For some reason, I thought free climbing an overhanging wall, 50 feet above an Olympic sized swimming pool was a great idea. That thought quickly disappeared after I arrived to the Psicobloc wall for a practice session. After climbing 50 feet high on the climbing wall and realizing that there was only one way down, I found myself sitting on top off the wall with my feet dangling over the edge. A variety of thoughts went through my mind. There was a HUGE distance between me and the water! It was too late to change my mind………. After looking over the edge for a while, I finally stood up, shook my head, and I jumped off of the top of the wall. I felt my stomach drop as I frantically stared at the water as it got closer and closer, until I finally hit. The falling process itself was TERRIFYING, but hitting the water actually did not hurt at all. I was glad to get the initial jump over! Although I hung around and took 2 more jumps before leaving the pool for the day, I wasn’t completely convinced that my practice session had made me more comfortable with competing in the Psicobloc competition.
THE SEEDING ROUND
The next day was the seeding round of the competition. We weren’t allowed to practice the route. Climbers were randomly paired, and we had to climb up the route as fast as possible. All climbers had two times to climb the route and the best of their two attempts (in terms of highest hold and time) was recorded. Ultimately the climber that got the highest on the route would receive the highest seed and time was used to break ties. The male and female routes were both on the wall. Basically the women had to climb the mens route with a lot of additional, positive holds as intermediates. Without those holds, the route was significantly more dynamic!
When it was my turn to climb, I started climbing up the route but when I got to the double dyno move (30 feet above the water), I was too terrified to aggressively commit to the move, so I fell and went spinning around like a helicopter until I hit the water. Luckily I was able to stay controlled enough to enter feet first. That fall was scary!! Additionally, the temperature outside was in the 50s and the water was significantly colder!!
Although I was frightened and freezing cold, I knew I had one more attempt on the route, and I was committed to finishing what I started. On my second attempt, I was determined to stick the double dyno move and progress up the route. And I did! After making this move, I continued climbing, one burly move after the next, up to the final moves on the route.