Welcome, athletes, to the hospitable climate of Canmore!
The world of bouldering turned its eyes on the mountain town for two days in May while the skies opened up and treated the playing grounds to a healthy helping of white, wet, slushy snow. You could almost feel the pain of the climbers as their white-knuckle grips slipped off the frozen surfaces of the (outdoor) manmade bouldering wall at Millennium Park. Being the best in the world, they managed to hang on.
Thankfully, there was a tent.
Canmore was the lucky host of the first-ever IFSC Bouldering World Cup to be held in Canada. Presented by the Alpine Club of Canada and Mountain Equipment Co-op, the May 27-28 event attracted 66 athletes from ten different nations and a slew of spectators donning down jackets and toques. The most clever spectators brought sleeping bags for blankets to fight off the winter chill, particularly during the Qualification Round as temperatures hovered around zero and the ground accumulated 3 inches of water in the standing area.
The skies opened the following day for the Semi-Final and Final events, finally giving the athletes and coaches a glimpse of the surrounding mountains. A large crowd showed some serious love to each other as they gathered tightly under the tent to cheer on the climbers. Athletes had only a few minutes to solve – and successfully climb – each “problem,” a.k.a. crimpy, overhanging routes that made the climbers look like superhero spider monkeys.
Let’s hope the event will be back, and Mother Nature can have another shot at giving the world of bouldering a warm(er) welcome.
View the results of the World Cup. *Spoiler Alert*Canada’s Sean McColl placed third!