Canadian Nationals, May 18, 2008

Sunday May 18, 2008 

The energy was high for Sunday, starting with the
citizen's scramble competition. The qualifying
problems were left up from the day before so anyone
not qualifying for finals had the opportunity to
participate in the scramble comp and try those
problems again. There were over 100 competitors
competing and as opposed to the pressure of
qualifiers, the scramble was more like a session
with friends.

There were 41 problems and my goal was to flash
as many new problems as I could before re-attempting
any of the qualifying problems. I started out well,
but hit my flash limit pretty quickly. I wasn't too
worried about 'placing,' but I still wanted
to do well. I especially wanted to know if I could
do problem # 1 from the day before. Mentally, I had
been wondering if I was cut out to compete at this
level…perhaps the results from the day before were
the result of this.  I was happy not to
approach the women's qualifying problems right away
because I was sure I'd get shut down and I was
already feeling incompetent so I worked the best I
could on other problems, first. When I came back to
the women's problems, particularly women's #1, I was
happy to 'flash' it that day. There was no new trick
or anything to the problem. I just had the power to
pull it off. I was pleasantly surprised.  By
the end of the scramble, I was making moves I should
have been making the day before. This experience
showed me that I was capable of competing at this
level and that I could have done better. Now, I
reflect on what I could have done better to change
the results and hope that Teva games will go better.

There was a BBQ after the scramble competition and
before Finals.  I was getting excited for
Finals…some of my friends and Mike were competing. 
The final problems looked amazing! My hands were
sweating and my voice went hoarse by the end of the
night. Afterall, I many people to cheer for!

All photos from here out are from

Knut Rokne

The format for Finals was similar to Western
except the competitors had 10 minutes to preview 5
problems, 2 minutes a problem. Then, 1 male
competitor and 1 female competitor would come out
for problem #1 and they would have 4 minutes to try
the problem. If they flashed the problem, the 2nd
person in the wing would be up right away. If they
were close to the 4 minute mark by seconds, they
could jump on the problem and try the problem until
they either topped or came off. There was no hard
stop at 4 minutes, unlike qualifiers, see earlier

ran finals in reverse qualifying order. Women's
problem #1 was a mantel start with some super thin
traversing and a dynamic finish. Men's problem 1 was
a jump start with a core tension move to set up to a
jump on the sidewall, here Nate has just set up the
starting moves. The start 'box' was taped on the
floor with a big smiley in it. 🙂  In the
background, you can see Sarah Austin setting up the
mantle on women's problem #1.  In the Right
photo, Mike Doyle tries to stay tight on the holds.
Sean McColl actually took 3 tries to stick the first
hold but then topped the problem on that 3rd
attempt. I don't think I'd ever seen that happen to
him before. 🙂

Women's problem #2 saw one flash, by Thirza
Carpenter. Pat Valady come out of ISO super strong
and pulled out a top on Men's #2 his 2nd atttempt.
It would take a few more men before we would see
more tops on that problem. In this photo of Pat, you
can see some of the holds on women's problem #1. The
finishing hold is missing in this picture.


Here's a really good picture of women's problem #3.
I don't recall too much from this problem. Sarah
Austin was the first woman to stick the bonus hold.
I believe Vicki, Erin-Ford and Thirza all topped it,
but there may have been more. There was a problem
with the start, where at least 2 girls were called
on a foul for not starting with both feet in the

Men's problem 3 was powerful. Sean McColl dominated
it, though the Red Stallion (aka Marshal German)
gave us a good show nearly sticking the top!

Problem #4 for the women looked amazing! The sweat
was pooling in my hands…what

woudn't give to have tried these problems! 
Thirza was the only one to top this problem, as
well. Vicki and Sarah were super close. In this
photo, Kerry Briggs from Toronto is giving it her
best shot. It was the next move that was spitting
everyone off.

This photo shows you Pat on men's problem 4, Sean
dominated this problem though several other men very
nearly stuck the last move. The photo also shows you
women's problem #5, which Vicki, Thirza and
Erin-Ford each topped. Many women found trouble with
sticking and controlling the bonus hold. Poor Katie
Mah had trouble getting beyond the first 2 moves
because of her height. 😦

is Dan Amal winding up for the throw on men's
problem #5. Yes, I stole the caption from Knut's
flickr site. 😛  Sean dominated this problem
and won the comp, winning his 3rd straight title.
Thirza took home her first National win.

With over 300 spectators and over 100 competitors,
the event was quite the show. Energy was high and I
really had a good time. Good job to all of the
setters. The problems provided really good
separation and I, personally, found them pretty fun.

For more information on the competition, check out
the following sites:

Tour de Bloc

About Audrey Sniezek

Audrey Sniezek is a rock climbing athlete and computer software/technology enthusiast.
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