February is rapidly approaching and that means it’s comp time in the Twin Cities. It was sad news when VE-Duluth announced they would not be hosting their annual comp in December of 2011, so the coming comps will be all the more anticipated.
Passion for Flashin’
On February 18th, VE-St Paul will be hosting the 19th annual Passion for Flashin’. Passion is a combined rope and bouldering competition with men’s and women’s divisions for beginner, intermediate, advanced, open, and master climbers. This is an all day event with morning registration and check-in followed by a 3-4 hour block of climbing. Climbers carry scorecards and are awarded points for finishing a climb in 3 tries or less by volunteer belayers stationed at each rope. After general climbing, the leading climbers in the advanced and open categories compete on finals routes that are at the hardest grade of each division.
This is a well attended event with great prizes and exhilarating finals where the crowd gets amped up and is cheering for every new hold touched by the progression of skilled climbers.
Best of the Midwest
Best of the Midwest is a non-sanctioned bouldering comp that serves as an annual fundraiser for the Minnesota Climbers Association (MCA), a volunteer run, non-profit organization that works on maintaining access and safe conditions at crags all around Minnesota. The inaugural comp was held at VE-StP and then moved to Prairie Walls in Rochester for the next 9 years. Prairie Walls is taking a break from hosting the event this year and discussions on where to hold the 2012 BotMW are currently taking place. The leading candidate at this time is the newly formed Minnesota Climbing Co-op in Minneapolis, however, nothing is settled as of this post.
BotMW offers a fun climbing event more than a competitive one. Climbers work boulder problems together and earn a score when they finish them, no matter how many attempts are made. This is a very social comp and while prizes are given to winners, the main goal of this event is to raise money for the MCA’s general fund. The MCA is responsible for maintaining bolts and anchors around the state and recently built an ice farming infrastructure at Robinson Park in Sandstone. All the labor comes from volunteers, but the money for these projects comes from the few annual events that the MCA holds such as this one.
See pics of the 2011 comp at the MNCC here.
Boulders in Madison, WI
I attended a comp at Boulders in Madison in 2010 and really enjoyed it. Boulders is primarily a bouldering gym, however, it does offer some rope climbing, albeit short rope climbing. This gym has a variety of interesting walls, including a top out and an arch. The comp registered more on the fun side of things than the competitive side when I attended and that is the general feel that I got for the gym and the locals that I met that weekend. It was well worth the drive to Madison and could someday become part of a future Best of the Midwest series (rumored idea with no factual basis).
Presently, Boulders has not announced their 2012 comp on their website or responded to an inquiry about a set comp date.
VE-Mpls is working up a comp for April 21st. This will be an SCS (USA Climbing) Sanctioned comp for youth that is open to climbers of all ages and skill levels. The preliminary announcement for this yet un-named comp included mention of routes with diving boards, old couches, swords on fire, and unicorn eating bears.
Whatever the name of the comp may end up being, it promises to be an exciting addition to our local climbing comp lineup.
As of this post, none of these comps have registration information or website postings available. Updates will be posted as they come in.
Post originally written 1/11/12