The 2014 CLIF Psicobloc Masters Series was full of intensity and pure flowing adrenaline through all of the competitors and the huge crowd. There was no shortage of hold-your-breath moments during the incredible climbing abilities of the finalists and plenty of wincing when one missed a hold and took a plunge into the pool below. But after all was said and done, Claire Buhrfeind came on top for the women and Sean McColl was the reigning champion for the men.
The 50+ foot wall saw more finalists completing it this year than last year’s Psicobloc. There was a great mixture of seasoned elite climbers along with some fresh new crushers that have already received a place among the elites with their climbing accomplishments. Ashima Shiraishi was one of the young ones (new to Psicobloc but already a veteran of climbing) at only age 13 that wowed the crowd with her outstanding stamina on the behemoth of a wall. Kai Lightner, age 14 (almost 15), was also one of the younger finalists that, even though did not advance to the second round, proved he had the gusto and technical abilities to finish the wall.
One of the greatest moments was when the only two women that have climbed V14 bouldering problems went head-to-head to see who would advance to the next round. Ashima Shiraishi and Alex Puccio raced up the wall, and the cheers were loud as both ladies held dynos that had them swinging in midair. In the end, Alex Puccio advanced to the next round.
Sasha DiGiulian, last year’s champion for the ladies, made it to the second round but was beat out by Delaney Miller who went against Claire Bhurfeind in the final round. It was an extremely close race between Claire and Delaney, but 16-year-old Claire Bhurfeind victoriously reached the top first.
The men’s competition went even quicker with the crazy speed of some of the finalists namely Sean McColl when he breezed up the wall in just 42 seconds. The route for the men was a bit more dynamic than the women’s, and there were plenty of times when the climbers were neck and neck. The third men’s round was probably one of the crazier rounds with Sean McColl up against Chris Sharma and Daniel Woods against Carlo Traversi. All four professional climbers were more than determined to beat out the other. These powerhouses sped up the Psicobloc wall like it was nothing but maybe a 5.7 climb, but Sean McColl and Daniel Woods triumphed and went to the final round.
The men’s final round, by far, brought the most psych to the crowd. Daniel Woods and Sean McColl were literally side-by-side for most of the climb up, making one powerful move after another, but in the end, McColl was the one with the extra bit of fire that pushed him to the top.
With another Psicobloc Masters Series come and gone, you can guarantee the crowd was yearning for more. It’ll be interesting to see what remarkable talent will take on the next Psicocomp. Until then, congratulations to the winners of the 2014 CLIF Bar Psicobloc Masters Series!
1. Sean McColl
2. Daniel Woods
1. Claire Bhurfeind
2. Delaney Miller