BD athlete Chris Webb Parsons makes the finals at the Bouldering World Cup in Vail, Colorado
Black Diamond athlete Chris Webb Parsons had a big weekend at the Bouldering World Cup stop in Vail, Colorado, where he made the finals (becoming the first Australian to ever make the finals of a BWC). A big congratulations to Chris from all of us at BD! Below is the email Chris sent us after the weekend, which accurately captures the stress and success of World Cup competition.
From: chris webb parsons
Subject: Vail World Cup
Date: June 5, 2011 4:07:25 PM MDT
What a weekend. I'm now back in Boulder after competing in the Bouldering World Cup in Vail, USA. My goal this year has been to simply get a feel for competing, but after making the semifinals last week in Canada I knew I should set my sights a little higher. So when I arrived in Vail my first goal was to make semis again.
Vail is a super nice place and it feels like a beautiful little European village. The World cup in Vail is held in conjunction with Teva outdoor games which is a huge event with thousands of people in attendants. The games has all types of sports on show and climbing is the main attraction for the event. The comp started out on Friday with the qualifying rounds for both women and men.
In the Men's category there was just under 50 competitors and it was a heavily contested field. I was not feeling the best in the qualifying round and although I did not climb my best I still made it through to the semis—only 20 men progress through to the semis. Saturday was the day of the semis and the finals, so I had some time to rest recover and get a good night sleep. I woke up on the Saturday feeling much better than I did on Friday. The thing with Vail is that its at altitude and i was really effected by the altitude.
I headed out for the semi final round feeling really good and confident (confident being the number one thing you need to do well in these comps) I toped out on 2 out of 4 of the boulders in the semis and came very close to doing 3 but unfortunately dropped the last hold of the 4th problem. Turns out 2 out of 4 completed boulders was enough to qualify for the finals—MY FIRST FINALS. Only 6 men and 6 women go through to the finals and I was very very happy to be the first Australian to ever make it into the finals of a Bouldering World Cup. Alex made it into the finals, too, so it was smiles all round. I was sitting in 4th place going into the finals and I was on top of the world.
We had a few hours to rest before the finals started. We had some time to get some food, have a chill out and then it was time for us to head back into isolation. Back in Iso I was warming up and i was feeling a little tired, I just did not feel like i had my game about me but I was in the finals and I was going to give it all I had.
After a few hours in Iso we headed back to the competition wall and we were introduced one at a time to a roaring crowd of over 5000 people—it was crazy and very exciting. After the intro we headed back behind the wall and we all got ready to compete. I was still not feeling great but was determined to give it my all.
Climbing in front of so many people was really thrilling and I was proud to be wearing the Australian jersey.
I competed well but misread many of the boulders and I just did not have it in me this time round to end up on the podium for this comp. I ended up in 6th place in the finals. Alex ended up on the podium in second place and she climbed really really well. In the end, I am very happy with my efforts and I really hope this goes to show some more Australian climbers that they to can do well on an international level in these comps.