The local strongmen of Zillertal knew to tell mid-January that the Bouldernight in Landeck is a cool event that shall not be missed. The schedule fit us at Kitka Climbing fairly well, as the first holds had arrived in Austria a few weeks earlier. Too bad the bigger delivery was yet to come and there were no holds to give out for the comp, but we thought that with a sample board it would be the time & place to kick things off in the small town of Western Tyrol.
Per previous year’s performance, the Chillertaler Stonemonkeys Niklas, Peter, and Emanuel had earned a reputation that was greeted already in the opening ceremony. Their new manager in the stands, I, was proud of the boys, who entered their first comp as sponsored athletes. The money they had saved in the deal (5eur start fee) however was soon gone on warm-up drinks at the bar of Altes Kino…
As we entered the venue, it quickly became apparent that bouldering had been brought to a rare place. Maybe among pros, walls are put up just for comps, but here we witnessed the same. Even better – the lights indeed were of an old theater and started seriously tease my hobby photographer’s senses….
(Don’t tell the guys at Kitka head quarters, but I decided to toss away the sample holds and pulled out my camera for the rest of the night… Sales talks, next year!)
It was a beautiful night. Teams, that had been drawn just minutes earlier, were working on the problems together. As an “open” format competition, anyone was entitled to take part, and a varied level of experience got mixed up. Folks with more training hours in their logs guided the lesser experienced, and their combined efforts made a climber’s way to the top.
The lights in the venue were just absolutely gorgeous and the walls had a rough texture to them, which added another dimension to the depth of shadows. The setting resonated with what I had read on a local newspaper about Blockbusters’ cave in Zams; volunteered work, recycled materials, and plenty dedication. And the chill music that the DJs served through the night was an icing on the cake – I’ve not been to a party like this in a while!
One by one the boulders went down, and after three hectic hours, the winners’ names were to be called.
But, I don’t now even know who won. While the winners got certainly cheered for, so did all others. In fact the little rippers got by far the biggest round of applauses, and it seemed that, in the end, everybody had won :)
Ps. More & better pictures in our Facebook gallery Bouldernight 2015 Landeck. Don’t forget to give us a Like if you want to follow our journey!
The author is Kitka’s sales rep in Austria and Germany, located in Zillertal, and available for all sorts of inquiries by email, contact: email@example.com