A bolt of lightning struck as Jimmy Webb topped out over the pool, ending the 2015 Psicobloc Masters deep water soloing competition in Park City, Utah, several rounds early. Jimmy Webb and Charlotte Durif went home with gold.
Despite cold rain soaking the holds, the 32 competitors—16 men and 16 women—who made finals Friday night decided to continue the competition instead of postponing until the following morning. But after the first round of the men’s bracket, lightning brought the competition to a halt.
“We had lightning strikes within a mile of us, and the wall is basically a lightning rod,” Chris Sharma wrote on the Psicobloc Facebook page. “Far too dangerous with water and a ton of spectators.”
After waiting through 40 minutes of continued lightning strikes, the Psicobloc Masters team and the eight climbers left in the men’s round decided to end the competition that evening based on the results from the previous round of 16, since several athletes could not attend the next day.
Jimmy Webb earned first place by topped out the problem in round one the fastest. However, the 16 men in Finals split the $10,000 total prize money evenly.
Charlotte Durif of France won on the women’s side and took home the full $5,000 for first place; since, the women, who went first, were able to complete all of their Finals rounds before the lightning began.
“Climbing is an adventure, live events are an adventure, and Mother Nature is always going to have the final say in outdoor activities,” Sharma wrote on behalf of the Psicobloc Masters Team. “We are incredibly proud and inspired by the athletes for not only climbing so well but by the spirit in which they approached this event.”
Check back for a full list of results when they are released on the Psicobloc website.
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