Climbing competition stepped into the spotlight in a big way last week as the 2014 Clif Bar Psicobloc Masters set up once again at Utah Olympic Park in Park City. A 50-foot overhanging wall towered over the 12-foot-deep splash pool at the facility, and many of the best climbers in the world raced each other up the challenging route in a single-elimination bracket format to determine the men’s and women’s winners.
In the video above, competitors Chris Sharma — one of the organizers of the event — and Sasha DiGiulian explain the importance of the event, as well as the strategy used to ascend the wall. Psicobloc — also known as deep-water soloing — involves climbing over water without a rope, resulting in dynamic moves as climbers perform at their limits. The water below may sound like a safety net, but plunging up to 50 feet in an uncontrolled fall still carries its share of risk.