Tag Archives: Margo Hayes

Why Americans Don’t Care About the Climbing World Cup

world cup 2016

The 2016 Overall World Cup bouldering podium: Shauna Coxsey of Great Britain, Miho Nonaka of Japan, and Melissa Le Neve of France. Photo by Liam Lonsdale via Shauna’s IG.

Every year the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) hosts a series competitions in each discipline of climbing: bouldering, sport, and speed. This year the bouldering World Cup series has come and gone, and now the sport climbing World Cup series is underway. Did you even notice? Okay, maybe you noticed, but how many comps did you watch? How many did you care about? For most of us, at least Americans, the answer sounds something like “Not many”, “Zero”, or “Huh? You mean that Euro comp?” Having covered each Bouldering World Cup competition this season on Crux Crush, we also noticed that very few of you read, commented on, or shared these posts. I’m not calling you out here, I’m just saying that we, as Americans, don’t seem to care.

There are really two sides of the not-caring-equation: the competitors and the spectators. Each side isn’t getting into it for different, but related reasons. To dig into the issues surrounding the World Cup we caught up with a bunch of American climbers who have competed in the series, including Megan Mascarenas, Margo Hayes, Ben Hanna, Sierra Blair-Coyle, Michaela Kiersch, and Josh Larson. Here’s what we found out.

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Girl Crush of the Month: Margo Hayes

At age 17, Margo Hayes exudes a maturity beyond her years. Photo credit: Bruce Wilson

At age 18, Margo Hayes exudes a maturity beyond her years. Photo credit: Bruce Wilson

Maturity tends to come with age. Having just turned 18,  Margo Hayes, defies this belief in both her climbing and perspective. Not only has she podiumed in 11 different national and world youth sport climbing championships, five different bouldering climbing championships, but she has also climbed six 5.14 routes and three V11s. As Margo told Crux Crush, “I really like the ever-changing aspect of rock climbing. The learning curve in climbing is really steep and so I know that with each climb, there will be more lessons learned!  I also love to be in nature, and when I climb outdoors, I can take in the world around me and keep things in perspective.  It is humbling to stand at the bottom of a wall and look up!”

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ABS Nationals Results

Alex Puccio and Daniel Woods vying to hold onto their 2013 Nationals' titles. (Photo credit: Climbing Magazine Instagram)

Alex Puccio and Daniel Woods trying to hold onto their 2013 titles at this year’s ABS Nationals. (Photo credit: Climbing Magazine Instagram)

Setting challenging finals problems for the likes of Alex Puccio, Alex Johnson, Jule Wurm, Angie Payne, Megan Mascarenas, Margo Hayes, and Grace McKeehan would be an exceptionally difficult task. Yet, the setters for the American Bouldering Series (ABS) Nationals rose to the occasion, delivering challenging yet interesting problems for the seven strong finalists. After Friday Qualifiers and Saturday morning Semi-Finals, these seven ladies powered through, ready to put their bouldering prowess to the test. Competitions are often so obviously tilted toward one competitor, however, it truly came down to the very last problem to see who would emerge as the winner. Angie Payne and Megan Mascarenas had strong starts, whereas Alex Puccio started off shaky. Sixteen year olds Margo Hayes and Grace Mckeehan also each had moments when it seemed the tables could turn in favor of any competitor.

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Teenagers Margo Hayes and Michaela Kiersch Send God’s Own Stone, 8b+/5.14a

Michaela cruising up God's Own Stone

Michaela cruising up God’s Own Stone

Over the weekend 15-year-old Margo Hayes and 18-year-old Michaela Kiersch both sent God’s Own Stone (8b+/5.14a) at Red River Gorge. As a member of Team ABC in Boulder, Margo won SCS Youth Nationals in 2011 and with this send ticked off her first 5.14. For Michaela, GOS comes in as her second 5.14 and on her blog she reflects, “This climb meant a lot to me because it is not my style at all. For those of you who don’t know me, I like looooong endurance climbs (like Omaha Beach). This one is very short in comparison and so it is really bouldery. It was a personal accomplishment to be able to climb something very challenging for myself.” GOS has seen its share of sends, especially by young ladies; back in 2010 Paige Claassen earned the route’s FFA and in 2012 Brooke Raboutou, at age 10, became the youngest female to ever send the grade. Congrats to Margo and Michaela for joining the ranks of some seriously strong ladies!

Climb on!
-Mary

Photo and Info Credit: Michaela’s Blog and 8a.nu.

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