After two days of competition at the Bloc Shop the best climbers of the weekend have taken their spots on the podium. The temperatures in Montreal dipped to freezing temperatures, but inside the Bloc Shop things really heated up on Saturday. Montreal’s newest climbing gym, Bloc Shop, hosted the CEC bouldering nationals qualifications and semi-finals on March 21 in front of a packed house. This was the final stop of the CEC circuit for the year.
All Canadian climbers who aspired to be on the Canadian National team and hadn’t accumulated the necessary points came to give their best efforts to secure their chance to represent their country on the world cup circuit.
Climbers from all over Canada came to test themselves through three rounds of competition. After the semi-finals, eight women and eight men had less than 24 hours to rest before the final four problems.
On Sunday evening the top 16 climbers waited in isolation for their turn to attempt the last four problems. In front of hundreds of spectators, the climbers put on an amazing show.
For the women, Finish climber Hung Ying Lee who is based in B.C. dominated with three top outs and won top spot on the podium. In second place and reigning Canadian women’s champion was Elise Sethna.
Alberta’s climbers made an impact having five climbers finish in the top eight. In third place was Catherine LaFlamme who qualified in ninth and went into finals in third. She was followed by three more Albertan climbers including, in order of finish: Alyssa Weber, Allison Vest and Becca Frangos.
For men, last year’s champion Sean McColl maintained first place throughout the competition. This is the first of nearly 30 competitions for him on the world stage. In second was the incredibly strong American Josh Larson whose send of men’s problem number four was one of the best of the weekend. That means the second place Canadian finisher, third place overall, was Sebastien Lazure. In fine form was the always strong Jason Holowach who made the trip from his home in Saskatoon.
This was the finals stop on the Tour de Bloc and CEC climbing circuit. There are many more competitions this year including Canadian lead comps, regional bouldering competitions and the world cup circuit.