North Texas Daily

Climbing competition to be held at Pohl Recreation Center

Climbing competition to be held at Pohl Recreation Center

April 02
23:02 2013

Christina Ulsh / Contributing Writer

The North Texas community will climb to the height of its potential Saturday, April 6 at Red Point Riot – UNT’s annual climbing competition in the Pohl Recreation Center. The competition is for climbers of all levels.

“I’m an addict,” said Fred Yackulic, who is married to UNT music professor Margaret Notley. “You get a rush of endorphins. It’s why some people get killed doing it.”

Climbing is an activity that can be done either on natural or artificial rock formations, with the latter called a climbing or bouldering wall. On a climbing wall, such as the 45-foot wall in the recreation center, individuals ascend by grabbing or stepping on holds — the pseudo-rocks that jut out of the wall.

The competition is not limited to students – Yackulic, 65, has been competing in Red Point Riot since it first began in 2005. He has been climbing for 40 years.

Climbing demands focus, Yackulic said, which stops the internal noise and allows a person to escape preexisting anxiety or a provoking situation.

People from other Texas colleges and even surrounding states travel to participate in Red Point Riot every year, said Margaret Austin, the Pohl outdoor pursuits manager and hospitality management junior.

“Red Point Riot was one of the reasons I wanted to work here,” she said. Each year, the number of participants increases. Two years ago, an estimated 80 people competed, said Jonathan Riecke, the climbing wall manager and a studio art senior.

“Last year was our biggest, floating around 120 [climbers],” he said.

Bryan Prater, a recreation and leisure studies junior who has been climbing for about three and a half years, used to play baseball and disliked the politics involved. In contrast, climbing has introduced him to more friendly people who have similar goals to better themselves at their climbing skill.

“It’s not a very competitive atmosphere,” said Prater.

There will be a session from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and another from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Registration is $20 and competitors can sign up the on the day of the event.

The recreation center stripped the climbing and bouldering walls of all its holds Tuesday to set set 40 new routes, which are climbing paths denoted by colored tape, for the competition.

Competitors will be divided by gender and skill level and the winners will be determined by a point system.

Participants can climb as many routes as they would like and can use their five highest rated routes for their scores.

More information can be found at

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