• Courtesy photo / The Spot Gym

    Climbers gather around a boulder at The Spot during the annual Psychedelia bouldering competition.

  • Courtesy photo / The Spot Gym

    Competitors in The Spot's Psychedelia climb under black lights on glowing designs in the Boulder gym.



If you go

What: Psychedelia

When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Spot, 3240 Prairie Ave., Boulder

Cost: $40 for competitors; $20 for spectators

More info:


For a bit of pre-Halloween fun, some Boulder climbers forgo the usual party and instead head (still in costume) to The Spot for a bit of bouldering by black light.

All day on Saturday, The Spot is hosting its annual Psychedelia bouldering competition, complete with climbers dressing up, walls decked out in neon designs and fire dancing for intermission entertainment.

“It really is a Halloween and costume party that has a bouldering competition going on as well,” said Scott Rennak, marketing director for the bouldering gym.

Psychedelia first began 11 years ago when the crew wanted to hold a bouldering competition but added black lights to amp up the excitement. Each year has a different theme — this year, it’s Day of the Dead. “The walls don’t look like climbing walls,” Rennak said. “They look like glowing pieces of art that you get to climb.”

Whether you decide to dress up in costume or not, almost everyone gets a bit of the glowing action. Even if you aren’t wearing a specific costume, opt for something fluorescent or bright white, or throw on some glow sticks and you’ll still stand out in the dark, he said.

“Everyone has something that is popping out on them, and some of the climbers are totally decked out in wild costumes,” Rennak said.

The competition begins in the morning with youth and junior climbing, which ends at 3:30 p.m. Next up is the adult climbing session followed by a final round to determine the winners. Many local climbers attend, including some top professional climbers, such as Alex Puccio, currently regarded as one of the top female boulderers in the country, and Daniel Woods. The top three adult climbers will win cash prizes, but everyone (spectators and climbers) can enter the raffle to win items such as a climbing shoes, a crash pad and climbing apparel.

Even if you aren’t a climber, come not only for the chance to see some insane moves (and even creepier costumes), but also to enjoy the party, DJ and all.

“It’s just a fun environment,” said Rennak, who recommends spectators come around 7:30 when the kegs get tapped. “We’ll have a fire dancer. With all the lights out and all the glowing stuff, it’s pretty wild watching that.” There will be food from burrito company Evol and Clif Bar, as well as beer from Avery Brewing.

“It’s a rambunctious time,” Rennak said of the 500 people who show up, about half non-climbers. “It’s loud, and it’s a great hip, younger-person scene. Lots of loud music, beer, and friends.”

Contact Mattie Schuler at


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