Climbing Comp: A 50-ft Wall, Only Water Below to Catch Your Fall…

Last weekend in Park City, Utah, some of the best climbers in the world competed in an event unlike anything else in the sport.

The Psicobloc Masters Series was the first major deep-water soloing competition held in the U.S. Climbers competed head-to-head on identical routes up a 50-foot wall, no ropes or harnesses, just a massive swimming pool below to catch their fall.

Spectators packed the Utah Olympic Park to watch the first deep water soloing competition in the U.S.

I watched from the sidelines with 3,000+ spectators as the top names in the sport reached and climbed high overhead, often slipping to fall and splash into the deep water below.

Here’s a look at the event, likely the most spectator-friendly climbing comp ever held on American soil. —Amy Oberbroeckling

Big fall! 50-foot drop if you miss a hold

Planning a route before the men’s round starts

Two of the top climbers in the world duel it out to the top

A wee bit overhung…

Climber Chris Sharma is an organizer for the event as well as a competitor

Sasha DiGiulian tops out to take the win in the women’s category

—Photos by Mike Hill, courtesy of Prana.

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Amy Oberbroeckling, an Iowa native, joined GearJunkie out of college and brought a passion for endurance sports as well as a flawless record in arm wrestling matches against famous rock climbers. Find her biking, trail running, cross-country skiing, camping, or tipping back a cold IPA.