Category Archives: Tour de Bloc

Tour de Bloc 10: Climber’s Rock

I typically have a little something to say about every climbing competition I shoot. This time around, though, I got to Climber’s Rock literally one minute before finals were to start. And, when I take photos, I never have to time to watch the climbers and enjoy the show. As you can see from the results, not all problems were topped, and that’s always a touch disappointing for the setters and the crowd, but the energy was high and there was a lot of excitement none-the-less! So without further ado, here are a few pictures from last weekend’s finals!

Women’s Finals:

  1. Marieta Akalski (2/2 & 4/5)
  2. Kerry Briggs (2/4 & 3/5)
  3. Bonnie de Bruijn (2/4 & 3/5)
  4. Holly Reid (1/3 & 4/6)
  5. Clarrie Lam (0/0 & 4/7)
  6. Kacy Wilson (0/0 & 1/1)

Men’s Finals:

  1. Dylan Barks (3/3 & 4/4)
  2. Jeremy Noring (2/3 & 3/8)
  3. Keith Mackay (1/1 & 3/4)
  4. Mathew Moreau (1/1 & 2/3)
  5. Carmen Ing (1/2 & 2/3)
  6. Florent Balsez (1/3 & 3/5)
  7. Dustin Kerr (1/3 & 3/5)
  8. Shaun Hunter (0/0 & 1/1)

Tour de Bloc 10: Altitude

This past weekend was the Altitude comp and although I wasn’t planning on going, I somehow ended up driving five hours to Gatineau! I always enjoy the comps at Altitude. I think it’s because the angles of the walls are very good for me, they use a lot of pinches holds, and there is a ton of room to warm up. The gym is really cool! On the other hand, I have always found it to be a difficult place to shoot photos. I think that between the color of the walls, and their strange angles and curvatures, it is pretty hard to get a good view of the climbers and the problems at the same time. This time around I decided to shoot from above, to change things up. It didn’t make it any easier to get the shots, but it was a lot of fun and a good challenge. I also wanted to take photos of the climber’s expression when climbing, instead of just showing the movements. I’m pretty pleased with the results (especially the one of Fred and Sebas on problem #5), i hope you enjoy them! Oh and congrats to Fred and Cloe to claiming the top spots at Altitude!

Women’s Finals:

  1. Cloe Legault (3/5 & 5/5)
  2. Katerine Martin (3/5 & 5/8)
  3. Ashley Veevers (2/2 & 5/7)
  4. Clarrie Lam (2/2 & 4/5)
  5. Emily Cornelisse (2/3 & 5/7)
  6. Holly Reid (2/5 & 4/5)
  7. Eve-Marie Landry (1/1 & 5/11)
  8. Elizabeth Maltais (1/1 & 4/5)

Men’s Finals:

  1. Fred Charron (2/3 & 3/7)
  2. Florent Balsez (2/7 & 3/11)
  3. Yves Gravelle (1/1 & 4/7)
  4. Sébastien Lazure (1/1 & 2/4)
  5. David Heerema (0/0 & 4/4)
  6. Shaun HUnter (0/0 & 2/7)
  7. Tony Berlier (0/0 & 1/1)
  8. Daniel Gingras (0/0 & 1/2)

Tour de Bloc 10: More photos from Allez Up

So, after trying to clean up my photography database a little bit (i.e. deleting a bunch of photos!), i found those four pictures from last tour de bloc’s comp at Allez Up. I thought I would share them. This set includes photos of the women’s winner, Elise Sethna, and some pics of Flo contorting his body like a mad men! By the way, if you haven’t seen my initial set of photos form the comp, check them out here: Tour de Bloc: Allez Up.

I wish I could go to the next Tour de Bloc event at Altitude, but someone else will have to share pictures aorund for those of us not going! Enjoy my last few pics from Allez Up’s awesome comp! Hard to believe, but my next comp will have to be in the new year, in 2013!!, at Climber’s Rock!

Tour de Bloc 10: Allez Up

Well, yesterday was the second eastern competition of the Tour de Bloc 10th season. It was a great show at the new Allez Up climbing gym. First of all, if you live in Montreal and you haven’t been to the new gym, you should definitely check it out. It is one of the nicest facilities I have seen in a long time, especially in Canada! Lots of space and light, great angles, and boulders that top out!

The comp itself ran really well. The problems were fun and varied and there was a great atmosphere. There were a lot of open competitors, though, so getting on the problems wasn’t as fast and easy as it might have been. The field was very competitive all around; in addition to the usual strong eastern crowd, there were a few surprise cameo appearances from Alberta and Nova Scotia, and there was an unprecedented showing of over 40 women open competitors. Finalists had to really work to earn their spot.

As usual, the team at Allez-Up put on a fantastic finals show, with dramatic lighting, good music and live video footage of the upstairs problems for the crowd downstairs! The problems were pretty tough for both the men and the women – a little bit too hard for the men actually (only 2 problems were topped, by winner Sebastien Lazure) – but the World Cup-inspired problems were as entertaining to watch as it was fun and challenging for the finalists to climb on. The race was a bit closer for the women. Elise and Melissa looked especially strong, sending all 4 problems (flashing 3/4), and Clarrie wasn’t far behind with her 3 top-outs. Hope you enjoy the photos!

Women’s Finals:

  1. Elise Sethna (4/5 & 4/5)
  2. Melissa Lacasse (4/5 & 4/6)
  3. Clarrie Lam (3/4 & 4/7)
  4. Marine Cusa (1/1 & 4/6)
  5. Kerry Briggs (1/2 & 4/5)
  6. Marieta Akalski (1/2 & 4/7)
  7. Bonnie de Bruijn (0/0 & 4/6)
  8. Cloe Legault (0/0 & 3/5)

Men’s Finals:

  1. Sébastien Lazure (2/6 & 3/4)
  2. Florent Balsez (0/0 & 4/9)
  3. John Bowles (0/0 & 4/10)
  4. Simon Villeneuve (0/0 & 4/10)
  5. David Heerema (0/0 & 3/5)
  6. Carl Desnoyers (0/0 & 3/6)
  7. Mark Button (0/0 & 2/2)
  8. Hans Christian Montenegro Bogoya (0/0 & 2/6)

Tour de Bloc 10: Joe Rockhead’s

It’s that time of year again…the time to start pulling on plastic! Once again, the Eastern portion of the tour de bloc season kicked off at Toronto’s Joe Rockhead’s and what a great show it was! The finals, set by a team led by Ayo, were intricate, beta-intensive, and mixed with different styles. And without any clear style advantage it was anybody’s comp to take. Congrats to Kerry for not only winning but being the only one to finish all four problems! Also, big congrats to Flo for winning the comp against a really strong field. Way to go buddy!

Here are the official final results:

Women’s Finals:

  1. Kerry Briggs (4/6 & 4/5)
  2. Iymma Lamarche (3/7 & 3/7)
  3. Emily Cornelisse (3/10 & 4/22)
  4. Bonnie de Bruijn (2/2 & 4/6)
  5. Marieta Akalski (2/3 & 3/5)
  6. Marine Cusa (2/8 & 3/12)
  7. Cloe Legault (1/1 & 2/3)
  8. Kacy Wilson (1/3 & 3/6)

Men’s Finals:

  1. Florent Balsez (2/2 & 3/3)
  2. Eric Sethna (2/4 & 4/9)
  3. Sébastien Lazure (2/8 & 4/19)
  4. Mathew Moreau (1/3 & 4/13)
  5. Fred Charron (1/4 & 1/3)
  6. Travis Van Ryn (1/6 & 3/11)
  7. Mark Button (1/6 & 2/13)
  8. Carl Desnoyers (0/0 & 1/3)

Hopefully this is a preview of the competitions to come this year. High energy and great problems for an amazing tenth season! Bring on the plastic!

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Tour de Bloc 9: Climber’s Rock

Last weekend’s Tour de Bloc was a lot of fun! It was also full of surprises. First of all, even though the field was super strong, two returning veterans of the Tour de bloc scene (Dave Voltan and Gary Posey) managed to clinch a spot in the finals, while one of my favourites and a regular finalist (Seb Lazure) just missed finals by 8 points. Matt Moreau is a new force in the Tour this year and he showed up and took 3rd place (eking out ahead of Eric Sethna by 2 attempts). In fact, the men’s final ranking was very close – and all about attempts. Fred Charron repeated his amazing performance at the last Tour de Bloc, finishing in 2nd place (1 attempt ahead of Matt). And, in a throw-back to the old days – Rockhead‘s team member and G6 representative Dave Voltan came out on top by finishing 3 final problems in only 4 attempts (one fewer than Fred)! Congrats buddy!

For the ladies, the field was also big (about 40 competitors!), including none other than Thomasina Pidgeon from out west and a whole group of super strong women! Every year the women’s field gets stronger and more impressive! Iyma Lamarche continues to impress on the Tour scene, taking her first win (yep, she beat Thomasina by 7 attempts). Way to go Iyma! Unfortunately, I didn’t get any decent pictures of the women’s finals :(.

Congrats to Voltan and Iyma for their amazing performance at the Climber’s Rock competition! Here are a few photos of the men’s finals!

Fred on problem #2 and #3.

Matt on problem #2.

Eric on problme #4.

Here are the official final results:

Women’s Finals:

  1. Iymma Lamarche (4/6 & 4/6)
  2. Thomasina Pidgeon (4/13 & 4/11)
  3. Kerry Briggs (3/5 & 4/7)
  4. Kacy Wilson (2/2 & 2/2)
  5. Marieta Akalski (2/4 & 3/5)
  6. Su En Neo (1/1 & 3/4)
  7. Amanda Berezowski (1/2 & 3/8)
  8. Kaska Kowalska (0/0 & 3/11)

Men’s Finals:

  1. Dave Voltan (3/4 & 3/4)
  2. Fred Charron (3/5 & 3/4)
  3. Mathew Moreau (3/6 & 4/5)
  4. Eric Sethna (3/6 & 4/7)
  5. Keith Mackay (3/6 & 3/6)
  6. John Bowles (3/8 & 4/12)
  7. Gary Posey (2/7 & 3/8)
  8. Jo Skopec (1/3 & 2/3)


A few more pics:

Tour de Bloc 9: Joe Rockhead’s

This past saturday was the first competition of the 9th Tour de Bloc season and the first thing I noticed was how big the women’s field was compared to other years (about 35 open competitors)! I found that to be a real good indicator of the tour’s success and the popularity of bouldering in Canada, which is exciting to witness.

This competition also proved to be interesting because there were so many new faces to the finals! My two favourite competitors to watch on Saturday were Kacy Wilson and Fred Charron. They both put up super impressive performances, gave it their all, and showed that they are real contenders for the number one spot. Also, I particularly enjoyed women’s and men’s 3rd problem, because of their very intricate beta reminiscing of the European-style problems we are used to seeing on the World Cup series (Thank you Tonde!). It’s unfortunate that no one could manage to finish men’s third problem, but great fun nonetheless!

Continue reading Tour de Bloc 9: Joe Rockhead’s

Tour de Bloc 9: Let the pulling begin!

Tour de bloc 9 begins this weekend at our favorite local gym: Joe Rockhead’s. Today, I was lucky enough to get a preview of the final problems for the comp this weekend. Brace yourselves! It really is looking like this competition will be one of the best we’ve seen out east! It surely will set the tone for the rest of this year’s tour de bloc. Hope you all can make it!!

As I promised many of you, here is a sneak peek of the finals problem:

Tour de Bloc 8: Nationals at Climber’s Rock

Once again, the culmination of the Tour de Bloc was held out here in the Toronto region. This time around Burlington gym Climber’s Rock was the host for the biggest climbing event in Canada (yet!)! This year’s field was very impressive and the largest ever for Nationals, including about 60 Men competitors and 31 Women open competitors! Because some strong Europeans and Americans showed up, they ended up taking 13 women and 14 men to the final round. Super strong field on both sides! Very impressive.

Check out my favourite photos of both days below (qualifiers and finals). You’ll find lots more photos of the Nationals on my flickr photostream. You can also visit the Tour de Bloc site or my flickr photostream for all my pictures of the Tour de Bloc 8 season.

Continue reading Tour de Bloc 8: Nationals at Climber’s Rock

Tour de Bloc 8: True North – Men Finals

This is my second installment of my True North pictures. Make sure you check out my first post with all the women finalists. Sorry for the late photos. I finally managed to upload them! Enjoy!

Like I said last week, the competition was pretty awesome to watch. Dustin did a great job at putting up spectacular problems and the crowd loved it! I personally can’t wait to see the nationals (unfortunately, i will miss the regionals!) coming up in April.

Check out my photos for the men finals below. You can also visit the Tour de Bloc site or my flickr photostream for more pictures.

Continue reading Tour de Bloc 8: True North – Men Finals