The 2017 edition was a great success and perhaps the best show so far. To each his or her own of course, but we do our utmost to improve every year.
The line-up was spectacular and included:
Petra Klingler – World Champion,
Staša Gejo – European Champion, World Games Champion
Shauna Coxsey – World Cup Champion.
Add Fanny Gibert, Melissa Le Nevé and Katja Kadic and you realise that, until we have an Olympic Champion, it doesn’t get much better than that.
With the Batman & Robin of the climbing World, Liam Lonsdale & Alex Megos, as MC:s and David Höglund as DJ, the scene was set for a great evening.
Fanny Gibert took an early lead when she, in the third and last round, last athlete out, after a huge fight where she was just barely hanging on by the skin of her teeth and fingertips managed to grab the top. DAMN that was a crazy moment!
Through the next four problems the battle for victory stood between Shauna and Staša and in the end it was very close. So close, in fact, that it was a bit uncertain as to who had actually won. They both had the same amount of tops and zones but Shauna had a couple less attempts, which gave her the victory and with that eternal glory.
An interesting fact is that all five problems were done even though Shauna and Staša only did three and none of them did the first or the last.
Yeah, about that: Shauna was not quite content even though she had won as she hadn’t managed to do that last problem… But after a few extra post competition attempts with an absolutely ecstatic crowd lifting the roof as well as Shauna, she managed to do it!
Afterwards, in an email to Rock and Ice, she wrote:
“The La Sportiva Legends Only comp was absolutely incredible. The team behind the event did an excellent job. The wall looked amazing. The boulders were so good, perfectly varied in style to ensure we were tested in every way. Power, finesse, balance and grit were all required to top the blocks.”
During the thursday training sessions it looked like we got two strong candidates to become this years legend: Alex Megos and Chon Jongwon.
Alex looked really strong and secure and climbed all of the problems at least once, while Chon had some dificulties with the last (red) problem. He only stuck the crux move once and never send the problem. Kokoro Fuiji looked like a dark horse, even tough he only topped two of the problems during the training session.
Rustam Gelmanov struggled with finding solutions for a couple of the problems while Jimmy was inhibited a bit from a not fully healed finger injury.
The indications from the training session proved to be right on track. Alex and Chon both flashed the three first problem, and Kokoro was right behind them with two tries on the first problem, followed by two flashes.
The forth problem was crucial. Alex, who almost climbed it like a circle on Thursday, now wanted it a bit to much. A little to much pressure on the heel resulted in a slip. Somehow (to be honest, it looked impossible) he managed to hang on with only two fingers on a slopey list. He fought his way back upp and for a moment it looked like he was gonna send it. Unfortunately reality caught up to him on the second to last move.
Chon and Kokoro both cruised the problem, while Jimmy came close(r) (but no cigarr) then during the training.
The last problem, a minimalistic one on red crimps, would be the decisive one. If Chon would flash it he would win. But remember, he hade only done the crux move once during training, and it was a real low percentage move… He did the first move, matched on a ridiculously small crimp, squeezed in the fingers of the left hand in the seam between the wall-panels, placed his left foot out left and..slipped! It shouldn’t be possible to stay on the wall in that position, but somehow he controlled the swing and placed his foot back on the wall.
The rest of the moves he did with maximal concentration and managed to top the problem, and win the competition.
You could see the amount of happiness Chon felt when he stood on top of the wall, embracing the applause from the crowd. He’d dreamt of coming here just competing, and now he won!
Lead by Robert Rundin and Joakim Berglund, assisted by Stefan Eklund, Kilian Fischhuber and Sean McColl, we created five extraordinarily spectacular problems which the athletes had plenty of time to work on a couple of days prior to the event. The level of difficulty, ~8A+ – 8B+, way higher than in any other climbing competition.
That gave us two thing:
A really nice competition with some of the best problems we’ve seen to date
The opportunity for Adam Ondra to seriously crush it
Check out the Behind The Scenes video from Alvi Pakarinen to see what the athletes thought.