Fifteen years. That is exactly how long it has been since I started my journey into the climbing world. When I gaze into the mirror these days, I’m quick to realize that much of my youth has faded. I decipher the lines and creases on my weathered face but I’m as quick to defy the inherent meanings they embrace. At the very least, I find comfort in the consolation of time entrusting me with some wisdom I can count on and I find myself more as a passive observer of the many changes in the phases of the local climbing. The cursory passing of time now leads to this day, and I’m glad the boiling blood of the youth is now firing up to usher a new age of hard-edged Pinoy competitive climbing.
The “Young, Wild and Free” series of junior and novice climbing competitions started August 18 last year, and it reminds me of the time I had in the competitive side of climbing. The memory is a bittersweet taste of both the past and the present that blends well on my palate. I am reminded of the many competitions I joined and the climbing events I helped organize. While organizing took me quite a bit away from climbing itself, it provided me the opportunity to give back in a way I could. Both ends of this spectrum are rewarding, and I’m glad I’ve gone through the entire process from being a competitor to an organizer.
Watching the “Young, Wild and Free” series unfold, I’m also reminded of the rewards that met me along the way. Whether I was the competitor, organizing committee member or part of the routesetting team, there sure were new friendships and deeper connections with old friends, a wider climbing network, and a more nourished climbing soul.
Through the spearheading of Miel Pahati and the combined efforts of individual members of SCAPI, GRIP-UP, ROX and numerous sponsors, the Pinoy competitive climbing scene continues to move forward. The series is now running on its second year. It’s continually giving participants, both organizers and competitors alike, the opportunity to set forth on driven journeys of their own. Whether it is the quest for the overall top podium finish, the conjuring of the most expressive route design or the most effective synergy in competition flow, it becomes fanatical. There is an obsession to do better and better at each and every aspect of the event. It is truly something, to avidly witness upcoming climbers push beyond themselves, seven or eight year olds on the podium, and both the saplings and the experienced climbers gathering up for the events. All these provided much anticipation for another fifteen years of Pinoy climbing.
|Miel Pahati, Competition Director/Organizer & SCAPI President 2012|
|"The Dare" 2006 - Junior, Novice, Open and Elite climbing competition at VX-Boulder|
|Juniors @ YW&F 2012|
|Juniors @ The Dare 2006|
|Men's Open Champs @ The Dare - 2006|
|Men's Elite Champs @ The Dare - 2006|
And the cycle continues. The torch gets passed on. Once were the movers of this competition also competitors, once too these same people were newbies who would learn tying-in to the end of the rope and once too were they learners of how to fall from a boulder problem. The forefront of Pinoy climbing will change but I hope the paradox of the past and the present conserving a hand’s-breadth distance from each other, even as more years pass by, retains a nurturing attitude towards the future. Standards will always be sharpened to a keener edge and it will always be a painstaking process for each climber to cope up. Failures will line the way but hopefully the young, wild and free will be more vehement than their predecessors with their pursuit of their own climbing passion growing and becoming just a little bit wilder every time.
|"The Dare" 2006-Juniors and Novice competition champs|
|"Young, Wild and Free" 2012 novice competition winners|
|The YOUNG, The WILD and The FREE|