Up North: Competitors Reach New Heights in North Shore Style Competition

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: December 11, 2019 11:03 PM

When walking down Lake Avenue rock climbing is probably not on your mind. However, just off the street, Vertical Endeavors offers a unique way to escape the cold. Welcoming visitors for fun climbing excursions, as well as yearly competitions.


"It's a unique sport. It's not something that a lot of people do, so you get to do something you really enjoy with people that you enjoy being with and it's a really fun experience," said competitor Daisy Thralow.

As winter made it's inevitable return to Duluth, so did the North Shore Style Competition. The 17th annual rock climbing competition proved that finding adventures, and reaching new heights, is just as easy as putting one hand in front of the other.

"There's easy stuff here, there's beginners routes here, there's little kids. There's older people like me," said Angie Jacobsen, a competitor from Minneapolis.

The Duluth Climbers Coalition puts on the annual indoor competition. Eldon Krosch Jr., a board member, said it serves not only local climbers but those across the region.

"People can see climbers that they haven't seem from Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, all over the place. Kind of have a community gathering up here," said Krosch.

Throughout Saturday's competition, climbers scored points based on the routes they climbed. Routes were open, beginner, intermediate or advanced. 

"Each route is assigned points. They're numbered one through 40, one being the easiest [and] 40 being the hardest. Each route is given a point total," said Jacobsen. "You can climb as many walls as you want and they take your three largest scores," added Tiffany Lemberger, a competitor.

Lemberger and Jacobsen each expressed, with routes for all skill levels, rock climbing really can be for anyone. "It's not about height, it's not about body size, it's not about your gender. Everybody can do it. Everybody can get up a wall, and I encourage everyone to try it," said Lemberger.

The next big event put on by the Duluth Climbers Coalition is the Duluth Ice and Mixed Fest scheduled for Jan. 31 through Feb. 2 2020.


Alicia Tipcke

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