Thursday night in Park City, Utah, we witnessed the most exciting “practice” session any of us at Blister had ever seen—in any sport. We couldn’t wait for Friday night’s main event.
(Be sure to read Matt Pincus’ coverage of the Psicobloc warmup with words from Chris Sharma on organizing the competition.)
Beauty and Power and Grace and Terror—that pretty much sums up Psicobloc.
Thousands of people came to the Utah Olympic Center to watch the top men and women compete in the Psicobloc Masters Series finals last night. The event sold out shortly after 7pm.
There were more gutty performances, tenacious acts of will, and yes, plenty of terrifying falls.
Speaking of tenacious acts of will, nobody was more impressive than Sasha DiGulian. In four rounds of climbing, Sasha and Delaney Miller were the only climbers (man or woman) to top out twice, and Sasha dug deep to do so in the final round to win the comp.
What was amazing, too, was the whole vibe of the event. These were athletes competing at the highest level of the sport in a consequential environment (it hurts to hit water from 50 feet up) but the event still felt like a big party, and the camaraderie among the climbers and the spectators was high.
It was a celebration of climbing, and every single person who was there will tell you that the celebratory attitude began and ended with Chris Sharma.
We couldn’t imagine hosting a party for thousands of people, shaking hundreds of hands, posing for picture after picture, then getting on the wall and sending a 5.14. And to give you a sense of just how hard this route was (in case you’re unimpressed by 5.14?), Chris was the only competitor in a very strong field on the men’s side to top out on Friday night. He was taxed, and all he could do after his send was repeat, “I’m so pumped”—not pumped as in psyched, pumped as in dead.
This was an amazing event. And in good news, it’s already been decided that it will happen again next year.
Til then, check out Matt Pincus’ photos from the 2013 Psicobloc finals: