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Elise Sethna at the Tour De Bloc Open Nationals

Elise Sethna at the Tour De Bloc Open Nationals
June 01, 2010 -  Five Ten    

Last weekend was the annual Adult Canadian Bouldering Championships, hosting Canada’s best adult boulderer’s. This was the finale to an incredible 8th Tour De Bloc season. Joe Rockhead in Toronto was the host gym. I thought they did a fantastic job hosting the event, it was well run, organized and the routes were incredible, although it was extremely hot in the gym, with no air conditioning, which may have resulted in the men’s final routes being a little too difficult.


Saturday was the qualifying round, with the 5min on, 5 min off, iso format. The routes were fun to climb, with fluid movements and the occasional awkward finish. Route number two started with a fun dyno, finishing with a nice balance reaching your hands high up the wall in a taped box with no handhold. After the long wait for results after the qualifying round, I qualified for finals in 5th  place following Stacy Weldon in 1st, Bonnie De Bruijn 2nd, Kerry Briggs in 3rd, and Clarrie Lam in 4th. I had not worked too hard in qualifiers in the hope to save energy for finals the next day.

Sunday, at 5pm was the final round featuring the top ten woman and the top eleven men (because of a tie for first in qualifiers.) The late start allowed the competitors to sleep in which was a very nice surprise! After a 13-hour sleep I headed into iso well rested and ready to perform at my best. Again it was a 5min, iso format, but this time there was another factor- the heat.  The gym was very hot, perhaps resulting in the final routes being a little more difficult than intended, (mostly for the men’s side.) The first woman’s final was a crimpy route, with the crux being a precise move to a somewhat shallow pocket. I flashed the route quite easily, allowing for a longer rest. The second route I found was much harder than the first, probably because it involved the women to cramp themselves up, I am quite tall, so this was difficult for me. I flashed the bonus, but was unable to complete the route. I found the third and fourth routes were pretty straight forward, and I flashed them both right away. The fifth route involved a long horizontal fly over to an underling from a sloper on a feature. This route was the most fun for me, and I finished it second go. After the chalk settled from the final round, I ended up in a proud second place, with Clarrie Lam from Vancouver taking the gold and Melissa Lacasse taking bronze. I was by far the youngest competitor competing in the open category, and coming out of open nationals with a result in the top two is a great accomplishment for me! The men’s round was extremely tough and entertaining, with the top men only attempts away from each other, which resulted in a very suspenseful show. The winning male, Sean McColl had only finished 2 of the 5 routes to take the win. With Yves Gravell in 2nd, Terry Paholek in 3rd, and fellow 5.10 athlete Sebastien Lazure, taking 4th.

This was my first competition competing in my new 5.10 team shoes. I absolutely love them! The friction of the stealth rubber is excellent, the heel fits like a suction cup, the stiffness of the shoe is a perfect balance for either vertical or overhung climbing, and it helps that they look good too!

This was the first year that I was old enough to make it on the Open National team, which gives me the opportunity to compete in Adult World Cups around the world, including in Vail, Colorado at the Teva mountain games. I would have loved to compete at this event; it would have been a great experience! But unfortunately, Youth Nationals in Quebec City is on the same day, so after a hard, thoughtful decision I have chosen to compete in the Youth Nationals instead of Vail, but on the plus side, this gives me an excuse to get to some European World Cups this summer!!!!

Click here for full results from the National Open TDB competition visit.


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