Saturday, March 27, 2010

Victory @ True North!

Victory is sweet! Somehow I managed to squeak through to a first place finish in the Men's Experienced category, during today's Tour de Bloc bouldering competition.

The results surprised me because during the first hour and a half, I struggled considerably. I was not climbing with any power or control. But some timely encouragement from the other climbers spurred me on (the atmosphere at these events is super friendly and supportive), and I flashed a succession of difficult problems in a row. Result -- I whisked away the crown by a slim margin.

I feel absolutely thrashed right now. It's a good feeling -- when you've put in an honest physical effort at the limits of your abilities. I think it'd be tough to win Experienced again, but we'll see what happens. My long term goal is to get strong enough to enter in Open, and not finish in the bottom third. Still quite a ways from this point.

I saw many familiar faces -- I believe close to 200 people attended this event. The comp was held at True North Climbing, the newest climbing gym to open up in the GTA. Located in Downsview Park, True North is a sparkling facility run by a fellow named John Gross, a former Alias|Wavefront software developer (he worked on Maya!). The gym is tucked inside one of the old aircraft hangers at Downsview -- an excellent repurposing of an old industrial facility for modern use.

The walls were designed and built by Eldorado Walls, and it certainly appears that they put a lot of effort into making great use of the space. I'm happy that another climbing facility has been added to the GTA area. Although the location is particularly awkward for me -- it took me about half an hour tramping around the airstrip at Downsview to get there -- I hope True North is a raging success, and can perhaps relieve some of the 'population pressure' encountered at my home gym.

Photos of True North can be found here. An excellent interview on how True North came to be can be perused at Climbing Hold Review. And there's another interview via Ontario Climbing here.
Thanks True North, Tour de Bloc, and all of the sponsors for holding a fantastic event!