About 100 competitors from around the West will try to crimp, crank and jam their way to victory this weekend during an event that will utilize a slice of Lake Tahoe's omnipresent granite.
The Meyers Climbing Festival and Bouldering Competition returns for a second year this Saturday, following a successful inaugural event last summer, organizer Joshua Welch said.
Bouldering, a version of rock climbing, involves ascending short, challenging routes without the use of a rope. Hundreds of bouldering routes, known as "problems," have been described at the South Shore.
This year's competition will introduce climbers to a newly mapped and cleaned area off South Upper Truckee Road dubbed "The Beavers," Welch said. The area includes about 25 intermediate to advanced bouldering problems, according to the chiropractor.
"It has only been known by those who were developing it," Welch said. "This is the first launch to the public."
Although last year's Men's Elite category winner Eric Sanchez sent some of the hardest problems in the area on the first try, the competition is designed for all ability levels, Welch said.
Often times, more advanced climbers can be found cheering on novices from the base of a boulder during the competition, Welch said.
Denver, Colo. resident Kristen Kirkland, who grew up in Meyers and won the woman's division of the bouldering competition last year, agreed, saying the community aspect of the competition is probably one of the most fun aspects of the event.
"If anyone is looking to meet people, this is a great way to go," Kirkland said. And it's not just limited to the climbing community, she said.
"The non-climbing aspect is really fun, too," Kirkland said.
New to the competition this year is a slackline competition, where participants will show off their best tricks while balancing on a thin piece of nylon webbing strung between two anchor points.
The event also includes a climbing wall, where a youth speed climbing event and a "dyno" competition will take place. The competition includes climbers challenging themselves to make the biggest leap to the next hold.
The bouldering competition takes place at several locations near Meyers and begins with signups running from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
The climbing festival begins at 3 p.m. in the parking lot of Safe Haven Chiropractic. The chiropractic office is located at 3170 U.S. Highway 50 in Meyers. Competition entry fees are charged for climbers. The climbing festival is free to attend.
More information on the festival and competition is available at www.tahoebouldering.com.