Alex Puccio Wins Gold in Vail

American Alex Puccio Wins Gold in Bouldering World Cup

Alex Puccio won her second World Cup gold in Colorado this weekend, completing the final problem in one go.

Alex Puccio Wins Gold in Vail
Puccio sticking the final hold on the last problem; photo credit: Rick Lohre courtesy of the Vail Valley Foundation

Under the beating sun and with electronic music thumping, climbers scaled artificial holds in front of a packed crowd. The IFSC (International Federation of Sport Climbing) Bouldering World Cup took place this past weekend in Vail, Colo.

American climber Alex Puccio, 29, won gold in the women’s division after she climbed the final route on her first attempt. Second- and third-place climbers Miho Nonaka and Akiyo Noguchi, respectively, didn’t finish the final problem.

Puccio won her first World Cup gold in Vail nine years ago.

The IFSC Bouldering World Cup Vail event was one of many in the World Cup series. This September, Innsbruck, Austria, will host the biennial World Championships.

Bouldering World Cup: Puccio Wins Gold

Climbers attempted four routes of increasing difficulty during the final round. Each route tested the climbers’ abilities among a range of holds. Proficiency at slab, overhangs, and friction climbing, not to mention raw finger strength, is required to ascend the boulders.

On the first route, Puccio climbed the slab problem on her third attempt with 40 seconds left in the four-minute time limit.

The last route had two overhanging pinches that only Puccio could hold onto. Climbers then reached for a crimp before eventually jumping to a large hold.

Puccio was the last climber to attempt the route and needed to send it to win gold. You can watch her attempt on the last problem here (at 3:20:00).

In the men’s division, Rei Sugimoto from Japan won gold. American Sean Bailey and Tomoa Narasaki from Japan won silver and bronze, respectively.

IFSC Competition During GoPro Mountain Games

The bouldering stage was just one facet of the weekend’s events in Vail. The GoPro Mountain Games played host to mountain bike, kayak, dog jumping, disc golf, and slackline competitions, to name a few.

A unique feature of the GoPro Mountain Games, multiple events allowed for “citizen” entry, with non-professionals enlisting in the weekend’s competitions.

Learn more about the GoPro Mountain Games and see results from the competition here.

Nate Mitka

Midwest born, Nate Mitka is based in the GearJunkie Denver office. He is an advocate of all outdoor activities and has developed some habits, like running without headphones, eating raw vegetables, and fixing the chain on his ratty old bike.