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    Notes and advice from Sean McColl.

Balearic Mallorca Masters

I had the recent privilege to go down to Mallorca for the first time in my life. Climbing Dyreco and Balearic were hosting a competition on this lovely island and I got invited along with some other strong climbers. The main organizer and the person who put the whole thing together was Toni Marcelo. It was also not possible with Climbing Dyreco and Mammut Spain. For those of you who don’t know, Mallorca was the epicentre for deep water soloing. This photo was on our first day, with Sasha Diguilian just below getting ready to follow! [singlepic id=395 w=426 h=640 float=center]   Going a bit deeper, deep water soloing (DWS) is where you climb routes over water with no protection. If you fall, you fall into the water and swim to a place where you can climb out. [singlepic id=388 w=400 h=300 float=left] At first, I wasn’t sure what I was going to think about DWS. I figured because I loved cliff jumping, and climbing that it would feel good. I also knew that I’d be uncomfortable falling from over 10m when first starting. I though this because I’ve fallen pretty hard on back after trying to do a backflip off a 10m rope swing, over-rotating and landing on my back… OUCH. So my first time DWS was crazy, and I’ll admit it was pretty scary. I down climbed some random thing, traversed sideways and went up a 6c (5.10) or something. It was scary though. I was also told a bit later that the seas were really crazy right now. The waves coming into the beach were 1.5m (5 feet) high and there were even surfers there catching them pretty well. [singlepic id=396 w=480 h=320 float=center]   [singlepic id=389 w=480 h=320 float=left] Well this blog post isn’t about DWS, but it was a pretty cool experience. As I said, I was invited to a competition there which was on Saturday and Sunday. It was an outdoor competition on artificial walls which meant the sun was going to play a huge factor. Qualifiers were on Saturday morning, and there were only around 20 male competitors. With 16 people making semi-finals, I knew that I was going to be able to do all the problems pretty quickly. It was just a small scramble format with 5 boulders for the men and women. Some of our boulders were even for the women as well! I managed to flash 4 of them, and only fell once. There was a tricky move on Q4 to hit the inside of a 3 finger pocket. I completely missed it and fell. My second try, I hit it square and topped it. Another few guys did all 5 boulders and I think you only had to complete 3 to make it to the next round. [singlepic id=393 w=480 h=320 float=right] The semi-finals were crazy… They started around 10am on the Sunday so we were up pretty earlier getting ourselves to the venue. All in all, the semi-final boulders were crazyyyy hard. It was standard world cup format with 5 minutes on, 5 minutes off. After topping all 5 in qualifiers, this round was completely different. I managed to top 0 boulders, yet still advance. Out of the 4 boulders, I managed 3 zones flash… good enough for 5th place going into finals. I was pretty rattled by this little experience to say the least. The problem I think was the heat, the first boulder was possible, but the last foothold was way too small and with the heat, you’d just slip right off. The second boulder only 1 competitor did it, and I still don’t even know how. [singlepic id=394 w=320 h=240 float=left] The 3rd boulder was a dyno around a corner to two of the same holds. The problem was actually getting up high enough for the good part, which I wasn’t tall enough to do. They told me that after the first initial dyno, the rest was easy. Of the 4 people in front me; they all did boulder number 3. The last boulder was impossible as well. Out of everyone that made semi-finals, me and one other guy managed to get bonus. From there, you had to make a hard move up to a small crimp, although they blocked the top of the hold, so you had to be like 95% accurate to even have a chance to stick it… Like I said before, pretty impossible. I was rattled and walked back to the hotel fuming. I was still in finals, but I really don’t like when I climb poorly, and I did climb pretty bad. I knew I’d have to turn it around for finals. [singlepic id=386 w=480 h=320 float=center]   Finals were later that night, and started at 8pm. The finals were much much better and the problems were great. The first one was a standard slab mantle thing. I managed to flash it and I think all but 1 managed to complete it. The second boulder was for sure the hardest and I was the only one to complete it. It had a very hard move up to the bonus hold, and an even harder finish. [singlepic id=390 w=380 h=240 float=left] I managed to get my heel up super high, cross to the top crimp and match before going up to the finish. When I topped it, I knew there were a bunch of people behind me, and I figured it would put a bit of added pressure. When no one else completed the problem, I knew I was in a good position for the podium or maybe the win? [singlepic id=392 w=480 h=320 float=center]   The third boulder was the easiest and if you didn’t slip off the first two moves, you sent the problem. Everyone sent it first or second go. This left the final problem. I was 3 for 3 going in and I knew if I flashed bonus, I’d win. The first move however was a somewhat blind dyno into a jug. The first climber that went out flashed the problem, so I knew it was possible. [singlepic id=384 w=320 h=240 float=left] I ran out, stuck the dyno and topped the problem. The rest of the problem was hard as well, but I figured out a good way to do it, and my feet stayed on for the last hard move. I knew I had won after flashing all the final boulders. I turned around, gave a fist pumped and waved. As I jumped down, I couldn’t even remember the semi-final round that had given me so much trouble. Although first place was secured, 2nd and 3rd were still up for grabs. At the end of the problem, Spanish climber Ignacio and Austrian climber Guntram Jorg were 2nd and 3rd respectively. The Mammut logo volume in the picture just below was a new design by Psyco Art Holds. They also have another website that can be found here. [singlepic id=385 w=480 h=320 float=center]   On the women’s side, things got spicy until the very last attempt of the last problem. After the dust had settled, Sasha DiGuilian had won by 1 zone attempt with Berta Martín from Spain in 2nd and Courtney Sanders coming 3rd! Congratulations girls! [singlepic id=387 w=480 h=320 float=center]  

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Comments (5)

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    Unai

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    Hey Sean, the spanish climber, the second, is Berta Martín, a very strong climber. She deserves a mention hey.

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      Sean McColl

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      Ahh thank you! I couldn’t find official results anywhere and had forgotten her name. Added it!!

      Reply

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