World Cup

Posted on 08. Jun, 2009 by in News

img_5724Tiffany Hensley in Vail.

The 2nd American World Cup has come to an end and it was an amazing weekend! I have been in Vail since last Sunday setting and forerunning as part of a five man crew which included Scott Mechler (of PCA fame), Chris Danielson, Kynan Waggoner and Head Setter Laurent Laporte from France. Laurent was an incredible addition to the team and it was great to get to know him over the past few days. He is 45 years old and has been climbing for a very long time. It came up that he made the first ascent of The Woman with a Hueco in Her Head V10 (which is one of the first V10s in Hueco) and the first V10 I flashed. His experience, enthusiasm, and ability shown brightly all week.

Lisa Rands and Sidney McNair trying hard in the qualifier.

The qualifying round was a great one and while the men’s problems were a bit on the easy side, it’s nice to get people up the wall, especially those that have flown around the world to be there. The women’s round was excellent and it seemed to get the entire comp. off to a great start.
After a nearly perfect qualifiying round, the stage was set for a dramatic day on Saturday.
For the men, defending champion Killian Fischuber was a clear favorite, although Rustam Gelmanov (who had won the last World Cup in Wien) Daniel Woods and Paul Robinson stood close.

img_5762Alex Johson on Women’s Final #2

For the women, defending champion Alex Johnson looked very strong in the qualifiying round but it’s hard to deny the stunning climbing of Anna Stohr and local favorite Alex Puccio.

img_5732There were thousands in attendance and it seems that almost everyone from Colorado came to join the party.

Each problem was set to test a different skill set. From Women’s Final #4, which was dynamic and powerful, to Men’s #3, a tenuous and difficult mantle which led to a wild sideways dyno.

The story for the women was Alex Puccio. “The Pooch” has legendary power but has often come up short under the pressure of intense competition. In the final round she was the first competitor out. She dominated, and although she qualified in 6th, she crushed Women’s Final #4, the only send of the problem, on her way to a convincing victory.

The men’s field had a few surprises, including Jonas Bauman and Kyle Owen. Kyle climbed amazingly in the qualifying round and has really stepped up his game in the last few comps. Unfortunately he couldn’t put it together in the final, and finished 5th. Paul Robinson looked a little flat, but hometown boy Daniel Woods used his incredible power to manage a second place finish. The true hero of the day was underdog Jonas Bauman of Germany who climbed flawlessly to his first World Cup victory.

img_5748 Jonas Bauman crushes Men’s #2 on his way to a World Cup victory for the Men.

It was an impressive victory. Unfortunately, the Russian powerhouse Rustam Gelmanov suffered a back injury after taking a huge fall on the final problem. Rustam was a monster on edges, and made a very impressive send of Men’s Quali #2. Hopefully he’ll have a speedy recovery.

All in all I had a great weekend. The competitors in both the Men’s and Women’s fields were split up very well in all of the rounds.


Men’s Final Results
1.Jonas Baumann
2.Daniel Woods
3.Kilian Fischhuber
4.Paul Robinson
5.Kyle Owen
6.Rustam Gelamanov

Women’s Final Results
1.Alex Puccio
2.Alex Johnson
3.Akiyo Noguchi
4.Anna Stöhr
5.Jain Kim
6.Natalija Gros

Jon Cardwell, who foreran all weekend, and was dubbed “La Machine” by General Laurent

10 Responses to “World Cup”

  1. EgP

    08. Jun, 2009

    What do you think about statements like this “The final result is once again up-side-down from the semifinal. 8a has mentioned this since 2007 and this clearly confirms that it is a big disadvantage to start last out”?


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  3. B3

    08. Jun, 2009

    I think 8a is trying to find some controversy. I’m not sure it clearly confirms anything. The scores were very spread out, all of the problems were sent, and there were clear winners. In the eyes of the routesetters, it was a successful comp.

  4. Brian

    08. Jun, 2009

    I am surprised that when I read about route setters there are never any females in the group. Does having men set for women ever create a problem? What do you think the reason is for the lack of women route setters?

  5. peter

    08. Jun, 2009

    As the old competition maxim goes: “on any given day…”

    8a’s remarks are useless, problems look beautiful as always. well done.

  6. Jon

    08. Jun, 2009

    Didn’t Fischhuber win last year? I don’t think Paul is the defending champion.

  7. B3

    09. Jun, 2009

    in response to Brian, this is a great question, and I don’t know if I have the answer. Here is my perspective, but i would love to hear from any female readers of this blog as to why there are so few women route setters.
    First of all, there are simply less women involved in climbing than men.
    Secondly, route setting is simply hard physical labor. Not that women aren’t capable, but for the most part jobs that are hard physically are dominated by men. Route setting seems no different.
    Thirdly, it is a huge advantage that I can climb on the problems I set. The strongest climbers in the competition climb V15 and I climb V13. It would take a girl that could climb V10 to be at a similar standard. Besides there being very few of those girls, most of them simply compete.
    This being said I have run across a number of women setters, including Molly Beard, who has been involved with USA climbing for a number of years, as has Jackie Hueftle of Boulder. I am sure there are others out there.
    One of the biggest challenges of setting is setting for climbers of different body types and strengths. We spend a lot of time thinking about how women climb, their strengths and weakness etc and how these factors will play out in the competition. It is a really interesting challenge and one that I have become more and more interested in the longer I set. As route setters we have the chance to challenge climbers to push their own ideas about movement. We often hear about “girl” problems and I think we work hard to shatter those ideas by setting campus problems, big dynos etc.

  8. liz h

    10. Jun, 2009

    sorry jamie, reason #2 above is invalid. your first and third reasons are totally legit, the first likely being the primary culprit (what proportion of male climbers would you say are qualified/certified route setters? now extrapolate that to females…).
    kudos for working to avoid stereotypical “girl” problems in these comps – the problems looked great across the board! fun and exciting!

  9. B3

    10. Jun, 2009

    Thanks Liz. I’m not sure why you think reason #2 is invalid. Across the board, in America, it would be hard to argue that jobs of a demanding physical nature are not dominated by men. I would love to see some statistics that show otherwise. It is certainly a whole other subject as to the implications of that, but I stand by the argument. I have found that every female setter I have worked with is fully capable to handle the work load, as I am sure all female construction/road/factory. etc workers are, however, for some reason, women do not seem to be attracted to these jobs.
    In the end, whether I am right or wrong, I think you and I agree. I would like to see more females involved in all aspects of climbing, as they not only can lead the way (Lynn Hill) but bring a new and interesting perspective that has perhaps stagnated under the dominance of men.

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