Fourth Annual Rockfest

Get ready to flex your muscles and bend your knees for the fourth annual Rockfest Climbing Competition at the Washington County Community College rock-climbing wall.

The climbing competition that is geared for young and old, experienced and inexperienced alike will be held at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8, in the St. Croix Hall gymnasium. Registration starts at 9 a.m.  There will be great prizes, good food prepared by the WCCC Student Senate and a raffle.

Students in the WCCC Adventure Recreation and Tourism program are responsible for organizing the event. In addition to the traditional rock-climbing competition, new this year will be the Indoor Ice Climbing challenge.

The students plan to donate half of the proceeds raised to the Teens to Trails Project. Teens to Trails, according to its web site, is dedicated to increasing the opportunities for Maine teens to experience the out-of-doors through a variety of programs that promote and support high school Outing Clubs across the state. The other half will go to maintaining the climbing wall.

Second year Adventure Recreation students Nikolai Blackman of Booth Bay Harbor and Kevin Neal of Cape Rosier and second year Adventure Recreation and Business Management student Victoria Webber of Morrill are among the students planning the event.

“There will be prizes for first, second and third place in the main competition which includes six ice-climbing routes, which is all new for this year and there will be four prizes for the winners of the speed climb, hands only climb, blind-folded climb and dead hang competition,” Neal said. There also will be prizes for youngsters who compete.

There will be free T-shirts for the first 20 people who register.

The cost is $15 for adults and $10 for children.

Have you ever thought about ice climbing? Well now you can try it in the safety of the WCCC gymnasium.

Blackman explained. “It is a route on our wall that uses larger holds and non-traditional items which is the ice-climbing tool. It is basically a wooden handle with a hard rubber strap and you hook them to holds [wall rocks] and pull yourself up,” he said.

The dry-ice tools are new to the students who now are familiarizing themselves with them.

Ever thought about a dead hang?

To perform a dead hang, Webber said, you climb to the top and once you get there you put both hands on a single hold and hang as long as you can.

 Webber encouraged people to show up and try, not only the dead hang, but all of the competitions. “No experience necessary just come out and try,” she said.

There will be 16 routes set up for the main competition.

And, of course, safety is always a factor in the fun.

Participants will be strapped in a safety harness and students will serve as spotters. Neal said that several of the students are certified through the Professional Climbing Instructors Association. “We have two people on risk management there and that is their job for the whole event,” Webber added.

For more information about the event call Kevin Neal at (207) 460-1082 or go to