All sorts of people gathered Saturday, December 7, 2014, to watch “Klingons” at Spirit Rock Climbing Center. The people gathered weren’t trekkies but avid climbers and competitors participating in the “Kimberley Kling-Off Bouldering Competition”.
Spirit Rock was able to gather some of the best boulderers (young and the not so young) in the Kimberley and Cranbrook area to offer up a fun and challenging chance to get together and “hang out”.
The bouldering competition was a fun event for all ages and started at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon with the youth competition. Competitors, ages 7 – 11, tested themselves on the new bouldering routes at Spirit Rock. The six energized kids hurled themselves up the walls with fun abandon, cheering each other on and calling out helpful tips to make the moves.
Then in the evening there were more cheers and laughter as 16 adults went head to head against the wall and each other for three hours. Bodies dropped from the wall and got back up on it again and again as they tried progressively harder routes to the entertainment of the audience and competitors themselves.
Bouldering is the sport of climbing without ropes or harness on steep but short routes to challenge yourself against gravity and the routesetter’s intentions. In a bouldering competion, a climber is faced with a number of high difficulty climbs concentrated into a short route, limited time and close proximity to the spectators. The climber can attempt a route more than once. The competitor’s score is determined by the overall number of routes completed by him/her and the number of attempts needed. In preparation for the competition and the upcoming Christmas season, Spirit Rock had cleaned off it’s old wall and rebuilt 30 new routes. The new routes were fresh and new to the competitors.
The really fun thing for everyone was the positive and electric atmosphere at the event. Spectators, fellow climbers and judges all yelled out encouragement or groaned as competitors succeeded or fell off. Climbers shared tips, jokes and suggestions with each other, helping everyone succeed as best they could. The spirit of competition was internal as they tried to figure out the new climbs and no one really seemed to care about points. At the end of the evening, the Kimberley Kling-Off was all about fun and walking away with really, really tired arms.
Highest point totals in the Youth category: T.J. Foley – 1st, Jake Ferguson –2nd, Sienna Fooks – 3rd
Woman’s: Karlee Hall –1st, Noella Nykyforvk – 2nd, Katrina Romanawicz –3rd
Men’s: Lorne Ingham – 1st, Jordan Berkhiem and Bryce Cox – 2nd, Aaron Harris – 3rd
Spirit Rock would like to thanks all the sponsors of the event.