Ben Blackmore ’23 To Represent U.S. at Panamerican Championship

By Miriam Brown ’21

 For Ben Blackmore ’23, an exhilarating climbing career started with a party.

 One of his friends was celebrating his birthday at a local climbing gym, so he attended and has been climbing ever since. From Nov. 11-17, Blackmore will be representing the United States as he competes in the Panamerican Championship for sport climbing and bouldering in Ibarra, Ecuador.

 “I really enjoyed, and still enjoy, how it isn’t a sport which is competitive against other people,” Blackmore said. “It’s really only competing against yourself. To be a good climber, you just have to work hard and achieve your own personal goals.”

 At Colorado College, Blackmore is a member of the club climbing team, and he says he appreciates how “supportive” and “friendly” the climbing community has been. He admits that climbing and school are both “huge” time commitments, but he says the flexibility of the Block Plan makes balancing the two easier.

 “The Block Plan has been amazing for climbing,” Blackmore said, “as block breaks allow me to spend time just dedicated to climbing, and having afternoons free lets me better manage my time for both academics and climbing.”

 He says he’s also grateful for the support of his professors here, such as his professor who is allowing him to miss two days of class for the Panamerican Championship. He hopes to medal at the competition, but if he doesn’t, he says he won’t be too heartbroken.

 “I’ve never competed internationally before, so I am so excited to see what it is like to represent the U.S.,” Blackmore said. “It would be very nice to medal at the comp (top 10), although I’ll be very happy if I can just have a good time experiencing the competition and seeing Ecuador.”