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2015 Alberta Provincial Youth Bouldering Championships

The 2015 Alberta Provincial Youth Bouldering Championships took place on Jan. 24 at the Rock Jungle Fitness.

The Rock Jungle  Photo Pam Eveleigh
The Rock Jungle Photo Pam Eveleigh

The competition season is in full swing across Canada. One week ago was the Ontario Provincial Youth Bouldering Championships and the Sport Climbing B.C. Triple-Header. This weekend was the Tour de Bloc at Vertical Escalade in Montreal and the Alberta Provincial Youth Bouldering Championships.

Steve Frangos is the Vice President of the Alberta Climbing Association’s and his daughter’s Becca and Sara took top spots for the junior women.. Likewise for Bill Hendsbee, the President of the Alberta Climbing Association, as his son Matt won for the junior men.

Canmore’s climbing team took home half of the medals. Coach Stacey Weldon wrote, “Canmore killed it at youth provincials. So proud of all of you.”

Gripped’s editor Brandon Pullan caught up with Bill Hendsbee after the event at Rock Jungle.

Gripped: The number of competitors have been up this year across the board. How many kids showed up for this comp?

Bill: I believe numbers were up just a bit. We had around 80 kids competing.

G: What were some highlights from Rock Jungle?

B: The facility itself is a real highlight. I may be biased as it is our home gym but the bouldering terrain is spectacular. As you know, the main floor bouldering area (there is an equally large area on the second floor) is the 2011 Canmore World Cup wall with some improvements to make it steeper and more varied. We were able to set up eight problems across the wall and run four problems for men and four for women in five-on, five-off format with tons of spectating room.  The terrain allowed us to test athletes on slab, steep terrain and extreme overhang, while throwing in some dynamic movements and even a problem with nothing but volumes, which should help prepare them for what they will face at Nationals and beyond. The kids keep getting stronger and we are seeing an uptick in numbers at the younger age categories, which should bode well for the future.

We used five-on, five-off for qualifiers and finals because this format will be used at Nationals. Although, more complicated to run and more volunteer heavy, the kids absolutely loved the format, which really isolates the athletes who can read routes well as well as handle the pressure of a complete isolation-based comp. What we were told by the kids is that they prefer this format to a scramble.

G: How was the route setting?

B: The routes were extremely well set, but in hindsight a little on the hard side for the younger categories (Youth C and B). The Youth A and Junior routes were bang on. In defence of the routesetters (led by Dan Archambault), this is the first Alberta boulder comp ever set exclusively for Youth. Usually we use scrambles and the kids figure out what they can climb and separate themselves over the course of the scramble. Here, they all had to climb the same four routes, which poses a challenge. And on top of that, they have to do so without any beta. It’s all part of the learning process for both the kids and the setters as we will try to use this format more often, if possible.

G: What is the next big comp in the ACA schedule?

B: CEC Youth Boulder Nationals will take place the Family Day weekend (Feb. 14-16) in Burlington, Ontario. The ACA schedule is on hiatus until after Nationals, at which time we will swing into route comps. First, though, we will host Open Boulder Provincials, February 21 at Grip It in Saskatoon. This event will also double as the CEC National Series event for Alberta so our best Open athletes will be there, pulling hard, looking to earn their way onto the National Team.

Our first lead/TR comps will start the Feb. 28/Mar. 1 weekend with comps at CCC Stronghold followed by the Banff Centre.

Photos from the 2015 Alberta Provincial Youth Bouldering Championships taken by Pam Eveleigh:

[shareprints gallery_id=”11039″ gallery_type=”thumb_slider” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”large” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”] Alberta Provincial Junior Women’s Results

Becca Frangos
Sara Frangos
Marie McCallum
Ayla Mahabeer

Alberta Provincial Junior Men’s Results

Matt Hendsbee
Scott Eveleigh
Andrew Funk
Dmitri  Karaman
Pat Gibeau
Ethan Mathewson

Alberta’s Overall Standings

Tour de Bloc at Rock Jungle

Full Results Here

Ontario Youth Provincials

B.C.’s Triple-Header

-Gripped will be uploading photos of the event shortly.