Boulder Bash

Goat Fort hosts regional climbing competition

Submitted photo Mike Ciprich, center, won the Adult Elite Male Division at The Goat Fort Boulder Bash last Saturday. Nick Humphrey, left, was second, and Chris VerMilyea, right, was third.

Last Saturday, Warren played host to The Goat Fort Boulder Bash — an all-comers climbing competition.

This event has been Northwest Pennsylvania’s premiere indoor bouldering competition for the past three years, and has seen competitors from southwest New York, northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

This year, there were more than 60 competitors in nine different categories. With so many competitors the field was divided into three different groups that climbed at different times. All youth competitors climbed in the morning; recreational and intermediate adults climbed at noon; and the advanced and elite climbers competed in the afternoon.

The set of 50 different climbing challenges (boulder problems), included a variety of different styles, some of which incorporated parkour style elements — not unlike what we will see in the Olympics this summer. There were many exciting moments, but one stood out above the rest. Late in the competition, local climber, Nick Humphrey, was attempting the event’s hardest boulder. This climb incorporated a seemingly inhuman coordination move which required climbers to leap through the air, deftly redirect off of a feature to catch the next hold over 8 feet away. Each time Nick attempted the climb the chants of, “Nick! Nick! Nick!” could be heard in the parking lot outside. The excitement was palpable.

Each year, this event has attracted climbers from larger cities, like Buffalo and Pittsburgh, with more-established climbing communities. These climbers tend to do very well, and in past years they have claimed some of the top places. This year, however, Warren climbers dominated. Nearly all of the top finishers were from the local community, and for the first time, a local climber, Lily White, won the Advanced Women’s category.

Taryn Phillips

Isabella Smith won the Youth Intermediate Female Division with Finley LaVigne second and Averi Ash third.

Riley Littlefield claimed the Youth Intermediate Male title with Joseph VerMilyea second and Jaxon Moore third.

In the Youth Advanced Female Division, Neola Harrington was first, followed by Elodie Criswell and Elsie Woldt.

Owen Ash won the Youth Advanced Male title with Razzlin Pratz second and Grant Criswell third.

Lacey Criswell was the Adult Recreational Female winner, followed by Aanchal Tewari and Annika Chase.

Lily White

Lily White won the Adult Advanced Female Division, followed by Isiss Pratz and Natalie Muntz.

The Adult Intermediate Male Division went to Gage Bax with Channing Brainard second and Brian Barmore third.

Colbin Constable won the Adult Advanced Male group, followed by Tai Phan and Nick Lindsey.

Mike Ciprich captured the Adult Elite Male title, followed by Nick Humphrey and Chris VerMilyea.

Nick Humphrey


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