California's Only Outdoor Climbing Competition & Festival Returns September 11-13, 2009
Event producer Yishai Horowitz and his company All Out Events brings their love of climbing to the community through the Pine Mountain Pulldown, a three-day festival held in Los Padres National Forest for a second year. This year’s festival promises to be the West Coast’s greenest climbing event.
A combination of the unmatched views that contrast the rippling Los Padres range, high altitude pines, and ocean horizon and the quality of the climbing inspired Horowitz to put on the event. “I am just so excited to share the experience with the climbing community for a second year,” he said.
There’s something for everyone at the Pulldown, but bouldering is the main attraction here. Bouldering, the scaling of smaller rock faces that usually don’t necessitate ropes for safety and requiring only a pair rubber-soled climbing shoes, is quickly becoming popular worldwide for the community atmosphere, constant challenge, and variety of locations.
Promotion of environmental stewardship ethics is priority in all of Horowitz’s events: the Pulldown is no exception. The festival and camping is staged at the Pine Mountain Inn, a biker bar and events venue. Attendees will be required to leave their cars in designated parking areas to be bused up to the climbing competition high on Pine Mountain, minimizing road and parking traffic, along with carbon emissions. Area trails being used will be marked off to minimize participant foot traffic, with marshals placed to remind climbers to tread lightly. Biological and archaeological reviews by the Forest Service confirm that by taking these precautions, the event will not be environmentally intrusive or have an adverse effect on the flora and fauna of the area. Says Horowitz, “It’s important that we take care of the land we enjoy, and making that a prominent feature of the event was a first priority for me.” After last year’s event the on duty Forest Ranger commented that “Pine Mountain looked better after the event than it had looked in years”. That’s huge! Especially in this day and age when more and more access issues arise, being able to show the Forest Service that climbers are a responsible user group is beneficial to the entire climbing community.
Saturday is the main attraction: registrants are bused up to the all-day bouldering competition set on the top of Pine Mountain (minimizing traffic and carbon emissions); the event has many competition levels and plenty of beginner “problems” – what boulders call prescribed routes up the rock face – making it great for first-timers. In addition, big-name professional climbers and teams will be competing at the top levels, and it remains to see whether an out-of-area pro or a local, who intimately knows the mountain, takes home the top award.
Evening activities include tug-of -war, crash pad sumo (competitors strap themselves into padding used on the ground for impact protection), and a dyno competition sponsored by Ventura’s Vertical Heaven climbing gym. Dyno comps are spectacular events in which climbers, fueled with adrenaline and enthusiastic audience cheering, attempt to launch themselves ten or more feet in the air to reach a hold. Later, entertainment comes in the form of the west coast premier of the Reel Rock Tour, a climbing-centered film presentation in its fourth year that travels to over 100 locations worldwide. Following the inspiring, exciting films will be the fusion rock of San Luis Obispo-based Still Time and the fire-spinning skills of SLO-based Fluid Luminescence.
Sunday wraps things up with a volunteer thank-you pancake feed and an Access Fund Adopt-A-Crag clean-up to remove inadvertent trash left behind and restore the area to its original state via land work and cleaning off of chalk (which climbers use to keep their hands dry) from the rocks.
Entry into the competition costs $65, including camping and festival entry. Skip the competition and join the festival for $25. Day-of registration jumps to $75 for the competition and $30 for the festival. Food is available for purchase at the venue.
For additional information on the Pine Mountain Pulldown, contact All Out Events 805.541-0401 or visit www.pinemountaincomp.com.