What a weekend! This comp was half party, half try-hard but was a perfect balance of both. The 2nd annual Chewpod Extreme Bloc was a deep water soloing speed competition much like the Psicobloc, but with a shorter wall of 32ft. This comp was unique to us because we follow the bouldering circuit and have never ventured into other types of competitive climbing.
We arrived Friday afternoon after a 6 hour drive just in time for rankings. In hindsight, we should have arrived earlier to warm up and try out the wall a few more times instead of just once – it’s hard not to get flash pumped on a wall like that. All the athletes had to climb twice, and our best time (or height) ranked us for qualifiers. The faster you could do the route, the better! I think I placed 16th out of 20? My pump and nerves got the best of me, but I did make it to the second last hold before chickening/pumping out so I did better than I thought. I also forgot it was a race… oops. I was on the climb for over 2 minutes!
We showed up the following day to find that they had cancelled the competition for the day due to the rain, and frankly the cold. I was relieved because it was cold and windy and just not the best weather to get psyched. So, we went to MEC and Lululemon because we like to do that when we go to bigger cities and then to Premiere Moisson for our Quebec bakery fix. We finished our night with a visit to the spa, which was included in the athlete registration. I never thought I would enjoy a spa so much – we moved around outdoors between regular saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, hammocks by the fire and cold baths. It was heaven. And it got the water out of my ears from Friday’s unfortunate fall from the top of the wall. 🙂
Sunday had beautiful weather! Unfortunately, they had already changed the route on the wall to the quarter final/final route when most of us expected to climb the same route from Friday. This route had a dyno at the roof, which instantly made us all nervous. I was first up and I beat my opponent! Neither of us made the dyno, but since I touched the dyno holds first, I got to move on. I wasn’t so lucky the next round when I shamefully used the same poor dyno beta, which resulted in another splat into the water (and a huge bruise on my thigh from slapping the water).
For 80$, we got to compete all weekend, 3 free drinks, 3 free subs, 20$ lodging, and 2 hours at what I can only guess is quite an expensive spa.
We are 100% coming back next year, although with more training. We’ve never attempted to race on the wall before, so this was a fun experience in that regard. Also, personally, I need to train endurance and climbing faster. And like all climbing competitions, it had a fun, relaxed environment which is always appealing. 🙂
Climb on xx