Junior Bouldering Invitationals

posted by dpm on 03/17/2010

“Kids love swag, plain and simple, and parents are tired of forking out $150 dues plus competition fees for participation ribbons. I want to throw a kids comp with a finals format like the adults, but here is the kicker…I want to give a climbing scholarship and prize packages to the winners.”
 
Spectators stayed late for finals
 
That was the sales pitch for the Junior Bouldering Invitational (JBI) held at the Philadelphia Rock Gym on Saturday, March 13th. The premise of the competition was simple: create a non-sanctioned redpoint format event followed by a finals show for all ages, just like the adults. The kicker for the parents and the kids was the opportunity for competitors to walk away with hefty swag bags including climbing shoes, crash pads, cloths and winners took home over $3,000 in cash.
 
 
Francesca Metcalf goes for broke on problem 4
 
This event was the first major junior event to offer more than a participation ribbon in the US in years. The event took place over three days starting with participants sharing dinner and movies on Friday, followed by the competition, and then clinics on Sunday with World Cup Champions Alex Johnson and Rob D’Anastasio.
 
Zoe Steinberg on her way to 3rd place
 
Alex was there during the competition signing autographs and spotting during finals. Her presence provided inspiration to young climbers like Zoe Steinberg who placed third in the girls 14 and up category. Alex pointed Zoe out in finals, “Watch that one. She climbs like I did five years ago. She is going to be good!”
 
This is our friend Jackson, a future editor at DPM.
 
Zoe was one of 160 participants at the event which drew climbers from as far away as Alaska, California, Washington, and Texas. This convergence upon the Brandywine Valley location of the Philly Rock Gym amounted to the largest non-sanctioned youth event ever held in this country. Big thanks to the gracious support provided by Klime Clothing, Evolv, Organic, and others. Click HERE for the final results.
 
Micheal Bautista on his way to the top of the podium with a flash of problem 2.