IFSC Bouldering Wold Cup at the Teva Mountain Games - Day 1

Day one of the IFSC Bouldering World Cup at the Teva Mountain Games is over. From a field of 83 top international climbers (36 women and 47 men), the top 40 will move on to the Semi Finals, to be held tomorrow morning.

The Bouldering Wall at the IFSC World Cup at the Teva Mountain Games. Vail, CO. Photo: © Petzl / Justin Roth

Hailing from over a dozen different countries, the competitors in this year’s Bouldering World Cup at the Teva Games threw themselves with conviction at a collection of 10 problems (five each for the women and men). Wild swings, flying dynos, technical puzzles, tiny crimpers, and desperately sloping slopers were among the challenges the route setters devised for the strong field. Points were assigned based on how far the climbers managed to get before time ran out, as well as how many attempts it took them to complete a given problem in the event of a send. Climbing to and controlling the finishing hold on the first attempt (called a “flash”) is the ideal and results in maximum point value.

Like last year, the problems were set on a 20-foot wood-panel wall divided into six sections, each with its own unique set of angles. This year, however, the thick pads onto which the climbers leapt and crashed were lofted up a few feet higher on top of an elevated stage, reducing the distance from the top of the wall to the landing zone –a response to the very large falls that climbers took (and grumbled about) at the 2010 event.

Akiyo Noguchi on Women's Qualifyer #3...and on her way to a first-place position going into Semis. Photo: © Petzl / Justin Roth

The women’s qualifying problems seemed to nicely separate the field of competitors, with Petzl Japan athlete Akiyo Noguchi heading into Semis in first place and regular top competitors like Anna Stohr, Alex Puccio, and Alex Johnson following in the top of the field. (A side note: Noguchi just a week ago took first in the Bouldering World Cup in Canmore, Alberta, Canada.)

The Men’s problems on the other hand, were too easy for the strong field, resulting in a seven-way tie for first place. (Seven climbers flashed all five problems, among them Petzl athlete Daniel Woods, who won last years Vail Bouldering World Cup.) Almost certainly route setters will adjust the Semi Finals problems to ensure this type of bunching up of the field doesn’t continue.

Daniel Woods on Men's's Qualifier #4. He flashed all five qualifying problems, putting him in a seven-way tie for first going into Semis. Photo: © Petzl / Justin Roth

Through it all, the weather was cooperative, starting cool and warming throughout the day, but with mostly blue skies and consistent breezes to keep things from getting too hot. As the competitors rotated through the problems, volunteers rushed onto the mats between attempts to brush the holds clean of chalk dust, skin oils, and shoe rubber.

Radiating outward from the climbers and hold scrubbers were layers of people with varying duties and interests: competition judges and officials, DJ AJ, the emcee Timmy O’Neill, event organizers, photographers and videographers, spectators, and the various vendors (like Petzl) with their booths. This year’s qualifying rounds were crowded with spectators, with numbers ranging into the high hundreds. The Semi Finals and Finals tomorrow will likely draw many times more observers. Petzl will be sure bring you more images and reports, so check back soon.

For full results from the Qualifying round, visit the IFSC website: http://www.ifsc-climbing.org/index.php?page_name=resultservice&comp=11_W...

Photo Gallery from the 2011 Teva Mountain Games Bouldering World Cup







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