Eva Thompson is a Calgary climber and has been competing for the past few years.
When Thompson was four years old, he dad took her climbing at the Mount Royal University. Now a days, she spends her time in the gym training and coaching future crushers.
She started competing four years ago in Banff and has gone on to compete on the national team, has won Tour de Bloc and National Series events and recently won the Alberta Climbing Association (ACA) provincial comp at the Hanger in Calgary.
“I didn’t go into this season with any expectations, it makes it too stressful,” Thompson said about the 2015/16 comp schedule. And when asked about the ACA competition this past weekend, she said, “I was pretty nervous, I had just returned home from a climbing trip to Bishop and wasn’t feeling too confident on plastic.”
Thompson finished qualifiers in seventh place and after said, “Qualifiers were very technical. We got two slab problems, two vertical problems and one that was overhanging.”
She went into finals up against some of Canada’s strongest women in the field, including Stacey Weldon. “It’s pretty intimidating to have such a strong field of climbers to compete against,” said Thompson.
“At the same time, it’s motivating to see competitors walk up problems you thought were impossible. It makes you want to try harder at the next comp.”
Heading into finals on Sunday, Thompson had to overcome the top six climbers, who were Weldon, Thomasina Pidgeon, Alyssa Weber, Regan Kennedy, Julia Goldhoff and Becca Frangos.
“The finals problems were really cool,” said Thompson. “My favorite was women’s three. I enjoyed the how it made you switch gears from being precise and slow at the beginning to powerful at the end.”
Thompson wrapped up her 2015 comp season with a Tour de Bloc win at the University of Alberta. She started he 2016 with a big win at the Hanger.
About the victory, she said, “It felt amazing! Technical climbing has never been my strong point and it’s good to know I’m getting better at it.
Comps these days are big business and as more people discover climbing, the participation and audience numbers will continue to go up. Climbing gyms need to think of spectator space if they want to host competitions. Asked about the Hanger and route setters, Thompson said, “The Hanger hosted a great comp. It’s definitely set up for big events like the one this weekend. Setters did a great job. All of the problems were well thought out and very enjoyable.”
Thompson will be competing next at the Youth Bouldering Nationals in February and Open Bouldering Nationals the following weekend.
Until then, she will continue to train with the competitive team in Calgary three times a week for a total of seven hours. When asked what her favourite post-comp snack is, she said, “Any type of junk food.”