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Peninsula Pulldown at Vertical World Kitsap

Sara Lingafelter
Sara Lingafelter
3 min read

First off, since I haven’t done an update on the issue in some time…

The Vertical World location in Kitsap is OPEN.

The gym is still on the market, but the owners have kept the gym open instead of closing their doors (which was the talked-about plan last year). The local community is growing, and with some staff changes the gym has become more like the place we all knew and loved when I first started climbing. The sense of community is back, we’ve got tons of new climbers just getting started, and the place has been hopping a lot of the time.

So – if you haven’t been in because you thought it closed, come visit! We’re open, and would love to have you.

Right now is a great time to come for a visit, Seattle-area climbers. Yesterday was our Peninsula Pulldown — a non-ABS, local comp. The gym crew worked their butts off, so the entire bouldering area is new, high quality routes. Alex, Tyler and Kelly even put up some new features on the vertical bouldering walls — a HUGE improvement, that we’re all super excited about. The routesetters did a truly amazing job this time around, putting up challenging, fun and inspiring problems at all levels.

When we have comps here in town, I sometimes climb, sometimes work. I climb in comps because…

well… it’s just so much fun. I’m not a very accomplished boulderer — I took a bad fall from the top of the bouldering wall maybe two years ago, and wound up with bone bruises in my ankle. That was a reality check for me about the importance of remaining injury-free, if I wanted to climb the way I want to climb. I took a long break from bouldering, and especially in the last year have gotten into much better shape. Now, I boulder a few times a month, but am still pretty chicken about dropping off, because I’m afraid to hurt myself.

Comps are gloves off, though. There’s just something about the vibe… about being surrounded by other amped climbers, with a panoply of freshly taped and bolted problems all spread out before me… I take risks, and commit, and try, harder than any other time. I even took drops from the last hold or 2nd to last hold on some problems, because I was so dialed in it was worth trying, even if it meant big falls. The sign of a really good bouldering problem is when *I’m* willing to fall off it, it’s that good!

I’m not competitive… I just get a chance to dial in my internal motivation, and have fun. I also tend to meet great folks at comps — In “normal” life, I climb with partners with a broad range of skills, but very few who climb right at my level. Most climb harder than I do. Comps are a fun way to meet other climbers who are working problems right at my grade, and yesterday was the jackpot for that.

Anyway – I’d strongly encourage you to turn out for the next Kitsap comp… the guys are talking about doing one this summer. And, in the meantime, come pay us a visit while the holds are all shiny and new. You won’t be disappointed.

Sara Lingafelter

Sara (Grace) Lingafelter takes steps forward and backward toward a right-sized life on a daily basis.