The format for the Psicobloc Masters Series is unlike anything else in climbing. The organization, which will hold its debut U.S. event in August, has a $20,000 prize purse.
Climber Chris Sharma is one of the main event organizers. He and a small group of people around the world known as deep-water soloists have for years used water as their crash pad.
Said Sharma, “For years we’ve talked about how this format will be the way of taking climbing to the mainstream. I’m really excited to be bringing this competition to Olympic Park.”
The venue, in Park City, Utah, is a 750,000-gallon freestyle aerial training pool at Utah Olympic Park. Skiers practice aerial tricks off jumps into the water. The structures will be converted to climbing walls for the August event.
The event, which is being promoted in association with the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show (held in Salt Lake City the same week) is open to the public for spectating. Qualifying rounds begin on July 28, with finals on August 2.
In addition to climbers reaching, slipping, and falling a long ways into water the event will include a ski jumping exhibition during the intermission periods.
About the name, in Spanish psicobloc means “crazy bouldering.” The company has organized events in Spain since 2011. The Park City event marks the first time competitive deep-water soloing will be hosted in the U.S.