For one weekend in April, hundreds of climbing fans came from around the Midwest to experience the house-party-meets-sporting-event spectacle of the 2024 So iLL Showdown. The Climb So iLL Steel Shop in St. Charles, Missouri, became ground zero for heel hooks, pinches, smears, and dynos (they’re bouldering moves) as rookies and rock stars tried to move on from the prelims to battle for cash and prizes in the finals. Saturday night’s main event proved the kids were better than alright, with the 12 contestants ranging from 13 years old to the ripe old age of 28. Colored lights, DJs, announcers, vendors, refreshments, beer-fueled spectators — the event had it all. There was even a balloon drop finale and free White Castle belly bombers for the ride home.

To soak up the atmosphere and bask in the outrageous bouldering skills, take a scroll through these photos from the weekend, all courtesy of Climb So iLL.

The event attracted hundreds of climbing fans….


… and the emcee got them fired up.


These folks were stoked about something.


And this guy’s shirt matched his holds. Sorta.


The beverage selection had something for everyone, from cans of water to refreshments with a bit higher ABV.


There was cornhole…


…and there was Terrain publisher Brad Kovach. (Seen here passing out a magazine to another satisfied reader.)


Everyone who competed was a winner. But especially these three.


And these three.


Get it!


This guy is good at climbing. Long arms. Pliable. Stretchy.


Almost there!


At a roast, you want Jeff Ross. At a climbing event, you want this guy.




Nice one.


You. Got. This.


This girl rocked. No pun intended.


For some, the event was fun for the whole family.


Want even more coverage of this year’s So iLL Showdown? Check out the video below.


Top image: Courtesy of Climb So iLL.