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Sunday Sunday 9th August 2015 the second edition of the “Open de Bouldering” competition, which welcomes climbers from anywhere to participate, took place once again at the artificial climbing wall at the Instituto Tecnologico Eleazar Guzman Barron in Shancayan. The event was organised by QUECHUANDES travel agency and members of the climbing club CAWAY and WARAS climbing holds.
The competition proved once again to be a complete success with this time a total of 46 climbers taking part, from countries as far apart as France, Ecuador, England, Mexico, Austria, USA, Germany and of course Peru. The Ecuadorian presence was overwhelming with a total of 10 climbers from that country participating (and many more fierce supporters!), including national champion Esteban Egüez who didn’t disappoint as he won the men’s finals and his Ecuadorian girlfriend Carolina Rosero won the women’s finals, a real triumph for Ecuador!
The venue was once more the climbing wall at the Instituto Tecnologico Eleazar Guzman Barron that was built in April 2014 by students from tourism as their graduation project. It is great to see that the wall is being put to good use and let’s hope that the institute will keep on allowing climbing competitions to be organised there, as it is the ideal venue for such events, especially given the lack of artificial climbing walls in Huaraz.
The event’s organisers idea to organise a competition in the middle of the high season of Huaraz certainly paid off as foreign climbers made up the vast majority of participants, but the good news is that even so Peru was overall very well represented thanks to the many climbers from Lima who travelled to Huaraz especially for the event, taking second and third places both in the men’s and women’s categories! It is worthwhile to mention that it is thanks to the generosity of companies such as MOVIL TOURS, which gave away 5 return bus tickets to climbers from Lima, and AKILPO HOSTAL, which offered free accommodation for those 5 climbers, that all this was made possible. The event’s organisers were glad that the usual local and national sponsors were keen to help the event, whether by giving away goods or generous donations.
The suffocating heat and relentless sun didn’t deter climbers from showing off their best skills. As per the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) rules, climbers had to first climb four boulders of varying difficulty and the six best climbers then qualified for the finals, when they had to climb another set of four boulders of higher difficulty still. The finals contrastingly took place in the bitter cold of the night under intense spotlight, a sharp change to the day’s earlier proceedings, which saw spectators donning their down jackets and wooly hats instead of t-shirts and sun glasses! The biting cold didn’t prevent climbers or spectators to give their all, the ambience was indeed thoroughly electric and cheerful! The Ecuadorian couple Esteban Egüez and Carolina Rosero won the competition by climbing in a distinctly effortless manner, completely stealing the show in front of a very keen crowd, made up of many of their friends as well as locals who were equally impressed by their skill.
The Ecuadorian triumph is somehow easy to explain, although by saying this we do not want to diminish in any way the athletes’ efforts and skills. Ecuador is a country where unlike in Peru climbing receives a lot of interest and funding. This is due in part to the fact that president Rafael Correa’s 21-year old daughter Sofía Correa is herself a climber, who won the bronze medal for bouldering at the XVII Bolivarianos Games that were held in Lima in November 2013. Ecuador, a country four and a half times smaller than Peru, counts with an impressive number of artificial climbing walls – some 18 in total, whereas Peru’s walls can be added up on one hand - this in itself is proof enough that the sport is much more developed and that as a result it is easier for climbers to train for such competitions. We can only hope that interest for the sport of climbing continues to grow in Peru and that one day Peru will count with many more climbers worthy of international standards.

CAROLINA ROSERO participant from Ecuador, Tatoo athlete
“Competing in the Open de Bouldering in Huaraz coming from Ecuador, where climbing is much more developed, was an enriching experience in the sense of seeing local people so motivated to promote and encourage climbers to get better, learn and contribute to the growth of a sport which for many is an essential part of their lives.”

ESTEBAN EGUEZ participant from Ecuador, national champion
“In my opinion, Huaraz is a fantastic place for climbing because it has so many rocks nearby, it’s really incredible. The stone forest of Hatun Machay is one of the climbing sites around Huaraz that far outweighs the Ecuadorian climbing sites, yet the competitive level of climbing in Ecuador is much more developed. The Open de Bouldering is an excellent way to encourage the sport and why I encourage you to continue to organize such competitions as we do in Ecuador.”
URSULA BALDERSON participant from England
“I thought the bouldering competition was really well organised. The problems for the women were really well set and not totally obvious to read. I think they pitched the difficulty level really about right for the field. In the semi-final Karina, Noelia and I all had one top from three different problems, which shows without mistakes more tops should have been possible. The wall looked really professional and although my feet burned a bit (errr actually a lot!) from the strong sun in the semis, at least with temperatures almost liquidifying the rubber on shoes no one could complain about a lack of friction! The atmosphere at the site was great, I just wish I had got round to drinking some of the lush tropical looking Kuya Kuya cocktails.”

TED ALEXANDER sponsor, owner of Sierra Andina Brewing Company
“Once again, Quechuandes makes it happen – another well-organized climbing competition to both challenge the skills and tenacity of the hard climbers in Huaraz and entertain the less hard of us at the same time!
The event was fun, with good music, drinks and prizes and of course, great routes. All this led to a solid turn out by the climbers who loved the routes and the opportunity to compete for the top position. As a sponsor of the event it was a pleasure to work with Quechuandes – they plan plenty far in advance and go out of their way to make the sponsors feel appreciated as well as provide opportunities for the sponsors to get the visibility that we need.
I certainly look forward to many more events such as this and many thanks to Quechuandes for putting this together!”
LORENE ROZIER participant from France living in Lima
“When I heard about the climbing competition in Huaraz, I thought it was the perfect excuse to get out of Lima and come to Huaraz to see the mountains, the sun and old friends! It was my first time participating at the Caway Bouldering Open and found it well organized. A bus was waiting at the Plaza de Armas at 8.30 am to drive us to the Technologico where the competition was taking place. When we arrived, we went into isolation (no sneak peak at the routes authorized, it was serious!). While waiting for the competition to start, we got our T-shirt and plenty of time to get to know the other climbers; mainly from Lima, Ecuador, England, Austria and sadly only a few from Huaraz. Then it was my turn to try the four routes. They were really interesting, a lot of volumes, few holds, very challenging for me but nonetheless fun despite the scorching midday sun. It was like trying some IFSC problems! Thanks to the route setters for the good job! Once I was done climbing, it was time for me to relax while watching the men’s semi-finals and later the finals. They lasted well into the evening but the spectacle was worth staying for and enduring the cold. Good music, good company, good climbers, it was a great event! Thanks to all of those who made it possible! I will be back next year but this time I’ll come prepared!”
HIBRAYM RIOS participant from Lima
“I have now been climbing for over 18 years and actually I started climbing in Huaraz. I stopped competing and bouldering many years ago, but when I received the invitation to take part in this competition I didn’t think about it twice before accepting because I knew it would be a quality event, being a good friend of David Lazo, one of the event’s organizers. This competition was indeed incredible, as much from the technical point of view of the organization in general, than by the technical level of the routes, which were fantastic!
I am so pleased to see that in our country the level of climbing is getting better every time and that the sport keeps on growing, because despite Peru being a mecca for climbing worthy of the world’s best, the level of climbing still remains in its infancy. However, climbing is without a doubt advancing by leaps and bounds thanks to events like this one.
I am super pleased to have participated, to have met up again with good friends from the old school of climbing in Huaraz, and I am delighted by the high technical level of the routes achieved thanks to the hard and professional work of routes setters David Lazo and Ronald Limay, my sincere congratulations go to the entire organization.”