IFSC Lead Climbing World Cup Finals
September 30th, 2012 – Personally the most inspirational day for rock climbing since the day I started (fall 2009). It’s always pretty inspiring watching someone better than you at anything. I’ve climbed with top climbers from Mexico, Bulgaria, Korea, and the US on separate occasions – and those days peaked the ‘getting psyched’ energy level for me. Oh, keep in mind that ‘climbed with’ usually means attempting stuff they climb, talking with them afterwards, asking questions, learning from them… basically anything that involves getting in their way and distracting them from their workout. Anyway, this was a special day because it wasn’t just one pro climber to watch and learn from – it was the top 8 guys and 8 girls from around the world. Luckily, I picked a pretty awesome seat for me and my friends and got the finals lineup all in one shot.
Yeah. Pretty lucky considering I chose the seat so we wouldn’t break our necks. I saw the opportunity, took the shot, then sat back down. Then it hit me. This wasn’t just another “Oh that’s cool. I should take a picture. *CLICK*”
So much greatness in one picture. The top 5 world-ranked competition sport climbers for both guys and girls are all in this picture. Rankings def don’t lie – each of the top 5 guys and girls landed a finals spot of the 8 available. OK – I thought it was cool…
But what it really made me realize is how balanced rock climbing really is. (We) shorter people always complain about our disadvantage and good we’d be if we were 4 inches taller. Just look at the size differences in the picture – the taller climbers make the shortest ones look like children. As a size reference: the shortest guy, Ramón Julián Puigblanque, is 5’2.5”; the girl in yellow, Jain Kim, is 4’10”. Oh yeah – they both got first place in this competition.
There is no optimal size – Ramón crushes his 6 ft competitors all the time. There is no optimal age – it has been said that mid 20s are a climbers peak ages but ages from the finals alone ranged from 18 to 31 (Ramón). Ape index is said to be an advantage but Adam Ondra, top boulderer and sport climber in the world, has a negative ape index. There truly are no barriers in rock climbing – embrace your body, your dimensions, and just climb.