Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tour de Frank 2016: The Information Package!

The greatest outdoor bouldering event in the Canadian Rockies is back!  The Tour de Frank, the outdoor bouldering festival held in Canada’s largest limestone bouldering area, is returning again in 2016 for the third year.  The event will take place on Saturday, September 17, and is a free event and competition open to anyone interested in rock climbing in the Canadian Rockies.  Children are of course welcome, though everyone should be aware that boulderfields feature very uneven terrain.

The Information Package about the event - including a printable map of the event and information about categories - can be found HERE.

The goal of the Tour de Frank is to get people socializing – and climbing – together at Frank Slide, Alberta.  Frank Slide is one of the largest bouldering areas in Canada, with over 1100 problems from V0 to V12.  Typically, climbers from throughout Southern Alberta (including Calgary, Lethbridge, and Red Deer) and Southeastern British Columbia climb at Frank Slide, but they often don’t get a chance to meet each other and climb together.  The Tour de Frank not only provides climbers and outdoor enthusiasts with that opportunity, but also shows off some of the best boulder problems in Frank Slide to climbers who might not otherwise be familiar with the area.  Every year, the Tour de Frank moves to a new area of Frank Slide, and this year’s event will feature the House, Frictionary, Commodore, and Heart of Frank sectors.

The event starts at 10:00 Saturday morning with free coffee and pastries for everyone.  For those arriving early and want to contribute, there will be a short trash cleanup and trail maintenance work bee.  Registration for the event will open shortly after 10:00 as well, with the rules of the event being presented at 10:45 and the competition starting at 11:00.  Climbers will have six hours (until 5:00) to climb as many problems as they can (or want to!); the winners of each category will be determined based on the five most difficult problems they climb during the day.

Frank Slide can be a confusing area to navigate, so competitors will be provided with free maps and a guide to the area.  There will also be volunteers (look for the people in red shirts!) to help climbers find their way around the area and to locate specific problems.  While there is a competitive aspect of the event (there will be problems from beginner (V0) to expert (V12)), the focus of the Tour de Frank is on having fun.  In the morning, we will be running an 'Introduction to Outdoor Bouldering' workshop for beginners, and will have bouldering mats on hand to loan out to beginners or those who don’t have access to a mat.

The climbing competition part of the event runs all day Saturday (until 5:00), with category winners and draw prizes being awarded immediately afterwards.  The Tour de Frank will wrap up with an after-event for those interested (dinner and drinks at the local pub just down the road).  The goal is the TdF is to get people socializing and bouldering together at Frank Slide, and we are looking forward to seeing everyone there!

The Facebook event page is now up and running (search for ‘2016 Tour de Frank’), so check there for event updates.

HUGE thanks to all the fantastic sponsors who support the Tour de Frank!  They all provide amazing products and are supportive of the climbing community in Canada, so check them out!  When you're replacing well-worn gear, take a look online or support retailers who carry their products.  We like to thank Awesome Adventures in Lethbridge, the new climbing clothing company Outside All Day, the distributor Liberty Mountain, the made-in-Canada Westcomb clothing, Prana, Black Diamond, the Canadian bouldering manufacturer Flashed Climbing, FjallRaven, Static handmade chalk bags, and Sendage (without which a guide to Frank Slide would be impossible).

The Tour de Frank is an entirely free, volunteer-driven event!  Nonetheless, we do incur costs when we organizing the TdF, so if you are interested in a small donation to help defray costs (or are interested in sponsoring next year's event) let us know!

NOTE: If you are 17 or younger, have a parent or guardian sign a waiver, which can be found HERE.
Me on the testpiece Slippery Pete (V7/8)... it *might* be included in this year's TdF! ;)

No comments: