As part of this years Outside Games, the Bend Summer Comp hosted its first annual outdoor bouldering competition. Good Life Brewery was the host venue of the event, which pulled in some of the top climbers in the US to compete for one of the nation’s largest cash purse prizes. As if that weren’t incentive enough, a brand new wall was constructed for this open air event which was reminiscent of a world cup style competition.
Held the day before, the qualifying round had a large variety of different style problems intended to separate and narrow down the field to the top 5 competitors for both the Male and Female categories. After placing for the finals round I spent the rest of the day relaxing, refueling, and checking out the rest of the event. Here’s a recap of our finals round the next day.
Right out the gate the first problem started off thuggy! Opening campus style moves on deceptively hard edges led to a large move up and right to an almost vertical edge rail. The crux of the problem shown above was a very difficult and precise move off of a bad pinch to a shallow pocket. I was surprised it took a few goes for me to stick this move, but once I had it I wasn’t letting go. The last few moves traversed through undercling pockets with a forced rose to a powerful finish. After topping problem one I was feeling good and ready for more. There is definitely a huge boost in confidence when you top the first problem. I find it helps settle my nerves and sets my focus for the remainder of the comp.
The second problem of the night couldn’t have been more disparate from the first. The problem consisted of a difficult press through a slab corner. With a tricky opening and finishing move, this problem forced climbers through some serious finagling in order to win the finish hold. I was able to bag this problem second go.
Hands down, I found the highlight of the competition was definitely problem three. It was full of big crowd pleasing moves which called for power, precision, and coordination.
The opening move was a two handed dyno with a simultaneous hand flip. From there it was a big move right to a three points off, and a one hand catch and swing. Difficult and shoulder intensive moves gained the finish on this problem and it became my third top of the night.
Perhaps my only let down at this comp was not completing problem four within the allotted time. The trick to this route involved a sideways jump to a 1-2 catch. The opening foot was directionally placed, which I found kept throwing my momentum off the mark. I was able to stick the move my first go and fell on the crux but couldn’t repeat the opening move during the four mins. At the end of the competition I couldn’t let this problem get away so I laced up my shoes and gave it one last burn. With the crowd still cheering me on I made it first go with ease triggering the spectators to go wild.
Overall I had a lot of fun at this comp and really enjoyed the routes. Placing fourth and snagging some of that notorious purse didn’t hurt either. Fellow Mad Rock Athlete Matt Fultz also had a great performance placing second. For a first annual event the Bend Summer Comp was a complete success. It seemed like they did everything right and I look forward to going back for more next year.