We can’t believe it either. A whole year has passed and a book of fairy tales has been written. The Friends and Allies Fables (FAF) of 2022 was our first foray into the world of a league style boulder event and we really enjoyed the freedom we had to create. We created a whole new way of thinking about boulder leagues, we created hundreds of problems and we created a space that allows us to express ourselves through climbing. All of this tied into Tjoms in Arms, our team based bouldering competition that happens in September. So, hang on to your Mamma Mushroom hat, we’re gearing up for 2023.
The history of climbing as a sport begins in the alpine valleys of Europe, people began to conquer the mountains around them in the quest to explore, fill in the blank spaces on the map, see if they could and for being able to say that they could. A few hundred years after that, rock climbing began as a way to train the skills and strength needed to climb more technical peaks. As rock climbing developed into its own sport, bouldering developed as a way to train for the hard technical movements one had to do on cutting edge climbing routes. In the modern era, indoor bouldering exists so we can train to climb really small rocks, so we can train to climb taller rocks, so we can train for even bigger rocks. Crazy!
A couple of years ago, a challenge to climb the tallest rocks on each continent was invented and completed. These rocks, known collectively as the Seven Summits (which has a nice ring to it), are not the pinnacle of difficulty or impressiveness. Rather, they are a journey through the world, oneself and a broad experience of what it means to be a climber. Mount Everest, the highest mountain is on the list and we’ll come back to this Goddess Mother of the Earth (Chomolungma) in the seventh chapter of the Fables as Tjoms in Arms, the tale of two brothers from different mothers, from different worlds, who managed the ultimate feat as Tjoms in Arms.
Back to the rest of the planet, the six remaining continents with their relevant pointy bits each have a chapter (and week of bouldering) dedicated to them. Starting with Kilimanjaro, the crown of Africa in January, we have a five week break between each chapter until chapter six in August, followed a week later with TIA.
Chapter 1: 23 – 28 Jan
Chapter 2: 6 – 11 March
Chapter 3: 17 – 22 April
Chapter 4: 29 May – 3 June
Chapter 5: 10 – 16 July
Chapter 6: 21 – 26 August
Chapter 7: 2 September
So there you have it, a broad overview of the FAF series. Six boulder league rounds, each one with a slightly different flavor. Tjoms in Arms, a single day of climbing with a tjom based on the tale of two climbers who summitted the highest point on the planet together. We know that competition climbing isn’t for everyone and many people are in this just to keep fit and jol with the maats. We’d really like to encourage you to get involved, the psych and energy that comes from being in a FAF or TIA really adds some spice and, if nothing else, it makes for a really effective training session so that when you get on the proj or gooi some add on, you can pull harder and throw down.