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Words with West Coaster Hannah Block

Hannah Block took double gold in Difficulty and Junior Female at Sport Climbing Association of British Columbia (SCBC) Triple-Header at the Boulders Climbing Gym and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Gripped caught up with Hannah after the triple-header in January for a chat about her climbing. Hannah, 17, is one of the most recent athletes to join La Sportiva’s climbing team.

Since this conversation, Hannah went on to place third at the Canadian Youth National Bouldering Championships in Burlington.

Hannah Block at Canadian Youth National Bouldering Championships.  Photo Matt Chapman
Hannah Block at Canadian Youth National Bouldering Championships. Photo Matt Chapman

Gripped: How long have you been competing and how old were you when you started?

Hannah: This is my fourth year competing. I began competing when I was 13.

G: What was your first comp?

H: The first comp I ever attended was November Sessions at my home gym in 2009. Following that, I didn’t jump right into competing, but having had a competition “experience” already behind me, I was looking forward to gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to compete.

G: Why did you start?

H: Rock climbing first piqued my interest when I attended a friend’s birthday party. From then, I went on to take classes once a week and eventually was asked to try out for the competitive team at the gym. Since then, I’ve really been into training and competing.

G: What do you like most about it?

H: I love how climbing lets me feel both successful and defeated at the same time. It’s also an incredible feeling when I train hard and can actually see results in my climbing and performance. Finally, I love that climbing allows me to forget about everything else that’s going on in my life at the moment and solely focus on the problem or route I’m doing and each movement within it.

G: What was your favourite comp moment?

H: My favourite competition moments are always changing, constantly being inched out by a new, even better moment, or experience. Currently, my favourite comp moment would have to be November Sessions 2014 at my home gym—Climb Base5, where I made my first-ever Open finals. For the past few years my youth categories have been scored in Open, but I’ve always been just a few spots away from making finals. However, this year, this unattainable goal of making Open finals became a reality when I qualified for finals later that night.

G: Who are your climbing heroes?

H: My climbing heroes are all around me. I’m inspired by my fellow teammates and competitors, the incredible coaches I’ve had the honour of being coached by over the years, and of course, multiple professional, World Cup climbers as well, including Canada’s Sean McColl.

G: What are some climbing goals?

H: My climbing goals are changing on an ongoing basis. I always strive to become a better, stronger, more experienced climber than I currently am.

G: Any outdoor plans?

H: I’m definitely more of an indoor climber. I would love to get outdoors more and become a more experienced outdoor climber. I would also love to boulder outdoors—something I’ve never done.

G: What tunes get you fired up to compete? or no tunes?

I love to climb to upbeat songs—nothing specific. I don’t climb with headphones, but I love when gyms have music playing and there’s energy to climb off of.

[shareprints gallery_id=”10864″ gallery_type=”thumb_slider” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”large” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]-Written by Gripped editor Brandon Pullan.