By Michael Samuels 09F
Hampshire College student Isabelle Faus 12S took first place in the Pro Women’s category of the Dark Horse Championship, the biggest indoor rock climbing competition series in the country.
The series of four competitions, at Metro Rock Climbing Gym in Boston, went from October 13 of last year to January 19. The competitions were in bouldering, a form of rock climbing that sees unharnessed participants rarely climb higher than twenty feet.
“It focuses on power, strength, and being dynamic,” Faus explains. Competitors get points for every boulder they complete. Then, in a final round, “it's the highest hold you hold onto, that you control.”
In first place, Faus estimates she beat out about twenty women in the pro category. “Climbing's a pretty small sport still,” she notes.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of competitions. “I have Nationals” next weekend “in Colorado Springs,” Faus says, “and then Sport Climbing Nationals, which is a different discipline that I compete in, is the first weekend in April.”
Also, “I'm doing some World Cups this year.”
Between competitions, Faus is taking advantage of the resources near Amherst. She both climbs and coaches a team at Central Rock Gym in Hadley, and also uses The Dojo, a training facility in Northampton.
Photo by Chadwick Greedy