Rampage is maybe a bit too intense of a name for the bouldering event held in Squamish last weekend, being less destructive in nature and more like a good time scampering on the rocks in the woods with friends.
“It’s really about getting the climbers to have fun,” said event organizer Joe Wong, adding the Squamish Rampage Bouldering Competition was a success.
One hundred participants turned out Sunday, Aug. 24, to climb in the boulders below the Grand Wall. Climbers with crash pads on their backs and score sheets in their hands meandered among the rocks and trees, stopping to climb on various boulder problems. Points were given based on the difficulty of each problem and prizes were awarded at the end of the day for the highest scores. There was also a prize for the person who ate the most hamburgers.
Organizers arranged the support of 17 groups and sponsors including the Squamish Access Society, Climb On and Highland Sport and Spine Physiotherapy.
“It’s the first ever bouldering competition of this scale in Squamish. We’ll try to do it on a yearly basis,” said Wong.
The Vancouver Rock Climbing Group organized the event with the aim of promoting climbing and generating awareness for the Climbing and Conquer Society Canada – an organization Wong helped create along with several other Vancouver climbers in 2011.
“It is a registered charity that helps youth build healthy self-esteem, leadership and relationships through rock climbing sessions and one-on-one mentorships. We also fund a subsidy so they can afford to buy memberships in gyms, summer camps or other programs,” he explained.
Currently there are over 200 youth in the program and 100 volunteers who help to keep them climbing.
Climbers who came out to Rampage were keen on both the climbing and contributing to a charity by their participation.
Diana Walter and David Echeverri are regulars at The Hive and get up to Squamish every sunny weekend.
“It’s a good way for us to explore and check out the bouldering scene,” said Walter.
“I wish they were doing it more often. It’s a new format – there’s no finals, you don’t have that pressure of competition, but at the same time it brings sponsors, interest from media and manufacturers. You kind of solve the problems in community,” added David, who placed third in the men’s open category.
Erika Wynn and Tony Brengosz live in Utah and were here for a week-long climbing trip.
For Brengosz, the day of the event coincided with his 23rd birthday. “Outdoor comps like this are so fun. It’s a good way to close out the trip, having fun out here in the boulders,” he said.
“We’re psyched about it. Everyone is easy going and good company,” said Wynn.