The Canadian open bouldering series, The Tour de Bloc, is now in full swing! There was just a competition at Climbers Rock in Burlington, Ontario. In late December I competed at the second competition of the season at a newly opened gym called Grand River Rocks (GRR) in Waterloo. I am super excited to have this gym built here as I’m currently going to school at the University of Waterloo. GRR is going to be my training gym during school terms. I was actually quite impressed with the gyms structure. Rock Works did a nice job in building a tall top-out bouldering area with a variety of angles and a lot climbing surface.
First Tour de Bloc Win of the Season - Eric Sethna
The competition was very well run and the problems were sick! I won the competition by sending all 4 final problems. Below is a clip of me sending Mens Final #3, I was the only one to send the bloc and the crowd went wild!
Qualifiers were pretty straight forward and the problems were not too difficult. I qualified in first by sending most of the top 6 problems in about an hour, so I had a lot of time to rest for finals. Finals had quite difficult problems in a variety of styles that made competing a lot of fun! Problem 1 was a technical and balance movement style bloc on a vertical section of wall with an arête. Not usually seen in bouldering competitions! Final #2 was my favorite problem of the comp, too bad I couldn’t find a video! It included a big throw to start and then transitioned into a mandatory knee bar to move through some really bad slopers. From there, the knee bar had to be released and you had to throw big to a good hold over the lip. It was really fun to climb. Problem #3 was a long power endurance based climb. Overall I found none of the moves to be too difficult but in order to send, the right beta had to be found quickly to avoid wasting energy. I feel like I am getting a lot better at solving complex beta on the wall and I tried the problem different than anyone else and was the only one to send! Final #4 was a quick and dirty 3 move problem that was nice to have at the end. I got the crowd going and gave a victory wave after the MC/route setter/good friend Dustin Curtis announced that I had won the competition. For a breakdown of the problems from a setters point of view, check out Dustin’s blog… http://dustinrcurtis.blogspot.com/
Looking forward to writing an update on the how the January Tour de Bloc's are going!