Makin’ It Rain: The competitors at the 8th Annual Triple Crown Bouldering weren’t the only one’s makin’ it rain at Stone Fort in Chattanooga, Tenn., the final stop of the three-part southeastern bouldering comp series.
By Whitney Boland
Starting early Saturday morning, the weather looked ominous. But with a final wave by the comp organizer on Saturday, December 4th, the competitors at Stone Fort–the last of the three comps in the 8th Annual Triple Crown Bouldering Series–were given the go-ahead to compete with one tip as they loaded up the buses, “Get your ten problems in before the rain hits.”
Despite less than ideal conditions with threatening rain, light mist and cold temps, the Stone Fort comp capped another successful season. For the most part, the 400+ competitors managed to find dry problems and conditions were surprisingly good early on, but when the weather finally hit later in the afternoon the comp was called early and competitors headed back to Urban Rocks gym for the night’s festivities. A crash pad stacking comp was followed by speed climbing, and Kurt Smith played DJ as hordes of swag rained down on the masses.
The comp series, aimed to raise money for the Southeastern Climbers’ Coalition (SCC) and the Carolina Climbers’ Coalition (CCC) in hopes of preserving climbing access in sensitive areas, brought in loads of money for access issues around the southeast. From the Stone Fort comp, $3,000 from Triple Crown will go towards buying a portion of Deep Creek, a developing climbing area located on the Cumberland Trail. The SCC and other organizations such as Wild Trails have provided almost half of the $20,000 land cost. In addition, the Triple Crown donated $500 to Friends of Cumberland Trail and the SCC raised $1,000 through the Triple Crown gear raffle. Final tallies for the overall 2010 Triple Crown Bouldering Series are still being recorded, but it is safe to say that it will be well over $15,000. Donations and vendor fundraising efforts are still underway and final amounts will be announced soon.
The event organizers, Chad Wykle of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Jim Horton from North Carolina, were pleased with this year’s turn out and, especially, the participants’ and volunteers’ psych.
“Never have so many folks gone out of their way to come and talk to us and tell us thanks as this year,” says Wykle. “There are lots of people who come out to compete, but there are also so many that come together as a chance to see their friends. From that perspective, Triple Crown was a huge success.”
In addition to the comp, on Friday night North Face alpinist Conrad Anker gave a slideshow, “The Center of the Universe,” at Rock/Creek on his expedition to Mount Meru. Proceeds went towards Wild Trails, a local non-profit, and helped raised money and awareness for the SCC.
While this year’s event was a huge success, the organizers are always looking to one up their efforts for the following year. “There might be some changes to next year’s comp format,” says Wykle, “so stay tuned for more development on the 2011 comp series.”
The Stone Fort winners:
Overall Triple Crown 2010 winners: