Five Ten® Shoe Demo: Burgers, Bouldering and Beer in Backwoods Butte, Montana.
"Butte Bouldering Bash" by Brett Jessen
Backwoods Montana was the location of the Butte Bouldering Bash, an outdoor comp in a field of endless boulders about a mile from Homestake Lodge. This was the first year that Tom Kingsbury put this comp on and let’s just say, it was well worth it. Tom found an area that I had never seen before and forty competitors showed up to partake in a redneck bouldering comp where they served up hamburgers right at the boulders. Hand-fashioned wooden ladders from local fallen timber leaned against several extremely tall boulders for brushing highballs. Adam Fruh, the local trad hardman, was flying of a 30 ft. project, Kevin Macartney was crushing the crimps into submission, and George Hughbanks, an old friend from Spokane, was running around sampling some of Butte’s finest bouldering to date.
From my demo fleet, I made a strong push for the Anasazi on the vertical, Teams on the steeps, and the Grandstone for some high ball cracks. I strapped a pair of Anasazi VCS on Bill Dockins to crush in. Bill Dockins is one of Montana’s strongest developers who has locally pushed the standards of climbing and established numerous ultra classics in the 70’s. It was good to see such a solid representation of Montana’s climbing community out there supporting Butte’s newly developed area.
Once I had people shoed-up and psyched, I grabbed my pad and gear to sample the goods. Several classics later I spotted my wife Adrienne and our 2-year-old Isabel crushing in the Batholith. I grabbed Isabel a hamburger off the grill and immediately a pack of dogs ran over and proceeded to rip the burger out of her hands. Dogs and leashes at a comp are key, but this is all part of the learning process that the Butte Bouldering Bash will overcome and continue to be one of the best outdoor comps to date.
Six o’clock final send was announced and I packed up the Five Ten® bags, grabbed the family and headed down to the lodge for the awards. With solid swag giveaways from Metolius and Five Ten®, the competitors downed several chocolate vanilla stouts. The rest of the night I spent catching up with some old Montana friends - talking about the past, present and what is in the future for Montana climbing. Butte Bouldering Bash is over, so prepare yourself for the upcoming Lost Horse Outdoor Bouldering Comp in Hamilton, Mt.
Next week headed to the limestone cave of Riggins, Idaho. Missing my harness and steep limestone…