Hitting the wall: the SufferFest Vertical Challenge

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First of all a huge thanks to everyone involved in making the inaugural SufferFest such a rich, challenging, and above all joyful event. Next Push takes pleasure in extending heartfelt congratulations to the winners of the Vertical Challenge - the climbing component of the competition.

All the competitors took part in the three parts of the Vertical Challenge: Bouldering, Top Roping, and Speed Climbing.  The glorious winners were:


Women’s Champion

Miss V in action - that’s V for Vertical of course

Miss V in action - that’s V for Vertical of course

1st Place - Veronique Thuere ('Miss V')

As the sole woman to take on the Vertical Challenge Miss V was going to have a tough job not to take a podium place but having realized that gold was in her grasp she threw herself into the task with gusto. It was hard to say which was the more daunting; the wall, or the media scrum that quickly formed around her.  She shrugged them both off to get not only gold in the climbing but the trophy for Ultimate Female Sufferer since she had also completed the SwimRun and 21k Trail Race.

Lashings of Push respect for Miss V.  Hope to see you soon on our wall.


Men’s Champions

The Vertical Challenge Winners and Route Setters

The Vertical Challenge Winners and Route Setters

Hoang Sy Tien takes 1st

Hoang Sy Tien takes 1st

1st Place - Hoang Sy Tien

No stranger to Push since he has previously graced Rocktoberfest.  Sy was comfortably king of the wall on the day.

Đặng Trần Trung ('The Black Monkey')

Đặng Trần Trung ('The Black Monkey')

2nd Place - Đặng Trần Trung ('The Black Monkey')

Nope we don’t know why the nickname either.

Trần Ngọc Chính - 3rd in Vertical Challenge but ULTIMATE SUFFERER overall

Trần Ngọc Chính - 3rd in Vertical Challenge but ULTIMATE SUFFERER overall

3rd Place Trần Ngọc Chính

May have taken 3rd in the Vertical Challenge but his performance in the SwimRun and 21K Trail Race saw Trần Ngọc Chính take the overall trophy as Ultimate Male Sufferer.  

Big up for the dude.

For those of you who wondered about coming to climb but didn’t, what can we say, except you missed out.

Dalat was cool in every sense of the word.  Humming up the hill to the Tuyen Lam Lake there was an early morning chill in the trees and a light mist rising off the water at the site. As the day went on the sun beamed on the smiling Sufferers and a gentle carnival atmosphere was the order of the day with the climbing rig towering over the event booths.

Future competitors

Future competitors

The Wall


At 17m tall, with a stairway to the QuickJump platform, two bouldering walls, two speed climbing routes, and two top rope walls the climbing rig could also perform as a quick change artist to allow abseiling, bungee, QuickJump, Zipline, or whatever other adrenaline sources an event might need.  The fact that the whole tower was assembled in under two weeks by only six people was a tribute to the system’s modularity, as well as Push and their alter egos at SSS.

The rig takes shape

The rig takes shape

The routes were then set for the three events: bouldering, top roping, and the speed climbing which was competed for by two climbers at a time. “Route setting is an art form as much as a technical skill” confirms Paul Massad, the PushPeep responsible for the tower. “The art lies in either recreating ‘real’ rock movements and a smooth  series of moves. Indoor climbing has introduced a new generation of route settings with acrobatic intent, bigger jumps, huge slabs and pinches. Route setters Vu (the world’s best barefoot climber) and Josh (easily the best Josh in Push) are both pedigree climbers from different schools.”

Vu goes Vertical

Vu goes Vertical

“What we saw at the SufferFest was a combination of Cebu dynos ( dynamic jump-grabs of holds) coming from Josh and some primal crimping from the famous deep water soloing of Cat Ba where Vu made his name. So Problems 10-50 emphasized reach and flexibility, 60-80 emphasized core strength, smart footwork and some pain while numbers 90-100 came straight from the depths of hell where the sun don't shine. Those crimps were there to put the suffer in SufferFest.”

Once again, well done to climbers, organizers, supporters, and helpers alike. Time to sign up for next year.

Steve Shipside