

We train as an informal group three days a week, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. 

The regular season begins in October and goes through January.  A post season Regional Final and State Final will be held in February.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.  Dan Cornell

Colorado High School Climbing League []



  • Encourage the team aspect of the sport (individuals have other forums in which to compete).
  • Take steps to make our results and hardware compatible with other high school competitions so that schools can lobby for inclusion as a varsity sport.
  • Encourage well-rounded climbers (requiring both bouldering problems and roped climbs at the State Final).
  • Support all regions, schools and individuals trying to develop high school climbing.
  • Have an event that is limited to the best climbers in the state. In addition, allow all levels to compete in some kind of finale. (Varsity vs JV concept).
  • Limit the bureaucracy and simplify the rules as much as possible.

Expand each Region by having climbers compete in regular season competitions at different sites. This allows athletes from each Region to experience different route setting styles, traveling to other gyms and getting the experience of having a home gym vs. visitor gym like any other high school athletic team.


The League consists of 4 regions within the state:

  1. Central – Denver Metro Area; Castle Rock – Theresa Morris (

  2. SoCo – Monument south to Pueblo – Rob Gilbert

  3. NoCo – Ft. Collins and vicinity – Jon Lachelt

  4. WSlopper – Everything west of the Front Range. – Kirky Olsen

Each region will hold its own series of competitions in whatever format works best for them (all roped; all bouldering, mixed, etc). The regular season begins in October and goes through January. A post season Regional Final and State Final will be held in February. See below for the Central Region Format. Each region determines its top three teams and top four individual males and individual females to attend a State Final competition. So, each region will send 26 climbers (13 females, 13 males) to State. All others will be considered Junior Varsity. Ideally, State Finals will be held in a different region each year. Awards will be given for the top three placing male teams, female teams, individual males and individual females.

Each comp will award the top 3 individual males, top 3 individual females and top 3 male and female teams. A regional ranking will accumulate over the season with the top ranking individuals of each gender and top teams of each gender competing for the Regional Title. Each Region will send 13 males and 13 females to the State Final. These 26 will be considered Varsity. All others will be considered Junior Varsity and will compete at that level at the State Final. Ideally, the top 3 teams and top 4 individuals in each gender category will represent the top 13. If a region does not have enough teams, then the 13 slots will be filled by individual climbers.



A team will consist of 3 (or more) climbers of the same gender, from the same school. (So, one school may have 2 teams: a men’s team and a women’s team).



  • Each comp will have either, 20 roped routes (top rope and lead climbing) or 10-20 boulder problems, or a mix of both bouldering and roped routes. Routes must be set so that the level of difficulty increases with each route. (Rt #1 is the lowest difficulty; Rt#20 is the most difficult). Therefore, Rt#1 is worth the lowest amount of points and R#20 is worth the most.
  • Climbers will have 3 hours to complete as many climbs as desired. The top 5 climbs will be scored. If your gym can do both roped and bouldering, then the top 2 bouldering routes, top 2 roped routes and top 5th route of either style is scored.
  • Flashing a climb will earn a 10% bonus. Leading will earn a 5% bonus. A climber will earn a 15% bonus if they Flash and Lead a climb. This must be done within the same first attempt. A scoring template will be sent to the host gym so all gym’s scores are equitable.
  • Climbers will be scored as individuals and ranked amongst all other individuals in their gender category.
  • Team scores will be composed of the sum of the top 3 individual scores within their gender.
  • Beta is encouraged when the athlete is on the ground. When climbing, no coaching from anyone is allowed. A part of the competition is allowing the climber to problem solve and read the route as they perform the climb.

Within two days of your comp, the host gym must submit all scores to the Central Region staff so a compilation of scores and a running rank for teams and individuals are procured. Please submit to

  • Athletes must compete at two of the three sites (LifeTime Parker; LifeTime Centennial or RJ2 ) at least once during the regular season.
  • Athletes must complete 5 total competitions within in the regular season. Their top bouldering comp, top roped comp and top 3 remaining comps of any discipline will be scored for the Regional Ranking.


  • Belayers must be “certified” by their team’s coach/sponsor. If such a coach/sponsor does not exist, Belayers will be “certified” by the host gym. In the case of lead belaying, the host gym will “certify.” The host gym has the final say regarding the knowledge and skill level of the belayer.
  • All climbers will tie a Figure Eight Follow Through directly into the harness. A back-up knot must be in place. (Yosemite, Double Overhand, etc)
  • Competitor’s slack will be given to top roped climbers. If the climber weights the rope it is considered a fall and the climber must be lowered.
  • For lead climbers, they must make every clip. Skipping clips, back clipping and z-clipping are safety hazards. If the climber realizes and fixes the problem on their own, they may continue without penalty. If not, they must be safely instructed and lowered. This is considered a fall.
  • Climbers must stay on-route. This means using only the designated hand and foot holds or natural features. Use of other holds or features that are marked “off” are considered a fall and the climber must be lowered.
  • When lowered, the climber must untie and allow other climbers in the cue the opportunity to compete. They may return to the climb for as many attempts as desired.
  • A “Technical” may be called if a hand-hold, foot-hold or feature moves or breaks. The climber must make this call at the time of the difficulty. They will be lowered without penalty and allowed to attempt the climb again. The climber may forego calling a “Technical” if they decide it did not affect their climb. If they make this choice, then they cannot call a “Technical” after the fact.
  • Sharing beta is encouraged after the first attempt and only while on the ground. Beta/coaching cannot be given while the climber is on-route. Support your team members and other competitors.
  • The honor system will be used to score. The climber/belayer team will record and witness the climb.

The 2016-2017 High School Schedule

Updated, dates are firm?(as of 10/6). 
There are 7 comps, 5 must be complete to qualify for varsity.
ALSO, please make sure you have registered for the high school league, it is free:

Mountain Strong: Bouldering Sat, October 15, 5pm – 9pm
Doors open for warm-up at 5 and competitor’s meeting at 5:45pm.
5280 Broadway St, Denver, CO, 80216, Phone:  (720) 460-1778
Registration is $15, please Pre-register:
**OPTIONAL** Just For Fun!  Blacklight Bouldering Competition
The Spot’s 2016 Psychedelia: October 22nd  5:30 - 11pm
3240 Prairie Avenue - Boulder, CO 80301, Phone:  (303) 379-8806
This year it’s LOST AT SEA. Registration $45
Thrillseakers.jpg Thrillseekers: Sport and Bouldering Sat, November 5, 9:30am – 1:00pm
1912 South Broadway Denver, CO 80210, Phone: (303) 733-8810
Rockn’ Jamin 2: Sport and Bouldering Sat, November 19, 8am – 11am
7390 S. Fraser Street (Unit E), Centennial, CO 80112, Phone:  (303) 766-5462
Denver Bouldering Club South: Bouldering Sat, December 3, 9am – 1pm
4131 S. Natches Court (Unit E) Sheridan, CO 80110, Phone:  (720) 638-2767
Thrillseakers.jpg Thrillseekers: Sport and Bouldering Sat, January 7, 2017, 9am – 12pm
1912 South Broadway Denver, CO 80210, Phone: (303) 733-8810
Climb Comp-Earth Trex Sun, January 22, 2017, 6pm – 10pm
Earth Treks: Sport and Bouldering, Sunday, January 22, 2017, 6pm – 10pm
700 Golden Ridge Rd, Golden, CO 8040, Phone:  (303) 222-9564
Denver Bouldering Club South: Bouldering Sat, February 4, 2017, 9am – 1pm
4131 S. Natches Court (Unit E) Sheridan, CO 80110, Phone:  (720) 638-2767
Regional Climb Finals @ Rockn’ Jamin 1: Sport and Bouldering  Sat, February 18, 2017, 8am – 12pm

Grand Valley (Grand Junction) Saturday, Feb 25, 2017
611 25 Rd, Grand Junction, CO 81505, Phone: (970) 644-5821

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1. Different local gyms will host comps throughout the season.  A waiver must be completed for each site – one time only – all require a parent signature if you are under 18 years of age.

You must compete at 5 out of the 7 regular season comps between October and January to be considered for the Central Regional Varsity Final. Your top 5 comp scores will be accumulated to rank you amongst all individuals within our Regions and will be used to determine who will compete at the Regional Final at the Varsity level.  All others will be considered Junior Varsity.

2.  You will be ranked as an individual against all others in your gender category. The top 3 Teams (consisting of 3 same gender members from your school) and top 4 Individuals of each gender will be invited the State Final from each Region. 
Minimum standards to be considered a VARSITY LEVEL CLIMBER are:
  • You climb consistently at 5.11 or higher on roped routes; V3 or higher on boulder problems. 
  • You can lead climb.
  • You compete at 4 out of the 5 regular season comps.
All others will be considered JUNIOR VARSITY

3.  Sharing beta is encouraged when the climber is on the ground.  While on-route, no beta/coaching is allowed.

DATES and LOCATIONS will be announced on the Colorado High School League Facebook site or, at

Regular Season:
Saturday, October 17th     5:30 -9:30 pm -        Mountain Strong – bouldering
Saturday, November 7th   8:00am-12:00pm – Thrill Seekers – roped
Saturday, November 14th 8:00am-12:00pm – Rockn & Jamn 2 – mixed
Saturday, December 5th    8:00am-12:00pm – Denver Bouldering Club South - bouldering
Saturday, December 12th  8:00am-12:00pm – Thrill Seekers – roped
Saturday, January 16th      5:30-9:30 pm –         Mountain Strong – bouldering
Saturday, January 23rd      8:00am-12:00pm – Denver Bouldering Club South - bouldering

Regional Final:
Saturday, February 13th 8:00am-12:00pm – Rockn & Jamn 2 – mixed

State Final:
Saturday, February 27th times TBA – Rockn & Jamn 1 – mixed (both JV and Varsity)

or “like” Colorado High School Climbing League on Facebook for updates.

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Climbing Mileage

Climbing Mileage or ARC Training

Purpose: Building a base . . .climbing Mileage or ARC Training (Aerobic Restoration and Capillarity) is a beginner to intermediate training approach to develop aerobic climbing endurance by encouraging vascular development, particularly improving the capillary density of your forearms and thus prolonging “THE PUMP” or when lactic acid starts to accumulate in the blood stream.  Now it is important to mention that this is a natural defense mechanism of the body to prevent permanent damage during extreme exertion.

One way to improve endurance, is by continuous climbing for 2-3 sets of 20 to 40 minutes (or even a one 45 minute session) with 10 minutes rest in between on routes that are 1 (2?) grades below you onsite grade without surpassing your “anaerobic threshold” or “lactate threshold.”  They say, that it should be 30% of your maximum strength, but for climbing, what does that translate to?  Basically as you climb, you might get a little pumped, but you are not falling off half way up the route.  On top of that, you are also improving your climbing efficiency, techniques, and it is a form of injury prevention. 



- Stretch/warm-up

- 2X – 3X Climb 20 – 40 minutes (or even a one 45 minute session) continuously climbing with a 10 minute break in-between on routes that are 1 (2?) grades below you onsite grade.  *If you find yourself starting to get over pumped, switch to an easier route – even mid climb.  Also try not to monopolize any one route, other climbers may be waiting to get on.  

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The Prussik Knot

This is a must know knot for any climber. Used for everything from self belay to crevasse rescue. Try this hitch out. It is real easy but believe me you can be really hooped if you don't know it. On the other hand this will get you out of a bind when nothing else will. Common knot for mountaineers who travel light in the big hills. Used to ascend a rope or self rescue out of a crevasse.


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Varsity or JV?

Minimum standards to be considered a VARSITY LEVEL CLIMBER are:

  • You climb consistently at 5.11 or higher on roped routes; V3 or higher on boulder problems.
  • You can lead climb.
  • You compete at 1 bouldering comp, 1 roped comp, and the remaining 3 comps of either format during the regular season.

All others will be considered JUNIOR VARSITY

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First Colorado High School Competition of the Year . . . @ Mountain Strong


Welcome to Mountain Strong Denver's first High School bouldering competition of the climbing season!  The competition will be held on our new 900 sqft World Cup-style wall and will be a modified Onsight format, meaning each climber will get a maximum of 3 tries to complete each boulder problem they attempt.  Climbers will climb in 1 of 2 waves, at either 6pm or 7 pm and will have 1 hour to complete the 5 hardest boulders they can.  Pre-Registration is recommend but not mandatory.  Arrive 30 minutes prior to the start to get warmed up and signed in.  All abilities are welcomed and encouraged.  Click on the link below to register.  Each climber will need to register within Mind Body and there are options for the competition only and the comp + 1 Mountain Strong shirt.  Please feel free to email ( or call us with any questions!  Parents, each climber under 18 will need a parent completed waiver to compete, we can email you one if you are unable to attend.

We look forward to seeing everyone climb hard and have fun!

- Mountain Strong Denver Team


Click on the links below - and then click on products for Competition Registration !



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Official Colorado State Climbing League Schedule

  • Denver Bouldering Club, Fri, October 2, 6pm – 9pm
  • Mountain Strong/Bouldering Sat, October 17, 5:30pm – 9:30pm
  • Rockn & Jamn 2: Mixed Sat, November 14, 8am – 1pm
  • Thrill Seekers:roped Sat, December 12, 8am – 12pm
  • Thrill Seekers: roped Sat, January 9, 2016, 8am – 12pm
  • Mountain Strong: Bouldering Sat, January 16, 2016, 5:30pm – 9:30pm
  • REGIONAL CLIMB FINALS: RJ2 Mixed Sat, February 13, 2016, 8am – 12pm
  • State Climbing Finals: Sat, February 27, 2016, 8am – 7pm  Rockn & Jamn1

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