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    Notes and advice from Sean McColl.

Log-Dragomer WC 2012

Sometimes I like to blog just after a competition and sometimes I like to wait a few days. It’s also always nice to have a few pictures to grab to add to the post as I find it uncontrollably hard to take pictures while competing… This time, I’ve waited a few days before recapping on how the World Cup went in Log-Dragomer, Slovenia. [singlepic id=347 w=500 h=300 float=center]   If you didn’t know how I finished, I ended up 15th after having a pretty hard semi-final round. I rolled into Slovenia Thursday after taking a flight to Venice, a train go Gorizia and getting picked up by Klemen Becan from Slovenia. I spent most of Friday just relaxing, playing games, surfing the internet and checking flight costs. It was a pretty uneventful day although I was mainly just resting for the Saturday qualifiers. Qualifiers rolled around and I was 6th out. We went to isolation, had some coffee, warmed up and before I knew it I was out on my first boulder. To sum up the qualification round, I find it a bit strange. Qualification
  1. The first was a super awkward jump that I still managed to flash but shaking my head as I was heading back to isolation.
  2. The second was way too crimpy to be any good and I kind of missed a side wall stem so I actually didn’t do this one.
  3. Third was crazy reachy and it took me 3 tries just to do the first 3 moves. I managed to get up to the zone, and the last move was a sort of blind dyno around a huge spherical feature. I snagged the final hold, controlled the swing and was 2/3 in qualifiers.
  4. I came out for the 4th feeling psyched and consequently flashed that problem. It was only 4 moves, but I managed to stay on the problem for probably a minute…
  5. The last problem was very straight forward and hard. It had pretty high feet, but perfect for me. I flashed to the second to last move when I was reaching far right. My foot popped and I fell. I rested until 2 minutes left and did the boulder second try.
To the right is a shot of me on Q3.
[singlepic id=345 w=300 h=440 float=right] Qualifications total went 4 tops in 7 tries and 5 bonus in 7 as well. I felt like I had climbed well, except the number 2 in which I just should’ve been able to do. I figured it’d be good enough for semis, but you never really know. An hour later, I was in third place with no one else extremely strong showing any signs of doing more then 2-3 boulders. Keep in mind that the climbers with the highest world ranking go first, so it’s usually unlikely that a climber that is late in the running order makes semi-finals. This ranking system gets a bit skewed when climbers like Jakob Schubert and Jorg Verhoeven climb in boulder as they don’t have a high or any world ranking thus they climb later in the running order. Because the groups are also split in half with top 10 making semi-finals, it kind of screws up that system as well. You just hope that the random climbers will also get split evenly!
There was a good few hours before the girls went and I went back to Klemen’s house to chill. We were lazy and because of the live stream, we didn’t have to leave the comfort of our own living room to watch the comp. As it was a 20-30 minute drive, and qualifiers are usually pretty boring for the women, we decided to just watch the live stream instead of driving. The girls qualifiers was pretty standard, no one didn’t make semis that should’ve and everything was pretty normal. Onto Sunday, semi and finals. Another standard morning including a bit of food, warming up and coffee… A couple hours later, I’m running out to my first boulder in semi-finals and feeling super excited. Semi-Finals
  1. First boulder was easy, maybe too easy. I flashed it, felt good and walked calmly back behind the wall.
  2. Second boulder was much hard. First two moves to bonus took me 3 tries, although I think I should’ve done it first try. After you get bonus, it’s kind of weird climbing on volumes. Usually I’m really strong on these types of boulders, but I just couldn’t put it together… I fell a couple times on the last hard move, but had to move on.
  3. Third boulder was pretty ridiculous, and of course I’m going to b*tch about the fact that if you’re taller, the problem (in my opinion…) was much easier. So here’s me complaining. The boulder revolved around keeping your feet low, then holding onto small volumes and jumping into the death star from Star Wars. The problem looked awesome, and I’m strong at compression, but after flashing to just before the jump to the Death Star, I was pretty unmotivated. I didn’t even come closer to touching the Death Star… I then spent 3 minutes trying to do the first move because the foot was super low. My last try, I made it up to where I fell again. I changed around my method to see if something could click, but it didn’t. NEXT
  4. The fourth and last problem was equally dumb as it was a dyno straight out a roof into a jug. An added note is that if you’re tall, it’s not a jump, just a span. The hold you’re jumping from was very good, and the victory jug, was well a victory jug! Once you did the dyno, it was easy to the top… I bet me trying this jump was probably pretty funny to the crowd as I was taking some epic falls on the jump. First try, smash my face on the pad… Second, third, fourth, who knows? I just remember hitting the pads very hard every time, bouncing off them, then pacing around the mats trying to walk it off… Fifth and last try, stuck the dyno and top the problem. I was so relieved, happy. I screamed at the top of my lungs as I top the problem and feel a great sense of accomplishment.
[singlepic id=346 w=320 h=420 float=left] For a sense of the 4th boulder, here is Austrian Lukas Ennemoser (about same height as me) struggling with the dyno. He completed the dyno as well after a few flailing attempts I only imagine.
In total, my semis were 2 tops in 6 tries and 4 bonuses in 10. I doubted it was enough for finals, but I was pretty happy with my performance. The only problem I felt I could’ve actually done was number 2… and maybe the last in fewer tries. As it turns out, you needed 3 problems straight up… or 2 flash and 4 bonus flash. I finished 15th because of the number of tries on 4. Contrary to what most people thought, I was pretty happy with my result considering the problems. Yeah, I’m complaining pretty hard on some of the problems, but I wasn’t the only one… Take one of the girl’s semi-final problems. It was a downwards / sideways jump from one side wall to another. Because of the lack of feet, they had to just jump and do a giant belly flop against the opposite wall. I only saw 2 girls do the dyno, but it looked like one of the most awkward moves I’ve seen in competition. On top of it all, it’s not even allowed according to the rules. In the rules, it states that there may NOT be any downwards jumps in competition. The routes setters said they knew it would be controversial, but still wanted to try it…. Ludicrous…. After the bad problem and me not making semis, there was a finals… heh. It was awesome to watch and came down to the wire for the men. In the women, Mina Markovic flashed all 4 finals problems are secured her victory. Full results for men can be foud HERE, and women can be found HERE. So that sums up my first world cup of the season. When I look at my result, I’m not overly happy, but I find I made a few errors, but still did lots of hard moves. If it was point per hold, I think I would’ve been in finals… It’s not, and I wasn’t in finals, but it’s still something to think about. I know sometimes I complain, but once it’s in my post, I tend to forget about it. Probably a good thing, so I just write it down 🙂 Onto the next competition in Vienna this next weekend! I’m currently on the train to Zurich to do a photo-shoot for Mammut. I can’t tell you how fun/crazy/good it feels to say that. It seems like something out a movie…I’m also meeting another photographer to get some really cool artistic shots done. I can’t tell you any more than that other than I’ve seen a rough sketch and I think it’ll be pretty cool! Just wait and see! It also revolves around one of my favourite concepts. When I get back from Zurich, I’ll be heading to Vienna for the World Cup there. Second one of the season and I feel my surge for bouldering world cups again. I still love competing and being going out to a boulder, I try to think of that. Bouldering, Lead climbing, I just love being in a competition and trying as hard as I can. When I do well, or top a route, I can feel it paying off and it gives instant gratification. Check back in next week for the recap of Vienna. The two competition photo’s in this post were taken by Austrian Team Manager Heiko Wilhelm

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