Every year come early fall you’ll start to hear buzz around the Portland climbing community about the upcoming competition season. Planet Granite’s Bloc Party is almost always one of the first competitions of the season and starts fall off with all the right things: fresh boulders, games, and most importantly a way to get the community together to have some fun.
The ground floor chamber was packed with generous sponsors like Prana, The North Face, Mountain Shop, Rose City Physical Therapy, Arcteryx, Mountain Hardwear and the PG Climbing Team with an ORU Kayak up for grabs! Prana challenged climbers to show off their best yoga pose for a chance at a Prana chalkbag, while Rose City Physical Therapy tested climbers grip strength with a dynamometer.
Happy Mountain Kombucha, Runa and Skout Bars kept our climbers fueled and psyched throughout the day giving away samples.
With registration opening at noon, and the first 55 to register receiving a swag bag from our healine sponsor, The North Face, the gym buzzed as climbers eagerly awaited to receive their score cards. Mitch Newman, both the Master of Ceremonies and this years Competition Chief, rocked the mic to let climbers know where they could register and kept the crowd on the edge of their seat as they eyed the clock, counting the mintes to 1:00pm when climbing opened.
With 45 boulder problems ranging from V0 to V9 there were boudler problems for everyone. Excitement was in the air as the community cheered one another on while supporting climbers trying hard and pushing their limits. The entire second floor had been reset with competition problems, including the ramp, providing a vast array of terrain for climbers to test their strength, coordinaton, balance and mental fortitude.
After our redpoint round competitors turned in their score cards in exchange for a sa-weet Bloc Party t-shirt and a raffle ticket. The staff worked hard to tally the scores in order to announce the top 5 men and women of whom would compete in finals. Watching a live on-sight finals is incredibly exciting and our finalists did not disappoint. Lisa Chulich, Quinn Mason, Paige Shea, Wrigley Kline and Rachel Heinl represented the women’s finalists while Brennan Robinson, Alex Fritz, Dakota Nidalmia, John Ramus and Brett Walker placed for the men’s category.
The finals boulder problems were tricky, dynamic, powerful and quizzical. Seen above Alex Fritz nails the dyno on Men’s #3, an exciting high point as Alex had hopped onto the boulder for his last attempt with just seconds left and managed to top the problem. John Ramus works on the cryptic and core intensive bat hang start to Men’s #2 while the crowd cheers him on.
The Women’s finals put on a quite a show and challenged the finalists in many ways. Women’s #3 had a technical and difficult bat hang start and proved to be the only boulder to remain untopped. Seen above, Paige Shea puts her best foot forward in her attempt at the problem. Lisa Chulich had the most tops of the women, putting her in first and can be seen making a huge move on Women’s #2 which featured a difficult perch finish.
Women’s Redpoint Round Category Winners:
Open: Lisa Chulich
Advanced: Ngan Nguyen
Recreational: Deborah Zahler
Men’s Redpoint Round Category Winners:
Open: Brennan W. Robinson
Advanced: Derek Harney
Recreational: Drew Rhodes
Men’s: Brett Walker
Women’s: Lisa Chulich
Our finalists seen above: Top row left to right: Brett Walker, Lisa Chulich, John Ramus, Quinn Mason, Alex Fritz, Brennan Robinson. Bottom Row: Wrigley Kline, Rachel Heinl, Paige Shea. Not Pictured: Dakota Nidalmia
Thank you again to everyone who made it out to celebrate with us! An extra big thank you to all of our sponsors who make competitions like this possible. See you next year!
Check out our Facebook Page for a full album of photos from this year’s comp!