Psicocomp: The most spectacular climbing competition
Two climbers compete neck to neck on identical routes. The routes are hard but manageable for top athletes. There are no ropes, harnesses, and barely even clothes. The only gear that is absolutely mandatory for every one of them is a pair of climbing shoes and a chalk bag. At about 15 m height reaching for the last hold, one of them fails the move and falls. The sound of a splash in a 5m deep swimming pool is accompanied by the cheers of the crowd for the athlete who managed to climb the route. He stands atop the climbing wall, greets the crowd, and follows the first one into the pool jumping from his position.
Psicocomp is an unusual and spectacular climbing competition. Regular climbing comps have three disciplines – speed, lead, and boulder – and the discipline that challenges athletes with difficult climbs does not consider the speed of climbing. The rules here are different but much easier to comprehend and a lot more impressive to watch for the general public that doesn’t climb. Two people, same routes, direct eliminations, and a splash into the water to make it more attractive. The athlete who climbs to the top first wins. If neither makes it to the top, the one who gets farther is the one who wins the round.
The location is carefully chosen – in order to ensure the safety of the participants there has to be a very deep pool and the one at Olympic Park in Utah, USA serves the purpose ideally. Built for the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Utah Olympic Park is located in Park City, just 40 km east of Salt Lake City. The venue houses one of only four sliding tracks in North America, six Nordic ski jumps, and a multitude of adventure activities. Utah Olympic Park is a multi-use facility focused on developing and growing participation in winter sports in the state of Utah. The massive jumps can be used by free skiers and bikers to train their aerial tricks and safely fall into a pool (rather than a rocky cliff or a tree in the natural environment of the sports). The location proved to be the perfect one for one more activity above the water in the face of deep-water solo climbing.