SIU hosts Love at First Onsight climbing competition

CARBONDALE, Ill. (HEARTLAND WEEKEND) - Southern Illinois University Carbondale will be hosting their eighth annual Love at First Onsight, a climbing competition themed around Valentine’s Day.

Love at First Onsight will feature the Student Recreation Center’s Bouldering Cave, which is said to be similar to a climbing wall but with enhanced features and wall designs. The Bouldering Cave is located in the east gym area in the Student Recreation Center at SIU.

Climbers will compete in three different divisions, with separate competitions for men and women based on “V-scale skill.” Beginner level is VB-V3, Intermediate level is V3-V6, and Advanced level is V7 or above.

The goal is to climb as many boulders as possible within an allotted time. The top three competitors in each division will advance to the final round, and prizes will awarded to the winners.

The event takes place on February 11, the Saturday before Valentine’s Day. Check-in begins at 10 a.m., and open climbing runs are from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The competition finals are at 2:30 p.m., followed by an awards ceremony.

Participants are encouraged to sign up in advance online but can also register at the Love at First Onsight event. The cost to sign-up is $40 and will include lunch and a T-shirt at arrival to the competition.

Anyone age 18 or older, of any skill level, is welcome to participate. For more information, contact Katrina Medernach, campus outdoor program coordinator, at or 618-453-3952.