Mountaineering Arts Race Entertainment Festival – Nigeria

Click here for the report on the MARE Festival

Excitement and trepidation is building as the time draws closer for the MARE (Mountaineering Arts Race Entertainment) festival held in Ondo, the sunshine state of Nigeria.  MARE initially was coined from the Yoruba phrase ‘Marebo’ which translates literally as ‘don’t fall down’. This was a type of plea to be careful not to fall while climbing the Idanre lofty hills!

mare festival poster, Nigeria

With its uniqueness in combining cultural entertainment and education alongside extreme sports, the Mare Festival looks set to make a global impact on the international festival calendar.  It is an African-style Mardi Gras, sure to entertain people from around the world.

In less than a week the SANCF, with the aid of the Nigerian government, will be flying Paul Bruyere and David Tapp to Nigeria to begin the preparation for the climbing competition which will be held as part of the festival.  They will be bolting routes on the granite slab that looms in the Indanre Hills, aiming for routes ranging between 6b+ to 8c.

Idanre mountain, Nigeria

Idanre Mountains, Nigeria - Rock Climbing

1- Old Oke-Idanre; 2- Ojimoba Inselberg; 3- Orosun Peak; 4- Arun River

These routes will be climbed not only by 5 strong SA climbers (Matt Bush, Marijus Smigelskis, Brian Weaver, Jamie “Jimbo” Smith and Andrew Porter) but by top climbers from Europe and Australia as well.  The winner stands to win prize money of US $6,000 while the first two runners up will receive US $4,000 and US $2,000 respectively.

The Nigerian government has been hugely supportive of this venture which is aimed at increasing tourism and local infrastructure, using rock climbing as an avenue to promote the area.  With this in mind our team of climbers have shown great enthusiasm in not only competing but using a few extra days to develop climbing in the valley.  Good luck to our climbers.  They are sure to have an interesting cultural experience and be at the grass roots level of developing climbing in Africa.

SANCF Banner Logo

9 Responses to Mountaineering Arts Race Entertainment Festival – Nigeria

  1. Brian Weaver Dec 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    I am very excited to be a part of this event. I think it is fair to say we were all a little skeptical at first but the organization has been amazing and I cannot wait to see the walls when we arrive.

    • Alejandro U Mar 26, 2014 at 5:00 am #

      Hello Brian, I am searching for someone and somewhere to rock climb in Nigeria. Any help would be greatly appreciated Any ideas? Thanks!

  2. Willem Boshoff Dec 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    great to see all this happening. let’s go africa!

  3. Albert Smit Dec 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    This really seems like a terrific notion from the government and all the organizing parties.Good luck to the climbers waving our flag. I’m currently in the oil field just off the Nigerian cost, wish I could take the weekend of and come support the event!!

  4. Neil Margetts Dec 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    I spoke to Marijus this morning and everybody has arrived safely. They just waiting for one last Spanish climber to arrive and then they are going to travel to the Indere Hills.

  5. SANCF Dec 13, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    The following report has been received from Andrew Porter who is part of the team competing in Nigeria: “The rock is really good. 2 comp routes bolted. Others will be done as soon as bolts arrive. Bouldering looks good, 1 mega sport line and 2 wow trad lines await”.

  6. David Tapp Dec 15, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    Climbing comp starts tomorrow, early to avoid the heat as much as possible. The MARE Festival opened this afternoon and we felt like VIPs being ushered into the same tent as the State Governor. We were interviewed for Nigerian TV and many people took photos of us. Quite a weird experience if, like me, you’ve never been in such a situation before. We were dragged up on the stage to dance to traditional rhythms with local musicians and politicians – all very African!! The climbing is HARD! The granite domes are truly featureless in places and where we’ve set the comp routes are the easiest lines on this dome, starting at approx 23 for a warm-up (!) then up to at least 30. I’ll be knocked out very early in the proceedings tomorrow but then I’m here mostly to bolt. The camaraderie is excellent. We’re all getting on really well and the Spanish guys are a lot of fun too. The British and Australian teams pulled out for various reasons so it seems very likely that we’ll have an SA winner. YAY!!

  7. Z Dec 19, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    So apparently the comp went well and the South African team cleaned up. Jimbo, Brian and Marijus came 1st, 2nd and 3rd (I think in that order)… sounds like they’re having a pretty awesome time.

  8. Alejandro U Mar 26, 2014 at 4:54 am #

    Hello, I am a Mexican climber currently living in Lagos. I am desperately looking for a place and someone to climb with. Any ideas or people anybody can connect me with? Thanks

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