Amidst the fears of a repeat of the previous days wet and muddy weather they came, Climbers from all ages, from across all Gauteng and some even further. They came to compete in The Barn’s ninth birthday competition. With the weather holding back, a venue with loads of outdoor space, awesomely fun routes, great people and loads of prizes; the day could prove naught but a success.
With a full Barn the climbing kicked off around 10 AM with the under 15’s starting the proceedings followed by the under 17’s and the open age groups pushing up the psych. The climbing was strong and it was quickly seen that the routes were set quite differently to the stricter, sanctioned competitions. Without the restrictions of international competition standards, the route setters had opted for a more enjoyable climbing style, coming up with slightly less demanding routes with a more twisty, throwy and sometimes full on bouldering climbing style. With heel hooks, toe hooks, lay backs, cross overs, knee bars, and some superb multi wall and roof climbs both indoor and outdoor climbers were soon caught up in the excitement.
Although the Different legs were labeled Q1, Q2, Semis and finals, the organizers wanted all climbers to climb at least four route for the day, so the score aggregate is ultimately what satisfied the ‘win’ condition.
The U15 males climbed to their peak with the semi final route being the decider when Damien Blokker edged 2 points past Josh Greave into first place, followed closely by Dean Theron in third. The U15 Females found no match in the Q1 and Q2 climbs but were quickly separated in the Semis with fierce competition developing between Sabrina Viega and Camilla Cibulka. They battled it out through the Semis and finals resulting in a Climb-Off for First place.
Sabrina was able to overcome her fatigue and ultimately take first place. Camilla stood a dignified second with Abigail Strange holding up the bronze not far behind.
Somehow, sadly, there were no U19s.
Q1, Q2, Semi and final routes were no match for the top four U17 Males. Thomas Slabbert, Grivin Roering, Jaya Curtis and Oliver Strange all secured a place in a Climb-Off with Kyle Meintjies narrowly missing out. The Climb-Off route was tough, splitting the pack fairly. In the end it was Thomas who narrowly snatched the gold with Grivin and Jaya holding up silver and bronze respectively. The U17 Females competition was a fair split with Caitlyn Sargent having a superb day and claiming first place with Annabelle Slabbert and Siobhan Venter standing second and third.
The Novice Males saw some excellent climbing on fun but challenging routes, especially in the semis and finals. The top three were split by only a few points in the end with Sir Daniel Kruger, Ockert van Niekerk and Brendan Salzer taking home the gold, silver and bronze respectively. Although the Novice females had only two competitors, they had no lack of desire for first place with Anri Snyman narrowly pipping Meike Wohr for the honour of gold.
With the Tuks crowd pitted against the Joburg elite, the open category would prove nothing short of nail biting. Ebert Nell, Calrin Curtis, Tristan Swart, Severin Curtis and Frederick Franken were tied after the first three routes in the male category with Neil Naude only one point behind. The finals drew a clearer picture, securely putting Tristan in third and calling for a Climb-Off between Ebert and Calrin. The will and strength of these two had the route setters baffled and in the end they shared first place after some unbelievable climbing. Fierce competition erupted between Michelle van Aswegen and Tiffany Wells who competed neck and neck until the finals where Michelle narrowly missed out by two grips, allowing Tiffany to take home the gold with Gillian Bester netting the bronze.
The prize giving followed the theme of excitement with awesome prizes from rock rings, ATC’s, Chalk, Chalk-bags, slings and more. There were plenty of spoils for the victors to take home. To add to the fun, several spot prizes were handed out to the other climbers. Congratulations to all the climbers and a well done to those who were victorious.
A special thanks to our sponsors
- CityROCK / Mountain Mail Order
- Ram mountaineering
- And of course The Climbing Barn.
The competition was a fantastic success. Great thanks are owed to the route setters especially who gave us a riveting but enjoyable competition. Thanks also to The Barn staff and organizers who put in a lot of effort to ensure a smooth and enjoyable day; the judges without whom we would still be debating the winners; the belayers for keeping our climbers safe and also to those who like this Facebook page.
Until next time, Go well, Climb Hard and Keep Your Head Up.