Modern comp climbing has been described as “urban parkour,” “skate-style” and “circus bouldering.” In an era where climbers have four minutes to try, adapt to and execute a boulder, tricks and coordination have become the default style. There’s no denying that new school climbs are difficult, but the straightforward, just-plain-hard boulders have become a relic of the past.
Beginning September 20, competitors can take a step back in time to the age of try-hard or go home.
“We want to test who is the strongest climber,” said Carlo Traversi, pro climber and president of The Boulder Field. “No tricks, just old school tests of power.”
Pro qualifiers begin Friday night alongside food trucks and vendors. Pro climbers will follow a modified redpoint format, with unlimited attempts on a selection of 10 boulders per gender. The competitors will have three hours to get as many tops as possible and the top six climbers in each gender will move on to the final round the following day.
The Citizen competitions begins early Saturday morning. Citizens may enter as youth, junior, beginner, intermediate, advanced or masters. They will have three hours to attempt 45 boulders and turn their top five scores. Just over 100 citizen competitors attended the first comp in The Boulder Field Masters series, and even more are expected in The Force Majeure.
“Last comp we gave out roughly $2,000 worth of prizes from Black Diamond, Friction Labs, Unparallel, and Flashed,” said Traversi. “Top finishers walked away with crash pads, backpacks, headlamps, chalk, brushes and other great climbing equipment.”
Pro finals begin Saturday night at 6. They will face off in a “session format,” which will involve six boulders per gender. Competitors will have one hour to try the boulders and they will be scored based on order of ascents. The competitor with the first ascent on a boulder will receive the most points for that problem and the competitor with the sixth ascent will receive the least amount of points.
Pros like Meagan Martin, Colin Duffy and Alison Vest are expected to attend. The winning prize: $3,500.
Register for The Force Majeure at tbfmasters.com. Also mark your calendars for the the third competition in The Boulder Field Masters series, The Modern Climber, December 6-7.
Feature Image by Mary Mecklenburg