Little in this Universe is more gratifying than to watch your labors blossom into fruits, and then marvel as others turn them into something even better. That’s what happened when we in NRAC gazed on in wonder as volunteers, athletes, sponsors, spectators, representatives of the US Army Corps of Engineers at Summersville Lake, rescue divers, medical personnel, and a whole film production team converged on the lake Tuesday, August 23, 2016 for PsicoRoc, the first deep-water-solo climbing competition ever to be held on real stone in America. Did you miss it? No problem.
(Stay tuned. In coming months, we’ll have a longer version that tells the story behind the most unusual competition in American climbing history.)
We couldn’t have asked for better weather, higher psych or a more exciting finish, as Mammut climber, Sean McColl, dead pointed his way to glory, bagging the FA of a new ±13d variation—ropeless, 55 feet above the water, on the last move of the last burn of the last route of the day.
It wasn’t until the sun had long since set, that we began to process what just happened. Here’s PsicoRoc by the numbers.
2640: the estimated number of vertical feet PsicoRoc competitors climbed collectively.
1280: the estimated number of vertical feet PsicoRoc competitors plummeted collectively.
1: the number of PsicoRoc Summersville events there will likely ever be. (Hey, at least you can watch the highlight reel over and over.)
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of our sponsors: Water Stone Outdoors, Evolv, FiveTen, Philly Rock Gyms, Scarpa, Black Diamond, Mammut, La Sportiva, Petzl, New River Mountain Guides, Adventures on the Gorge, ACE Adventure Resort, Opossum Creek Retreat, Vertical Medicine Resources and Brooks Wentzel at Yoidles Productions, which made our wonderfully weird and artistic trophies. Please go patronize those businesses right now.
Thank you also to PsicoBloc Masters and Mike Call, without whom we wouldn’t even have a name. Thank you to the production crew, especially Tara Kerzhner, Jake Slaney and Kevin Riley, who pulled off Herculean shooting and/or editing efforts. And thank you especially to the US Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District, which actually gave us a permit for this crap—especially Kevin Brown and Toby Woods for their patience, unflagging support and sense of humor. At any other time, deep water soloing and cliff jumping are illegal on Summersville Lake.