By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
At the Deschutes County Expo Center, route setters are hard at work building climbing routes for the USA Climbing 2020 Bouldering Open National Championships
“It’s a great show. It’s a lot of energy. It’s an ESPN broadcast. It’ll be a fun event,” said John Muse, VP Sport for USA Climbing.
This weekend, more than 100 climbers, including future Olympian Nathaniel Coleman, will travel to Redmond from around the country to compete on these bouldering problems
This is the second time the championships will be held in Redmond.
Muse says more than 1,000 people came out to watch championship finals last year
“Bend has a great outdoor industry,” he said. “It seemed like a great place to hold this event.”
Down Highway 97, the Bend Rock Gym is setting up for their own competition on Friday — the Bend Boulder Bash.
The timing of the competition is intentional. Climbers who don’t progress to finals at Nationals will have the option to drive to Bend to compete.
“A lot of them will say hey I’m out here anyway I’m going to do another round and see if I can make it here,” said Mike Rougeux, Climbing and Program Director for the Bend Endurance Academy.
Where climbers have to qualify for Nationals, anyone can enter the Bend Boulder Bash and compete in recreation, intermediate, advanced or open categories.
The night will include food, music and drinks from Silver Moon.
“It’s Bend, of course there’s gonna be beer!”
And the event is a way to bring the community together around a beloved sport
“At these events, you don’t have a favorite necessarily,” said Rich Breuner, director of operations for Bend Rock Gym. “Everyone is cheering on everyone to do well.”