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7/18/14 – This August, The Psicobloc Masters Series will return to Park City, Utah. Psicobloc, organized by Chris Sharma, is America’s first-ever deep water solo competition (watch the 2013 highlight reel). Competitors face off, tournament style, to ascend an overhanging 50-foot wall above a 10-foot-deep pool. We awarded Psicobloc our 2013 Golden Piton award for breathing new life into the American climbing competition scene, drawing over 2,500 spectators out to watch the finals, and nearly 20,000 more from over 100 countries tuned in for the live stream.
Last year’s event caught the attention of the country’s best climbers, luring talent rarely seen in competition anymore, such as Lynn Hill, Tommy Caldwell, Dave Graham, and Sharma himself. This year’s roster is no less stacked. Sasha Digiulian and Jimmy Webb will return to defend their titles, facing stiff competition from the likes of Sharma, Delaney Miller, Daniel Woods, Alex Puccio, young super-crushers Ashima Shiraishi and Kai Lightner, and many more of today’s top climbing talent.
The inaugural event was invitation only for competitors, but this year will feature a qualifying round on August 6 at the Momentum climbing gym in Millcreek, Utah. Any climber can put their toprope skills to the test in hopes of advancing to the pool. The men’s route will be 5.13a and the women’s will be 5.12c. Four climbers of each gender will move on to the finals at the Utah Olympic Park.
“We are hoping some local climbers will make it through qualifiers and be able to compete against some of the worlds best,” said event representative Tim Akers.
Beyond the new qualifying round, the 2014 event will see the addition of a half-time show (TBD), more-accessible sponsor village, and general smoothing of the format. On the athlete’s side, there will be a better physical layout and hot tubs, similar to those used in diving competitions, to stay warm between rounds.
The Psicobloc Masters Series will take place on August 6 with qualifiers at the Momentum climbing gym in Millcreek. Placements will be held on August 7, and finals will be on August 8, both at the Utah Olympic Park. All events start at 6PM. Tickets for the finals start at $25 and can be bought here.
Want to try the wall yourself? Starting today, July 18, the pool will be open daily to daring climbers from 11 am to 6 pm, until August 24. A day pass will cost you $20, and give you access to eight routes, ranging from 5.9 to 5.13b. Setting was done by the crew at nearby Momentum Climbing. We recommend bringing plenty of old, dry climbing shoes.
For more info, check out psicocomp.com.