Ibex Bouldering Festival gets facelift

There may not be any new boulders to climb, but that hasn't stopped organizers of the sixth annual Ibex Valley Bouldering Festival from adding something new.

There may not be any new boulders to climb, but that hasn’t stopped organizers of the sixth annual Ibex Valley Bouldering Festival from adding something new.

“It is a fun, primarily non-competitive, family event that’s focused on a group effort, giving everyone a chance to try their hand at climbing some boulder,” said event organizer Ethan Allen. “There’s a bunch of other activities too: slacklining, highlining, juggling, live music, a healthy meal, great draw prizes and a bunch of new stuff.”

Among other things, new to this year’s festival is a dyno competition held on a climbing wall that tests climbers ability to leap from one hold to another.

“My sister hosted a bouldering festival in Costa Rica over the last year and they had a dyno competition down there,” said Allen. “It’s common fare at bouldering festivals these days.

“We’ll be climbing all day on the real rocks, but the dyno competition is held on an artificial wall. The premise is to make a dynamic move—or a ‘dyno’—as far as you possibly can. So you start low on a big hold and you basically jump, fly through the air as high as you can make it.

“Each round the hold (you are jumping to) gets moved up.”

Last year’s festival reached new heights—figuratively—with about 100 climbers taking part. However, to avoid congestion at problems (climbing challenges) organizers have reworked circuit sheets and have given climbers more choice in the sequence of problems they attempt.

“We’ve had a bit of stagnation in the circuit sheets over the last couple years; we haven’t changed them that much,” said Allen. “But this year we’ve completely revamped the circuits. So if you’re bored with how the circuits were, they are completely new and have been made more efficient.

“I think there will be less congestion—people piling up in particular areas.”

At the end of the day, Allen’s sister, Sierra, will be screening some climbing videos she has made over the past several years, including footage from Costa Rica.

“They just got sponsored by 5.10 (climbing shoe company) yesterday or the day before, which is pretty exciting,” said Allen.

The festival begins at 9 a.m. More information can be found at www.yukonbouldering.com or by calling 456-2477.

Contact Tom Patrick at


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