10Barrel Boulder Brawl With EP: Good Old-Fashioned Bouldering Returns

Inaugural 10Barrel Boulder Brawl
Organizers have been working hard to bring back the comps we love, including what is now the 10Barrel Boulder Brawl in Bend, Oregon. (All images by Bree Robles @breesframes)

Although the last year and a half has changed day-to-day life for most Americans, 10Barrel Brewing and EP Climbing Walls were determined to host an old-fashioned bouldering competition in September 2021―marking a return of what was originally the Bend Summer Comp and the inaugural 10Barrel Boulder Brawl.

Organized by a team headed by Mike Rougeux, Joey Janssen, Jim Gross and Jordan Egger, the original date of September 18 was moved to September 26 due to precipitation and high winds. As September 26 dawned, the team realized they had made the right decision in delaying the comp―the day ended up being an absolutely perfect autumn day!

Previewing the problems
Getting ready to throw down on that perfect fall day in Bend.

There are many things that make the Boulder Brawl unique: Hosted on a portable bouldering wall designed and manufactured by EP called the Crag Wagon, the event is an invitation with a rare prize purse of $20,000. Additionally, the 12 invited athletes are provided a food stipend, local transport, and accommodations for two nights―all they need to do is show up and compete, and they’re guaranteed a minimum payout of $1000. The competition is a single-round, onsight style format using the IFSC’s scoring methodology (Tops / Zones / Attempts to Top / Attempts to Zone), and the climbers all climb together on the first problem before moving on to the second problem.

Melina Costanza at the 10Barrel Boulder Brawl
Melina Costanza, winner of the women’s field, powers past a Zone.

The competitor list was full of recognizable names in our competition climbing universe, and a great mix of veteran competitors and “up and comers” alike. The women’s field was composed of Alex Johnson, Mira Cappichioni, Nekaia Sanders, Quinn Mason, Melina Costanza and Allison Vest; the men’s field Leo Costanza, Palmer Larsen, Colin Wills, Cris Cosser, Charlie Barron and Sam McQueen.

Routesetters Joey Jannsen, Nohl Haeckel and Sean Harris put together a great round of problems for the competitors to enjoy―a blend of technical, powerful, and crowd-pleasing movements intended to inspire the local Bend climbing community, who showed up to cheer on the athletes.

Colin Wills at the 10Barrel Boulder Brawl
Colin Wills cuts loose on the men’s third problem.

And the show was every bit the boulder brawl they came for:

  • Men’s problem 1: all 6 athletes flash.
  • Men’s problem 2: 4 flashes, Wills and McQueen top on 2nd try.
  • Men’s problem 3: flash by Cosser, McQueen tops on 2nd try.
  • Men’s problem 4: Wills with only top on 4th try, 4 others get to zone on 1st try.
  • Women’s problem 1: 2 flashes, AJ tops on 2nd try, 3 others get to zone on 1st try.
  • Women’s problem 2: 3 flashes, Sanders tops on 2nd try, AJ/Vest on 3rd try.
  • Women’s problem 3: 4 flashes, Sanders tops on 2nd try.
  • Women’s problem 4: 3 tops: Sanders on 3rd try, Costanza on 5th try, Vest on 9th(!) try.

Once the dust had settled, these were the final results:


1st ($3000): Cris Cosser (3t4z / 3At4Az)
2nd ($2500): Sam McQueen (3t4z / 5At6Az)
3rd ($1500):  Colin Wills (3t4z / 7At5Az)
4th ($1000):  Palmer Larsen (2t4z)
5th ($1000): Charlie Barron (2t3z)
5th ($1000): Leo Costanza (2t3z)


1st ($3000): Melina Costanza (4t4z / 8At5Az)
2nd ($2500): Allison Vest (4t4z / 14At6Az)
3rd ($1500): Nekaia Sanders (3t3z)
4th ($1000): Mira Cappichioni (2t4z)
4th ($1000): Quinn Mason (2t4z)
6th ($1000): Alex Johnson (2t4z / 5At5Az)

Allison Vest's final top
Allison Vest’s crowd-pleasing Top of the women’s final problem.

As Mike Rougeux put it, “…the Boulder Brawl has really turned into a mainstay on the competition circuit – it provides the Bend climbing community with a great reason to get together, have a couple of beers, and cheer for the athletes as they climb. My year feels incomplete without the event, and I’m hopeful that we can figure out a way to expand.”

“We’re psyched to run it back,” says Jordan Egger from 10Barrel Brewing.

EP and 10Barrel are actively looking for partners to expand the Boulder Brawl to include other cities in this concept. If you’re a town or city that would like to host, please contact kwaggoner@epusa.com. Or if you’re a brand that would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities for future events, please contact us at the same email address.

Livestream Replay: https://backyardbend.com/live-on-location/

Highlights: https://youtu.be/2SlxKq6xIkY

Sponsored by:
10 Barrel
EP Climbing
Elevation Climbing
Bend Endurance Academy
Visit Bend


This story was paid for by the sponsor and does not necessarily represent the views of the Climbing Business Journal editorial team.
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EP Climbing is a pioneer in the climbing wall and accessories industry, designing, manufacturing and installing custom solutions for the sport of climbing around the world. EP is active in a variety of markets: from commercial climbing gyms to school & university walls to complex structures for regional/national/international competitions, tactical training, and outdoor parks. EP offers solutions that cater to every environment, climber, and climbing discipline. Built in Bend, OR since 1988.