Rock star: Fruita’s Igo finds her calling in rock climbing
Summer Igo never imagined she’d like climbing rocks.
The Fruita Monument High School senior, though, found out she’s pretty good at it.
Igo recently placed 20th in the nation in the American Bouldering Series, fifth in regionals and second in the Colorado High School Climbing League. She is one of about 16 high school boys and girls in Grand Junction participating in climbing.
“It’s just a unique growing sport and I wanted to be a part of that,” Igo said.
She was introduced to the sport when she was in the fifth grade and attended Camp Red Cloud in Lake City. She did a ropes course and participated in a climbing contest. She was the fastest.
“I was kind of a tomboy,” Igo said. “I competed in track and set a Redlands Middle School hurdles record.
“Back in sixth grade I had a friend whose dad always climbed. We’d go climbing with him and compete together.”
The next year, she started competing in climbing tournaments.
Igo and her friend would compete in high school competitions, finishing first and second — even though they were in sixth grade.
“It was intimidating at first, because there were all these strong girls,” she said. “They would say it was unfair middle schoolers competed. ... I think I was meant to do this sport.”
Igo competes in bouldering, which is about a 14-foot climb with no ropes, and sport climbing, which has climbers traveling anywhere from 30 to 60 feet up, supported by ropes.
Her grandfather, Rich Robidoux, has attended her competitions, supporting her.
“I didn’t know anything about it,” Robidoux said. “I started watching her and all these kids were like little animals climbing up these walls.
“I was really amazed. These kids are very talented. It takes a lot of strength and agility. It’s totally different (than other sports). I tried to get up there, I really did. You’ve got to have the will to try it.”
Igo took second at state last year and again this year. The girl who took first is ranked fourth in the nation in their age and skill division (youth junior girls ages 17-18).
There were close to 50 girls participating in the state tournament, Igo said.
She can participate in the youth junior girls division again next season. The season runs from October to February.
Until then, she is competing in track & field and golf this spring at Fruita Monument.
She’s in the fast track program at Mesa State College and plans to attend Texas A&M-Galveston next fall to study marine biology.
She’ll continue to train for bouldering and sport climbing in the summer.
Training for rock climbing involves endurance workouts, which includes climbing laps up and down a climbing wall.
Someday, she hopes to try ice climbing.
“I want to ice climb,” Igo said. “We were going to do it in outdoor club this year, but we haven’t had the time because everyone is climbing team members.”