This short film follows Ontario climber Jeremy Penman on his birthday challenge to climb 100 V-points in a day at Niagara Glen, Ontario. We touched base with Penman shortly after the video of his birthday challenge, which was made by William Tam and Raymond Ho, dropped online.
Where are you based? I live in Markham with my wife and climb at Boulder Parc in Scarborough.
Would you consider yourself a boulderer or more a route climber? In the past few years I’d consider myself more of a boulderer but I’ll always have a special place for route climbing as it’s how I started climbing.
How many of the problems had you climbed? In the weeks leading up to the day I sent or repeated all the climbs to make sure I had beta dialled and the logistics all mapped out. It was more a question of whether I could do all 26 climbs in a day.
What was your favourite one? Brave New World V5. It was right in the middle of the challenge and I sent it first go. Ray did a great job of capturing the moment on film because I surprised myself and in that moment I knew I would finish the challenge barring disaster on the last few climbs.
What was your favourite moment? The quiet and peace of sending the last boulder. It was just one of those perfect moments. And to have the people I care about there to share it was extremely special.
Did you ever doubt that you’d do it? I did have doubts. I knew I could finish the climbs but I didn’t know what it would feel like near the end. It was about four hours and 30 minutes of climbing and I worried I’d start cramping or the climbs would feel a lot harder than I remembered. On top of that it rained in the morning and some of the climbs were still wet, so I was nervous to say the least.
What was the recovery day like? The day after was me on the couch exhausted for the entire day. Not a lot of productivity.
How’d you celebrate? I have this tradition of celebrating accomplishments with Moët Champagne and then saving the cork where I write the accomplishment and date on it. So, I did that and also ate a bunch of those two bite brownies and other junk, as I was really strict with my diet for the two months leading up to it. One big cheat meal.
What would you tell people about the Glen? Come and visit. The Niagara Glen is great for all climbing levels or even just for a hike. The place is a true gem.
V100 this year, V200 next year? A lot of people have messaged me about doing a sequel or to try the V200 and I’d love to. It’ll take a lot more planning and some serious training. I do love challenges though, so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t already planning for it.
The Niagara Glen is the only major bouldering area in Southern Ontario and is located near the Canadian-U.S.A. border. Climbers like Sonnie Trotter have left their mark at The Glen with test-piece problems established nearly two decades ago while more recently climbing phenom Alex Megos gifted The Glen with two new V12 problems.
Local climbers like Jany Mitges had fought to keep access open at The Glen back in 2008 while being part of the then-known Ontario Access Coalition. Today, Kacy Wilson spearheads the fight and maintains an excellent relationship between the Ontario Alliance of Climbers and the Niagara Parks Commission. The Glen is a destination frequent by all user groups and it remains important that climbers act as stewards towards the area by practicing Leave No Trace and display good crag etiquette.
The V100 Challenge
Problems in Order
Higher Ground V4
Chicken Nugget V4
Piercing Joe Valentine V4
Scaredy Cat V3
Mamma Mia V4
Mortal Combat V3
Dog Tooth Spar V4
PP’s Problem V3
PP’s Traverse V4
Second Thoughts V3
On Thirst Fought V4
Thoughts and Prayers V4
The Stand V5
Brave New World V5
Doors of Perception V6
Knee Bar V3
T. Dot V3
The 6ix V4
Wicked Witch V4
Immaculate Contraption V3
God Must be a Climber V3