The routesetters had to have been nervous when the first climber of the Men’s Open Final came out and climbed to the second last hold of the route. Kindar McNamee did not make the route look exceptionally hard, either. He climbed slowly, statically, and strategically. And only in the final seconds did spectators start to see evidence of a pump. But as it turned out, McNamee would only be out-climbed by his brother, Guy McNamee.
One by one the other finalists came out, in reverse order of their ranking, and it became increasingly clear how well the young B.C. climber had done. And how well the route was set to separate the men. Competitors fell at cascading highpoints, for various reasons: Tosh Sherkat’s left foot slipped, as did Victor Baudrand’s (who also looked a bit tired), Sean Faulkner missed a pocket, Devin Wong’s left hand popped. This is how it goes, until it doesn’t…
Guy came out 3rd-to-last and climbed in McNamee style: slow, efficient, precise. “Guy McNamee, where’s your squeeze?!” came the words of Pete Woods on the livestream, followed by “there it is,” as he climbed through a cruxy section with ease. Not long after, Guy stuck his brother’s high point and spectators watched with bated breath as he pressed up on his left arm – finally showing some fatigue – before making a huge span up to the last hold. McNamee crossed for the match and the only top of the route.
The only Men’s Open finalist not from B.C., Nathan Smith climbed last, after topping every route in the competition thus far. He would’ve known that Guy finished the route so the pressure was on. Smith climbed well and looked strong but the pump finally got to him and he couldn’t secure the hold that Kindar had held briefly. That did, however secure Smith third place behind the McNamee brothers.
The Women’s Open route had a clear stopper section, where four of the seven finalists fell. That four-way tie for third was broken by a count-back to Semi-Finals, which landed Indiana Chapman on the podium with a bronze medal. Chapman climbed really well in the Final and her fall seemed due to overshooting for a hold, rather than due to fatigue. In a close second place – getting one crucial hold higher – was Becca Frangos. Originally from Canmore, now climbing out of B.C. and for Team Canada, Frangos was one of the competitors to watch for. As was Allison Vest, the reigning Canadian Open Bouldering Champion.
Though Vest was not in route shape, per se, she used her bouldering fitness to her advantage. It helped her up the semi-final route, which was bouldery in style. And ultimately it helped her hold on and power through the moves that had stopped the other women on the final route. She flew up the wall to “outrun the pump,” as Woods said, and that strategy worked.
Vest would’ve like to top the route, as her B.C. teammate Guy McNamee had done, but she did enough to win and in doing so, the west coast crusher earned herself yet another national title.
Open Women / Men
1. Allison Vest (BC/CAN) / Guy McNamee (BC)
2. Becca Frangos (BC/CAN)/ Kindar McNamee (BC)
3. Indiana Chapman (ON/CAN)/ Nathan Smith (QC)
Junior Female / Male
1. Sophie Buitendyk (BC) / Sean Faulkner (BC)
2. Cat Carkner (ON) / Kyle Judge (ON)
3. Sophie Valence (QC) / Devin Wong (BC)
Youth A Female / Male
1. Indiana Chapman (ON/CAN) / Guy McNamee (BC)
2. Paige Boklaschuk (AB) / Kindar McNamee (BC)
3. Babette Roy (QC/CAN) / Brennan Doyle (BC)
Youth B Female / Male
1. Emi Takashiba (BC) / Oscar Baudran (BC)
2. Sophiane Bertand (QC) / Tj Foley (AB)
3. Mia Laprise (QC) / Dylan Le (QC)
Youth C Female / Male
1. Evangelina Briggs (ON) / Emmanuel Derima (ON)
2. Madeleine Taylor (ON) / Nathan Seto (ON)
3. Taylor Galloway (ON) / Maxime Therien (QC)