A look at what Innsbruck World Cup Champion Jan Hojer does for training:
IFSC Bouldering World Cup 2013 #5 – Innsbruck, Austria
Dmitrii Sharafutdinov in Semis becoming the only climber to do Men’s 3
Dyno 1 arm is the show move. Stand up on start holds, jump left, basically campus to top. Everyone did it easily.
Lots of volumes up an overhanging wall. Start with right pinch and left on arete. Move through volumes, stand up to an undercling triangle volume, grab another triangle volume, match, done.
Jan Hojer beasted it right off (apparently actually 2nd go, he slipped 1st go). Dimitrii flashed. GG flashed. Kilian flashed. Jorg flashed too. Sean flashed.
Mantle, volumes, undercling left, drive by right hand to red triangle out left. Match onto bonus hold jib, move to jib on upper triangle, lean over to last hold.
Jan Hojer came out and flashed easily. Commentators are speculating the problems are too easy.
Dima started strong, climbed most of the way up, fell, fell again. Sent.
GG came out, fell on drive by. Again. Again.
Kili fell off. Again. Apparently you fall doing the move after the drive by if you don’t keep your right foot on the large yellow orb. He does the drive-by, bumps right hand off, jumps and left hand hamhock, slides off trying to stick it. Last go, same thing. Bummer.
Jorg had much the same experience as Kilian. Stuck the cross. Couldn’t stick the match.
Sean came out last. Looked strong on bottom and drive-by, fell like Jorg and Kili trying to stick the match on the volume. They do a nice jump to the bonus hold/jib on the volume, but all seemed to slip off pulling up to stick it. Sean didn’t send either, and so now the field has flipped.
Results after Men’s 3
The people who are tied below are broken up by countbacks to semis.
Men’s Final 4
This problem looked pretty straightforward. Thugging on volumes up a steep wall.
Jan Hojer came out first and if he
flashed he’d win. He flashed. climbed it quickly, he’d win. Apparently he fell from the start once before sending, but it didn’t show on the live feed. When he got to the top he knew he’d won, and he looked ecstatic. He wins! First gold in a Bouldering World Cup for Jan.
Dmitrii sent it 2nd go. This should keep him in silver.
GG sent as well but not fast enough. He knows it, and he’s pretty disappointed as he waves to the crowd and walks off. Jorg sent, not sure how quickly. Sean sent as well but not fast enough. Kili flashed and he gets bronze.
Men’s Final Results
Akiyo Noguchi came out first and fell a bunch of times trying to stick the start jump. Finally she stuck it and finished the boulder.
Melissa Le Neve also fell on the start several times. She stuck it and time ran out so if she fell she was done, she matched bonus and moved left to the higher large red 1/2 saucer volume. Her right hand blew off the bonus but she hung the saucer left handed one arm. She got swung her feet back on and finished, laughing at herself.
Start by mantling up on the teardrop volume. Jump left to sidepull and feet landing on volume. Balance straight up on high foot. Match left hand/foot. Stand up. Jump to finish.
Momoko Oda came out next and did the mantle straight off but couldn’t seem to do the sideways jump. It looked like she was going to smash into the landing volume. Then, all of a sudden, on her last go, she stuck the side jump, stood up, didn’t even bother with the bonus box (a taped box on the wall) and stood up to the finish.
Aya got through the beginning 1st go, then fell working her way up the slab. Next go (I think?) she solved the slab and sent.
Anna came out last. She flashed the bottom but as she started up the slab she bobbled the jib. She caught herself, bobbled again, caught herself, bobbled again, turned around to get the crowd to cheer for her, moved up the slab, went to the last hold right hand instead of left like everyone else. Grabbed it, then slipped and fell off! She looked very stressed. Next go she bobbled the slab again, caught herself again, got back up and went right again to the top and this time stuck it. 2nd go.
Triangle volumes up a vertical or just overhanging wall.
Akiyo climbed up to bonus pretty casually, then fell moving to the last hold, coming up just short. Bonus is a triangle volume with another triangle volume on the bottom of it. Undercling to the last move. She fell there again. Didn’t finish.
Jule looked strong through the bottom into the bonus, then didn’t try to undercling and ended up falling off. Next go she didn’t use the undercling either, but it worked, cause she sent! Only send so far.
Aya climbed up to the bonus as well, then struggled trying to figure out how to get to the last hold. She falls. Done.
Anna came out, climbed through the bottom, used the undercling on the bonus, flashed! She was clearly psyched.
If Jule flashes she will win. She flashes. She wins! Her first gold!
Aya climbs through the bottom easily, then falls trying to stand up on the arete. She falls some more.
Anna hikes the boulder. She’s got silver, a proud finish.
Women’s Final Results
IFSC Bouldering World Cup 2013 #5 – Innsbruck – Semifinal Results – UPDATE photo gallery + 2nd UPDATE A Note on Grades
Semifinals are 4 problems per category and men and women climb at the same time. 20 women and 23 men (due to ties in qualis) are in semis.
A Note On Grades
They’ve stopped giving approximate grades for the problems, which makes sense to me because in the past they give grades and then people who don’t understand what it is like to try and flash 4 or 5 brand new, extremely technical, powerful, and often confusing problems in 4-5 minutes each, with little rest in between, and the pressures of all the spectators, changing weather conditions, etc… not to mention doing this for up to 3 rounds in 2 days, have made some insulting insinuations online about the athlete’s abilities and comp difficulty.
Obviously these comps are very hard. Each problem is very hard. These athletes are some of the best in the world, as you can see if you look at the outdoor ticklists of many of the top competitors. When you hear a grade of 7A+ (~V6), 7B (V7), 7B+ (V8), or 7C (V9) for a comp problem, you might think “I could do that”. And maybe you could. But what if that problem wasn’t your style at all? Imagine the hardest problem of that grade you’ve climbed. Imagine going somewhere like Font, where everything demands precision and balance–there are easy easy problems that double digit climbers will fall on over and over. Imagine encountering holds, volumes, and wall angles you’ve never seen before on every problem.
Want to simulate the physical aspects of a comp like this? Go into your gym and pick 5 brand new problems of a grade that is moderately challenging for you, look at them briefly, then walk away from them and warm up. Come back, give yourself 5 min on, 5 min off to climb those problems one-by-one. The next day, go back in the gym and pick 4 more problems. 5 min on, 5 min off. Two hours later 4 more problems, 4 min on, 16-20 min off. If you’ve left the ground before your 4th minute is up you can continue til you fall. Try to flash or finish all of ‘em. See how you feel.
Next time you hear or read someone writing something insulting about the difficulty of these problems, set them straight. Climbers need to band together to help progress our sport, and these men and women are super strong and work very very hard to be where there are. I, for one, appreciate the work they put in and the entertainment and inspiration these comps provide. End rant.
Chris Webb Parsons was too ill to compete in qualifiers yesterday, but he seems to be feeling better today and he’s commentating on the live feed, which is always nice as he’s got in depth knowledge of the climbers and the intricacies of competing in an event like this. He commentated on most events in 2011 and it made for an excellent live feed. I’m sorry for him that he’s not in the comp, but as a viewer I’m glad he’s back on the feed.
From the results it looks like semis were a tough round for the setters and the climbers. Top 6 go to finals. Problem descriptions, results, and commentary below.
Thuggy up volumes. Tricky to stand on slopey red volume at the bottom. Therese suffered but finished. Most climbers were able to climb this one in short order.
Another thuggy looking problem. Start on volume. Grab red sloper. Weird body moves/balance and then pop left to 2nd red sloper. Catch. Hand-heel right.
Right hand to other red blob out left. Up to crimps atop blue volume. Up to other red blob. Top.
This problem looked the coolest to me. Two huge volumes. Stand up on the right one (yellow). 1-2-3 jump to a volume straight up and a left hand finish.
From here she’s supposed to quickly match orange and pop left to the good hold on blue before she falls out. Katha wasn’t able to finish this one. Only Anna, Jule, and Therese did it.
Awkward looking mantle off a green volume with two large feet onto an orange volume set vertically. Balance, match with a gaston, red blob, out right to bonus…
Up to green volume and finish.
A note: after the first few women climbed semis 1 and 2 a setter came out and tweaked Women’s Semi 4 to make it harder. I think they either changed out or took off a jib on the orange volume. Apparently the setters thought the women were looking too strong and wanted to take steps to better split the field. Therese Johansen especially looked very strong, sending 1, 2, and 3. She’s a strong climber though, and sometimes the first climber will crush and make the setters all anxious and then everyone else will suffer as expected. So was the tweak necessary? Did it work? Or was it too much? See the results below.
Women’s Semi Results
Wow. Interesting shake up for finals.
Anna is cleanly in first here. Jule is in again after 5th in Millau, then 11th in Kitzbuhel and not making semifinals in Log Dragomer. Melissa got 2nd in Log Dragomer and it’s nice to see her in finals again here. Thought it’d be interesting to consider the ages of these climbers. Anna is 25, Jule is 22, and Melissa is 23.
The other 3 finalists are all from the same country! 3 Japanese women in finals is impressive, especially since the top-ranked among them (and one of the best in the World, Akiyo Noguchi) is the 6th place qualifier. Akiyo is 23.
Momoko Oda is 19 years old and has podiumed many times in International lead events. In 2012 she won an adult Lead World Cup as well as a youth Lead World Championship. She took 2nd at the first Bouldering World Cup this season in Chongqing. Since then she was 9th in Millau and 10th in Kitzbuhel and Log Dragomer.
The new face is Aya Onoe. According to her IFSC Results List, Aya is a lead climber, and she’s only 17 years old. This is her second ever Bouldering World Cup. She took 19th last comp in Log Dragomer. Her previous best finish ever is 5th in a Youth Lead World Championship. For adult lead it was 14th in Korea in October 2012. Qualifying 2nd in this Bouldering World Cup signifies a huge step up, and as she’s quite young, we may hear much more from her.
Also notable for the women was this strange multi-way tie for 10th.
Usually Shauna and/or Alex will be in finals. Katha has been in finals twice this season as well. Petra’s best at an adult comp is 7th, but she’s qualified in 1st at adult comps and also won Junior Bouldering in a European Youth Cup.
Here are the rest of the Women’s Semi Results:
Clearly the change to problem 4 caused some real trouble for many of the competitors. Six climbers did send it though, so it was probably an appropriate change since it made problems 3 and 4 split up the strongest climbers. 1 & 2 perhaps too easy, 3 & 4 quite hard.
First problem was another slab mantle with a taped box serving as the bonus hold. From there you had to do a step across and up with no handholds to get the last hold. Clearly it was delicate, and the volume you stood up (an orange diamond) on seemed challenging as more than one climber suddenly exploded off it and nearly creamed a shin.
Men’s Semi 2 was a steep little roof followed by a hard move out from the blue triangle volume to the blue blob volume.
From there it was foot up, handle the volume, up to small holds on the face and the end.
This problem had a sweet 1-2 dyno, or at least that’s what it looked like.
Start on the volume. Move up right to blue or jump right/left/right, that’s Blue/Blue/Green.
If you stick it You’ve got bonus, match, foot up, only two more moves to the end, but nobody but Dimitrii Sharafutdinov did them.
Triangle volumes up a slightly overhanging wall. Looked more doable than the others.
Men’s Semi Results
Sean won the last Bouldering World Cup in Log Dragomer, and he looks to be in good position again here. Sean is 25 years old. Just behind him are familiar faces Jorg Verhoeven (27), then Kilian Fischhuber (29) and Guillaume Glairon Mondet (26) in a tie for 3rd. Rounding out men’s finals is the only man to climb semi 3, Dmitrii Sharafutdinov (26), and finally young German powerhouse Jan Hojer (21). It’s crazy how tries to bonus on 2 of the problems eked Jan ahead of Stefan Scarperi and Jakob Schubert for the last spot in finals.
Here are the rest of men’s semi results:
Looks like 1 and 3 were maybe a bit too hard, at least for most of the field. 2 and 4 perhaps too easy? Like the women’s, 2 problems seemed too easy, the other 2 too difficult. They got the 6 climber split, but it wasn’t pretty…
Finals start at noon!
Live feed and link here: Innsbruck – Finals Live Feed!
UPDATE - here’s a photo gallery from Team Slovenia with some great photos of the semi problems so you can see the holds better - Innsbruck WC
Semifinals is over, and I’ll have the results up soon. Finals will run starting around noon Boulder time. If you click the player below it will start a countdown timer until finals start. If it glitches just reload the page to watch the feed. To watch it full screen or on another screen, you can click the youtube icon and it will open it on youtube with more options.
Here’s the live feed (and live feed replay) for finals:
I’ll update with more info as I have it.
Semis run early Saturday morning. Here’s the Semis live feed (and live feed replay):
I’ll be watching it with you and most likely providing commentary of some form just after the round ends for those who can’t watch.
Finals later today!
These problems appeared to be Balance, Power, Power, Power.
Only Alex and Anna sent everything in Group A, and they are tied for 1st with 8 total attempts each. Alex took 5 tries on quali 1 (a mantle to stand-up on a slab) and then flashed the rest. Anna flashed 1 & 2, then took 3 tries each to send 3 and 4. Momoko Oda is just behind them with 3 flashes and a flash to bonus on problem 2, but she didn’t finish problem 2.
For Group B, Akiyo Noguchi looked casual, flashing the first 3 before taking 3 tries to send problem 4. Her score was the best of the round–4 tops in 6 goes, and she was one of only 3 Group B competitors to send all their qualis.
Just behind her was Shauna Coxsey, who flashed 1, 3, & 4, but epiced on 2 for a minute with 3 goes to bonus and 5 goes to top. She was the only person to flash Quali B4. Her score then is 4/8 just like Anna and Alex in Group A.
Third in Group B is Swiss climber Petra Klingler, who has been having an interesting season. She’s missed semis twice but made in in 1st place in Kitzbuhel, only to fall to 14th in semis and not make finals. In this quali she flashed the first 3, then took 6 tries to send problem 4, for a score of 4/9. Hopefully she has a successful semifinal as well.
I’d like to give some props to my friend Thomasina Pidgeon. Thomo is a Canadian climber, first famous from her ascent of the V10 Zero-Zero in Squamish in the early 2000s after only a couple of years of climbing, continually famous as the strongest female boulderer in Canada, who has sent many problems up to V12 outdoors and made many FFAs, and who is also the mother of a darling 6-year-old named Cedar. Two years ago around this time Thomo was sitting on my couch and we were watching the live feed of a bouldering World Cup.
“I want to do that.” She said.
“You should.” I said.
But she had some concerns. She isn’t a very dynamic climber. She’s not much of a plastic climber. She’s 10-20 years older than most of the competitors. She has a 6 year old daughter. Traveling to these comps is expensive, and there is no federation support. She has no trainer or physio. She doesn’t have much comp experience. Etc…etc… She also has a reputation to uphold, especially in Canada, and as a somewhat mysterious strong female boulderer, it’s risky to go out on a world stage and possibly prove that notion wrong. However, other older female competitors, some with children, helped Thomo see that it would be possible. She understood that competing is a different animal than outdoor climbing, and that if she went out and tried hard and failed, that wouldn’t change her accomplishments or abilities as a climber. If anything, she figured, she would grow from the experience.
Despite the difficulties and the risks, she decided to go for it–to push herself in a new way, to try competing, on ropes and in bouldering–and see what happened. In 2012 she earned a spot on the National team and competed in the Vail World Cup, where she got 31st out of 41 women. Then she and Cedar got plane tickets to Europe, and off they went.
She’s not much of a rope climber, though she’s trying to learn that also. In July 2012 she competed in the Lead World Cup in Chamonix. She had a bit of a tweaked finger, and when things started to go south she grabbed a draw rather than hurt herself and took 55th. In Briancon she took 47th. In Imst in August she took 39th, and at the next event, a Bouldering World Cup in Munich, she took 35th. 47th in bouldering at the World Championships in Paris was her last event for the 2012 season. In 2013 she’s done as many Bouldering World Cups as she can get to, with 40th in Millau, 51st in Kitzbuhel, 35th in Log Dragomer, and now 53rd in Innsbruck. She’s learning from each experience, and for all of us armchair World Cup viewers, her blog is well worth reading:
I’d like to say great job to Thomo for being so brave. The fact that she’s competing is super inspiring, and I hope she continues to compete, learn, and enjoy herself, and hopefully she’ll find her way into semifinals one of these days!
Women’s Quali Results
20 women are going to semis.
Full Women’s Quali Results
Re-watch the Live Feed
The set-up in Innsbruck is much like in Vail in that the wall is outdoors and covered by a giant tent. Also much like Vail, it rained during qualifiers, and as the first two men’s problems were not protected by the tent, they got wet. Climbing was first delayed, then suspended on those problems, and eventually they scrapped the results for problem 1, so all who’d climbed it did extra work for no gain, and all who didn’t, well, didn’t.
Men’s qualis ended up being scored on problems 2-5 for each quali group. I also wonder if the intermittent storms didn’t affect the climbing in other ways, as many problems were volume heavy and with the storm comes more humidity and probably less friction, especially on the volumes. In either case, here’re the top results of qualifiers. There were ties, so 22 men are advancing to semis.
The Austrians have new uniforms–teal/green tops for the men, pink for the women. As this is home ground, they had the most competitors, for the men they had 9, with 4 going to semis.
Interesting that Rustam Gelmanov was the only guy to flash every problem in his category. Maybe it’s his new haircut–a skullet with what appears to be a cross bleached into the middle of the back of it. I don’t think I have a good picture of it, but if you start the qualis live feed replay you’ll see it pretty much straight off as he stands in front of the camera before climbing problem 1. Maybe 10 minutes in?
In Category A, 4 men flashed everything. I watched Jan Hojer have a hard time on his problem 1, which was eventually cut anyways, but I guess he had a hard time throughout qualifiers. Still, he squeaked into semis, which is good enough. Out of the last six guys who made semis, 5 of them (all but Mauricio) have stood on the podium at a Bouldering World Cup. James Kassay of Australia, who was in finals (so top 6) at the last event in Log-Dragomer, is in 41st here, out of 69 male competitors. Just goes to show how hard these competitions can be. Conditions may have also played a part for at least some of these competitors.
Here are a couple of awesome moves I saw from the men. Sorry they are so small:
Full Quali Results