Colorado fifth-grader may be the future for US rock climbing

Outdoor Colorado

BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — Bayes Wilder is only 10 years old, but he’s already made a name for himself in the sport of competitive rock climbing by scaling advanced courses.

“It’s sick, it’s awesome when I accomplish these amazing feats. But I’m just going out there to have fun,” Wilder said during a break in training.

Wilder spends three days a week training indoors at ABC Kids Climbing in Boulder. He often climbs outdoors on the weekends with his family. Standing at just 4 feet 5 inches tall, Wilder hopes to inspire other kids to reach for their dreams.

“I just keep the faith in myself (that kids) my size and age can do this kind of stuff if they train and commit,” Wilder said.

Officially, Wilder is still too young to enter national competitions. He can start next year when he turns 11. In October, the fifth-grader became the youngest to ever scale Southern Smoke, a course with a 5.14 climbing grade in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge. It’s an ascent that gives fits to even the most accomplished of climbers.

“To me, it’s like a really great accomplishment. I felt so psyched,” Wilder said.

Wilder is clearly ahead of the curve for his age group. He’s already conquered elite-level routes. The question now is: what’s next?

“There are so many hard climbs in this world. I just want to go out there and try and do my best,” Wilder said.

Wilder is eyeing the Olympic Games in 2028. That’s something this young phenom considers the “summit of the Mountain.”

“Usually in sports, people’s main goal is to get a medal in the Olympics. When you get a medal, you’ve peaked in that sport,” Wilder said.

Now that accomplishment would make anyone feel 10 feet tall.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Most Read

Top Stories