Tour de Bloc. December 3, 2011

On December 3 I entered my second Tour de Bloc boulder competition. The first Tour de Bloc I attended was in 2003 when a few of us Newfoundlanders flew up to Toronto to compete in the 2nd season of Tour de Bloc in 2003 at Joe Rockheads. There were only 8 women in that competition — on Saturday there were 200 men and women! People came in from all over. I only knew one person in the entire boulder competition and that was my buddy that I climb with. Some people came in from Detroit, Quebec, and all over Ontario of course. Crazy right? It ended up getting way more packed than this! I haven’t been in a climbing competition since 2005, and thankfully I wasn’t too nervous. You can bet your bottom dollar that I was certainly nervous leading up to it, and the morning of. But when I stepped into the local gym where I always climb, I felt comfortable again. It was an amazing day, so I wanted to share my recap with you all.

My buddy Dave and I sitting down listening to the rules of the comp.

I didn’t scope out the problems very well within the three and a half hours that I had to climb. I just wanted to do a few easy one’s then work on a few balancy or crimpy problems.

Here I am working another semi-easy one. I love it when I find problems that have a similar style to what I like to climb. Thanks for the photo Christine!

Scott came to support me and gave me some pointers on some routes, even though he doesn’t climb – it was helpful! Here’s a video he took of me while I was climbing the orange problem above. Thankfully he stopped the video right before I do my signature move when coming off a route, or boulder problem. Tumble to the ground, fall on my butt and stumble to get up, lol!

Then I ended up staying on this one delicate boulder problem for over an hour until I got it. Getting up to the big sloper with a few nice dents in it where I could place my fingers, you had to really balance your left hip/thigh on the hold and balance all your weight up right so your weight is on your right foot. Let go with both hands and place them in the above taped red box.

Not quite up there yet. Taking a deep breath before I mantle on the monster sized hold.

My bosses daughter/my co-worker ended up coming out to say hello for a quick minute during the competition and snapped this awesome photo of me. My left foot is swinging free, I don’t have a foot hold for it. My right leg is on that same hold as the photo above. Super balancy, super awesome. Unfortunately I don’t have a video of anyone attempting this. It was definitely a fun route. I ended up banging my right knee to get hoisted up onto the big ol’ hold that I didn’t notice I was giving myself a dirty bruise.

The bruise showed up just hours after the comp was over. I’ll spare you details on how it looks now. Let’s just say it’s bigger and uglier. Ha!

This was my second boulder problem I was working on for a while.

I didn’t finish this problem, I was on this one for about a half hour or more. Scott got a video of me attempting this one. But I popped off after a lame attempt. Too bad he didn’t get me on one of the better tries. See below:

Now onto my favorite photos of the day, even though I didn’t succeed at finishing the problem. This was at about a half hour til the cut-off time. Three hours into bouldering. Super tiring. I saw the guy in the grey shirt working this red taped orange hold route. It was #24 (out of 50) on the ‘scale of difficulty’ for the Tour de Bloc, so kind of up my alley. It started off with the sloper with the V-shaped tape in the bottom right hand corner. I tried my luck with the route and didn’t get any further than in the photos you see, lol. I just didn’t know how to get off those two holds! I think the photo above is one of my favorite climbing photos. Such a weird position.

Where to go? Ahhh!

The comp ended at 4:30 and by that time we were starving. We drove over to Boston Pizza to stuff our faces.

Man, their pizza is good. I vote you get a Deluxe, the cheese was ooie gooie and perfect for a long day of bouldering. We ended up coming back an hour after the Finals started. We watched part of the Women’s Finals and caught the tail end of it. I did end up watching all the Men’s Finals and took videos of it all which you can view on a YouTube channel that has my full name in it. So, if you want the link just leave me a message in the comments below and I can send you the link. I just don’t want my full name out there ;)

Alright, so here is one simple photo of the 8 male finalists! So fun. :)There’s another Tour de Bloc stop at Climber’s Rock in Burlington in January. I think I’m going to attend. Are you?

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