GWPC Rope Series Comp
The crowd chanted. Phil Heron shot for the hold on the sustained climb His body started to fall from the wall. Screams of "Fight!" and "You can do it!" echoed through the lead area at Great Western Power Company on Friday, January 26. Phil pulled his body back tight to the wall, and headed to the anchors, making an impressive first try redpoint of the 5.13 route. The excitement of the crowd, and their positive energy was palpable as regular Touchstone members and visitors stepped up to do some of their hardest climbing ever.
At the entrance Andrew Descalo, the manager of Diablo Rock Gym, registered and handed out scorecards to the 220 climbers who competed. The turnout was the largest for an adult roped climb comp at any of the Touchstone gyms.
Scores were based on how well the climber did on each route. Three boxes were on each route- one mid way, one two thirds, and one at the top. Climbers scored points based on how high they reached, and whether it was their first, second, or third try on the route. Every route was climbed at the comp, and at the upcoming comps, the setters will be adding additional routes to help disperse the crowds and to allow for a greater variety.
Paul Legan dropped his knee hard on the wall and surfed out left. He climbed solidly through the climbing. Kyle, one of the Touchstone route setters, had set a difficult and highly technical climb through a long sweep in the lead cave. It must have been the chanting of the crowd that invigorated Paul, because he flashed the route, making one of his most impressive sends to date.
Paul Legan flashing the hardest route at the comp
Phil Heron stepped up to the 5.13b/c route, and fought his way up it. Tired from flashing the previous route, he was unable to clip the second to last draw. Unsatisfied with his ascent, he attempted the route a second time, making the difficult clip but falling shortly after. Some impressive climbing to say the least.
Phil on his second try, this time doing the drop knee maneuever and making the difficult clip.
After the comp started winding down, the pizza showed up and so did the beer. Lyn Verinsky, the manager at GWPC, and Patti Phillips, the Touchstone retail guru, served up slices and poured beer to the long line of hungry and thirsty climbers. After the huge stack of pizzas were devoured and the beer was drank, the competitors all got t-shirts.
The next of the Touchstone Rope series comps will be at Diablo Rock Gym on February 19.
For a list of results check out the comp page
Ellis, one of the front desk staff at Berkeley Ironworks, took all the photos for this blog.
Check out more of Ellis's comp photos
and images at his blog site- the SignalElement
Check out the rest of the photos from the comp at the Touchstone Gallery
Labels: Paul Legan, Phil Heron, Signal Element, Touchstone Roped Series