I made a spur of the moment decision last week to travel to Ottawa with a buddy and compete at the Festi'Grimpe 2011. It was an open route climbing competition at a really modern new gym called Altitude. Walltopia was contracted to build the walls and they did an amazing job! Walking into the Annex section felt like I was back in Europe gym hopping with my sister!
Eric Sethna at Festi'Grimpe 2011
The competition started Saturday morning with a 4-hour redpoint round. Scoring was based on top 3 lead climbs and the top 8 men and top 6 women moved on to an isolation final round. 4 hours seems like a very long time to climb 3 routes but the competition attracted tons of route climbers from around Ottawa and Montreal and the line-ups nearing the end were getting ridiculous. The organizers ended up extending the climbing time by a half hour just so people could climb 3 good routes to be scored. I ended the qualification round tied for first with two others. I was psyched to be competing in the final because I knew the route setters would make something spectacular on that wall. They did not disappoint! The final route was a beautiful long zigzagging line on a really nice variety of holds. The route setters did a great job of rewarding quick thinking and confident climbing. I felt like I climbed the route really well with lots of purposeful feet swinging back and forth, 2 campus sections and a committing dyno to finish it up. I was the only competitor to top the route. It was awesome to have the crowd cheering me on as I grabbed the 2 final slopers and hucked for the finishing rail! I grabbed the rope, clipped the chains, and lowered down with a huge smile on my face!
We drove back to Toronto that night so unfortunately I didn’t get to see Dave Graham’s (fellow Five Ten athlete!) slide show but it was pretty cool to have him there watching the competition! Got back this morning around 3am so I’m a little tired but super psyched about this win! Tour de Bloc Open Nationals next weekend! It’ll be the decider to select the Canadian Open National team that will compete at the World Cup event in Canmore, Alberta. My hometown!
As always, thanks for the support!