Elite climbers descend on Beaver Creek | VailDaily.com

Elite climbers descend on Beaver Creek

David L'Heureux

BEAVER CREEK – The world’s best rock climbers showed up in Beaver Creek, Colorado this weekend to compete in the 2003 Ford Adventure Sport Challenge bouldering event.

Spectators would not be disappointed as the laws of gravity were thrown out the window Sunday. The top-eight men and women remaining from Friday and Saturday’s qualifying heats would duke it out for thousands in cash and prizes.

The women’s competition ended in a tie for first between two young, rising stars in the world of bouldering. Thirteen-year old Meagan Martin, from Florida, and 14-old Alex Johnson, from Wisconsin, dominated the competition by successfully reaching the top, or sending, all three of the routes laid out for the finals. The two split $5,700 for their afternoon’s work.

“It was fun to win with Meagan,” said Johnson. “We are friends, so neither one of us wanted the other to not win.”

Competitors received two minutes on each of the routes, which were laid out on a mushroom-shaped climbing wall consisting of large overhangs and a variety of different hand and toe holds. They were also faced with rising afternoon temperatures which visibly tapped the physical reserves of all the climbers.

“It was hot today,” said Martin. “The problems they set up for us were fun though, especially the dyno-climbing portions.”

Pam Winberg of Boulder came in third and received a check for $1,350.

The men’s side of the competition provided more excitement for the crowd of nearly 500. Attempting to solve some ridiculously challenging problems proved to be more than many of the men could handle. Nels Rosaasen from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, completed all three of the routes, a feat no other climber would achieve.

“I wasn’t sure I would be able to send all three routes,” said Rosaasen. “But, when you are having a good day, you feel like you’re floating. That’s how it should be when you’re climbing. That’s how I felt today.”

Rosaasen would take home $5,000 for the win, while Steven Jeffrey of Utah, and Maryland-native Matt Bosley won $3,000, and $1,500, taking second and third, respectively.

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