As the sun set this past Saturday, the air inside Inner Peaks buzzed with excitement. The show at the end of three months’ worth of bouldering competitions was about to begin. With the crowd gathered to watch Finals, the music pumping, and the competitors waiting in isolation it was hard to believe that just six months earlier the Trainwreck Tour was little more than an idea.
The namesake of the competition—Stephen ‘Trainwreck’ Meinhold—brought the idea of a three-part bouldering series with him when he returned to his hometown of Charlotte and took over as Head Routesetter here at Inner Peaks. It didn’t take long to get others onboard, and the 2014 Trainwreck Tour was born!
The train hit Iron Palm Bouldering in Asheville, NC just a few short months later on a cold and windy morning in early February. Over sixty competitors of all ages and backgrounds converged on the new bouldering facility. Iron Palm opened its doors for business in early November of 2013, and offers high quality terrain for fun and training. The psyche was palpable as the competitors fought for prizes and the possibility of a free pass into the Trainwreck Tour finals.
As the dust settled in Asheville, the series moved on with added momentum to Progression Climbing in Chapel Hill. It would be hard to get any newer than Progression—the Grand Opening was on March 1st, the same day as the second stop of the Trainwreck Tour. Despite being the Grand Opening, the team at Progression brought their A-game and put on a fantastic show with some spectacular boulder problems.
The last stop of the Tour was just two days ago, here at the Inner Peaks Climbing Center. The weather was beautiful and it was great to see competitors drift in early in the morning for the Open Category qualifiers. After the running order for Finals was established, the Open competitors left the building so that the Finals problems could be set. The afternoon session saw almost fifty Recreational and Intermediate Competitors testing their might and technique against fresh problems with the newest holds.
Then, after months of preparation, it was time for Finals. Competitors from all around the southeast faced off with $1,800 in cash on the line. In the women’s division it was an all-out battle, with the majority of the competitors flashing the first two problems. For the men, a huge dyno on the first problem threw some competitors, as did a difficult compression finish on the second problem. When all was said and done, Juliet Hammer and Jeremy Walton took 1st prize of $500.00 each in their respective divisions (see the chart below for a full list of the winners!).
In addition to the other winners, Inner Peaks would like to congratulate Joseph Whittlesey, Christy Kim, and Kirsten Dahlberg. Joseph and Christy were awarded Grassroots Athlete Sponsorship from Evolv, and Kirsten was awarded the same honor from Scarpa.
This event was an overwhelming success, and we at Inner Peaks have so many people to thank for it. For starters we’d like to give a huge shout-out to Iron Palm and Progression for hosting the first two stops of the Tour! In addition, a laundry list of big name sponsors (Evolv, Sterling Ropes, Scarpa, Clif Bar, 5.10, Petzl, Mountain Hardware, Organic Climbing, Black Diamond, Camp, Giddy, Red Bull, Asana, Kingdom Holds, Urban Plastix, Rock Candy Holds, and Escape Climbing) supplied prizes for winners, holds for the problems, and donations for the Carolina Climbers’ Coalition raffle. Speaking of the CCC raffle, this event was able to raise almost $900.00 in donations to support climbing access in the Carolinas! That leads us to our last round of thanks. Thank you to all of our competitors, spectators, and families from all around the southeast that came together to make this event so successful!
Check out the fantastic #Trainwrecktour Highlights video by Grace Jones.
We’ll see all of you at the next Trainwreck Tour!