Natalia Grossman of Salt Lake City pleased a hometown crowd of about 3,000 Saturday when she won the first climbing World Cup held in the state.
Grossman, the top qualifier in the final, made all four final bouldering problems posted on an outdoor climbing wall at SLC Industry look nearly effortless on her way to her first World Cup victory. Her best friend, Brooke Raboutou of Colorado, said she was also feeling the energy from the standing-room-only crowd — the first crowd the climbers had competed in front of in more than a year thanks to COVID-19 restrictions — and rode it to third place. It was the first World Cup podium finish for Raboutou, who will represent the United States women in the Olympics this summer alongside Salt Lake City’s Kyra Condie.
It wasn’t the first time the United States has put two women on the podium, but it hasn’t happened often. The first time was in 1992 when Robyn Erbesfield won a Word Cup lead event in Zurich and Lynn Hill took third. That year a Frenchwoman took second, just as France’s Oriane Bertone did Saturday.
Adam Ondra of the Czech Republic made easy work of several difficult problems in the men’s event on his way to the title. Up-and-coming Frenchman Mejdi Schalck took second and Jakob Schubert of Austria finished third.
Most competitors will also compete in the IFSC Speed and Boulder World Cup that will take place at Industry SLC next Friday through Sunday.