Tour de Bloc Elevation Place
The first day of Tour de Bloc 2015 took place on Jan. 10 in Alberta and Ontario. Here are the results from Elevation Place in Canmore.
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Photos by Alex Roe, Pam Eveleigh and Evgenii Kremlev
Elevation Place is a community centre in Canmore. Within its walls are a library, swimming pool, yoga studio and climbing gym. The area was not designed to host big competitions as viewing space is limited and there’s a lack of steep bouldering space. That being said, the route setters did a great job creating 55 problems for the qualifiers. It was exciting to watch during the day, but the final four problems at night was the highlight.
Andrew Funk crushed it. He walked men’s problem number three, which few stuck the second hold on. He looked strong on men’s final number four, but like everyone, he couldn’t unlock it. Funk took the top spot, followed by Marc Eveleigh and Dmitri Karaman.
For the women, Alison Vest was unstoppable. She cruised most of the difficulties and on women’s problem number three and four, she stuck big one-handed dynos, which took her to victory. Alyssa Webber and Eva Thompson were climbing very strong and finished in second and third.
“I had a really good time at the comp,” said Eva Thompson. “The problems were super cool. I was blown away by the setting. In particular for qualifiers 46 was really interesting. I was looking at it before the comp started and decided it was way too hard. I ended up trying it because there was no line and got it my second go. In finals the best problem was the fourth. It had a bit of everything and really made me work for the send.”
In total, 15 climbers from the Canmore Junior Team competed and nine won medals. The team’s head coach is Stacey Weldon, who is assisted by a few others, one being Sonnie Trotter.
Gripped asked Trotter about the route-setting and his thoughts on the comp. Here’s what he had to say:
“Eugene Kozhushko was the Head route setter who organized the entire team and created the route-setting schedule and the over-all plan throughout the gym. It takes a ton of work.
“My role was simple, I just promised to help him set some of the harder ones because he needed someone who could climb at the same level as the finalists. I set alongside Sam Tucker from Calgary, who’s currently a little bit injured and would normally be a finalist himself. Even though it’s completely exhausting, I had so much fun.
“What I love most about setting is creating something from nothing and then watching other people unlock it, one deliberate move at a time. It’s like watching someone find all the pieces to a puzzle you built and then seeing if they have the guns to put it all together for the crowd.
“We set all week, from Monday morning to Friday night. The entire route setting team (maybe 10 people in all) deserves a huge pat on the back for a job well done. Also, it’s probably important to thank Elevation Place for our temporary closures during this time because without that, or their understanding, this comp wouldn’t have been nearly as successful as it was.
“The finals went exactly according to plan, but we hoped someone would unlock men’s final problem number four. There were some close calls, but no send and that’s okay, the crowd loved it regardless and I know the climbers had fun and that’s was the ultimate reward. Hopefully, people will come in this week and check them out while they’re still up.”
Gripped caught up with Eugene Kozhushko after the excitement of the comp settled down. “We had a team of nine setters,” said Kozhushko, “The hardest part about setting qualifiers is to make sure they’re fun, fair and functional. My favourite route was women’s final number four, although it wasn’t sent the way we set it for. Mark E. was close to sending men’s final number four.”
1 Andrew Funk
2 Marc Eveleigh
3 Dmitri Karaman
4 Scott Eveleigh
5 Dan Archambault
6 Pete Woods
7 Aaron Sadlier
8 Patrick Gibeau
1 Allison Vest
2 Alyssa Weber
3 Eva Thompson
4 Stacey Weldon
5 Becca Frangos
6 Regan Kennedy
7 Samantha Li
8 Freya Hammond-Thrasher
Tour de Bloc Altitude and The Hive
Tour de Bloc Calgary Climbing Centre