CAMPTON, Ky. (WKYT) – On September 18, 2019, President Donald Trump made a comment while visiting a portion of the border wall near San Diego, California:
The replica is 18 feet high with a sixty-inch plate at the top. (Photo: WKYT/Adam Burniston)
"We had 20 mountain climbers. That's all they do; they love to climb mountains. They can have it. Me, I don't want to climb mountains. But they're very good. And some of them were champions. And we gave them different prototypes of walls, and this was the one that was hardest to climb. And we've all seen the pictures of young people climbing with drugs on their back, they're incredible climbers, this wall can't be climbed."
With those words, President Trump unknowingly planted the seed of an idea for one Kentucky climber.
After hearing the president’s words, Rick Weber created a structure in Wolfe County that’s an exact wooden replica of the wall being built on the U.S.’s southern border and decided he would challenge climbers to get over the wall during Rocktober.
The replica is 18 feet high with a sixty-inch plate at the top.
"You never tell a rock climber something is impossible to climb, or someone is going to be trying it," says Weber.
Weber says he’s already been testing out climbing methods.
"Throw a weight over with a thin line, pull up a rope. They made it nice that it's open down here at the bottom so you can pull your rope through and tie it at the bottom and then just ascend the rope and descend the other side."
While this may be the easiest method Weber has found, he's just excited to see all the variations climbers will attempt come competition time this weekend.
"Speed contests are pretty popular now and we have a category and a trophy awarded for the cleverest, the cleverest technique for getting up and over the wall."
As it turns out, Weber already knows the wall can be scaled - just a few days ago he had one of his friends test it out and they completed it in just 37 seconds while it was raining.
Weber’s competition will be held on Friday from 8 to 10 a.m., and again on Saturday from 1 until 5 p.m.
The competition will be first come, first served.