Climbing to the top

Amelia Marcuson, freshman, may be new to NPHS this year, but she is not new to the intense training and competition that comes with being a competitive rock climber.

Marcuson has been climbing for four years. She was first introduced to the sport during a friend’s birthday party at the age of ten.

“I really liked it so I started taking the classes,” Marcuson said.

Shortly after Amelia and her twelve year old sister, Dinah Marcuson, began taking classes, both were invited to join the climbing team at Boulderdash, located in Westlake Village.

The sisters have been practicing together since they first started climbing.

“At first when we went to practice, she did not want to go to the second [practice] but I convinced her to go and now it’s a regular thing,” Amelia said. “I like having Dinah climb with me because even if no one else can come with us to go on a climbing trip, at least she can come with me and keep me company”.

Over the years, the sisters have grown and progressed to become nationally ranked climbers for their age groups.

“I’ve seen her technique get much better,” Dinah said. “She’s getting to be a much better and stronger climber”.

This past year, both of the Marcuson sisters went to nationals for climbing. Amelia placed eighth in both bouldering, which is climbing without ropes on short walls that do not exceed 15 feet, as well as sport climbing, which involves climbing on 40-60 foot tall rocks with ropes for protection.

“I was super happy to see the hard work come together for her,” Jesse Weiner, a coach for the Boulderdash climbing team, said. “She has proven herself to be one of the top competition climbers in the country at any event.”

However, this victory for the Marcuson girls did not come without sacrifice. Both Amelia and Dinah go to practice three to four times a week for three hours.

During these practices, they “start at a lower climbing level and then do two of the harder ones and then three of the ones that are even harder,”Amelia said. “After that, we usually do core for an hour.”

Overall, Amelia aspires to continue improving her climbing skills. By training hard, Amelia will continue to grow with her climbing skills and hopefully return to nationals again.

“I can’t think of a time where I wouldn’t want to climb,” she said. “It’s such a big part of my life”.

 

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