The pandemic halted competition in 2020 for the New Mexico Tech Student Climbing Group. On Nov. 6, NMT was able to welcome back climbers from all over the southwest region to participate in “The Box Comp,” the 9th annual New Mexico Tech climbing competition.
Karl Lukes, an undergraduate student and president of the NMT Climbing Club, has worked to continue the growth of the annual event.
“As a student going to school at Tech there is not a lot to do to keep you sane in Socorro,” he said. “I spend a lot of time studying in front of my laptop studying in general these days. Being in the hills and climbing with friends is a great thing to do outside of class. I’ve found a great group of individuals here that have showed me how great it is to climb.”
“The Box” contains a two-mile area of rock climbing and bouldering areas for both the novice and advanced competitors to enjoy. The event hosted more than 100 official sport climbing and bouldering areas to conquer. Areas are regulated based on skill level. Several competitors brought their own mats or roping gear.
Scott Roberts, the New Mexico Tech Outdoor Recreation Director, was out with students and visitors making sure climbing was done safely, marking areas with chalk where the rocks did not appear safe. He has been part of this event since its inception.
“It’s really a relief to see this thing come back,” he said. “To have not been able to do this in 2021, there was a good chance this could have no longer existed. This event is a homecoming for the climbing community in New Mexico. An event like this takes a lot of work to make sure everything happens safely, from the lower level bouldering to the riskier mountain climbing.”
Climbers outside of Socorro County camped in the area before competition began. Albuquerque native Molly Remmie was competing for the fourth time at “The Box Comp.” Remmie has been climbing for more than 18 years.
“I love this competition and I love Socorro,” she said. “This is a big climbing area for this community. It’s all about people coming together to have a good time and that is something we could all use right now. This competition is always run well, and they respect the land most importantly. It feels so good to be out here again. Climbing is such a positive thing for families like mine to come together with others.”
Top Climbers –
- Bouldering – Eli Jackson; 800.
- Female Beginner – Karissa Rosenberg; 575.
- Male Intermediate – Rafael Moy; 1800.
- Female Intermediate – Jordyn Gutierrez; 1750.
- Male Advanced – Max Strack; 3225.
- Female Monster – Molly Revic; 3450.
- Youth – Bridget Clay; 1175.
- Mole Century – Scott Roberts; 6420.
- Sport Intermediate – Sam Alexandra; 425.
- Sport Advanced – Brian Arko; 800
- Sport Century – Heather Byrne and Rob Wolff; 1700.