This past weekend the 2nd Annual Butte Bouldering Bonanza took place in Crested Butte, Colorado. At this young event, enthusiasm ruled, and the team from Climbing had a blast checking it out. We cruised over to the Butte early Saturday morning and made our way to the registration table, where folks were gearing up for the comp. Things are pretty laid back in CB, and everyone was just hanging out, slowly making their way out to the Skyland boulders. Access has become problematic in recent years due to housing developments, so the organizers had a shuttle running to get climbers to the boulders. The other option was a pleasant hike/bike ride from town.
We found our way out to the main boulders, and set up a couple of slacklines for entertainment. After a brief announcement from the organizers, the comp began. Climbers dispersed into the aspen forest to throw themselves at the massive granite blocks that make up Skyland. The competition format allowed you to hand in a final score based on the five best problems you sent. All levels of difficulty were represented, some folks started leisurely at the Warm Up boulder while others went straight for the stouter problems.
The atmosphere was very festive, with several costumed participants livening up the party. Big sends and big air were the norm, and pads were in abundance, which was a good thing considering several of the boulders are 20 feet tall. By late afternoon clouds moved in providing much-welcomed shade, though most climbers were pretty exhausted -- despite the abundance of free Red Bull.
The end of the day found several of us cooling off on the slacklines, our bodies too tired, and tips too fried to pull down any longer. As the comp wound down the party shifted back into town, to the Brick Oven, a great local pizza joint. New Belgium donated the beer, and everyone was grooving to a rockin’ blues band. A short awards ceremony followed the band’s first set, in which the top finishers, in all categories, scored some great prizes. The partying then resumed, and although we had to hit the road back to Carbondale, I’m sure the shindig lasted late into the night. Though small, the Butte Bouldering Bonanza was incredibly fun, and next year we’ll be back without a doubt.
For more photos from the event check out Photopost