Hey guys - I realize that since I'm back to updating my personal blog, I should update this one, too! Last weekend was the NORTHWEST BOULDERFEST at the brand new Seattle Bouldering Project (the largest bouldering gym IN THE WORLD!). The gym opened earlier this summer but it was going to be my first time there so I was psyched to take on the new terrain and try to win some money in Open. There were a lot of strong climbers in Open this year, with Five Ten Athletes like Johnny Goicoechea, Stephen Meinhold, Brian Boyko, and a lot of other strong local climbers.
NORTHWEST BOULDERFEST - Alex Fritz
I have actually only been home for about a month and a half, since I was in Europe all summer competing at the IFSC Youth and Adult World Championships in Austria and Italy respectively, so I haven't had a lot of time to train my bouldering strength back up yet. Nonetheless, I will still psyched to trash my skin and hopefully climb on some sick Finals problems. Fortunately, I climbed well enough in Qualifiers and squeaked into Finals in 6th out of 10th.
The first problem in Finals was really easy, and was more endurance climbing with big moves on good holds than a real bouldery. I left my chalk bag on and just used it as a nice way to warm up for the rest of the climbs. Problem two started off with a dyno and traversed into some really slopey holds and big moves, requiring you to be pretty accurate or you would come flying off the holds. Luckily the Five Ten Team shoes have a lot of toe rubber and I used that to my advantage by dragging my unused right foot up the wall as I through to the Teknik Fat Sloper and creating some friction to stabilize myself slapping the hold. Thanks to the Team shoes, I flashed problem two, as well.
The third problem consisted off 6 holds (including two starts and a finish), Teknik slopers and pinches, and required you to do a double-handed dyno for the start move up to two holds that happened to be my full wingspan apart. With another big move to a sloper, you had to keep it tight and throw to the finish. I couldn't pull of the sloper, but that's alright, it was a powerful climb! The final problem was pretty short, but still a lot of movement that got you pumped. With a lot of E-grips Mallorcan pinches and bubble-wrap crimps, the final problem was easily my favorite. Only Stephen and Johnny got to the finish of this climb, and I tied with everyone else.
I ended up with the same placement as I qualified in, which I was happy with considering I haven't had a lot of time to train between endurance climbing and work, but I still had a blast since it was the first competition I have done in a long time.
Thanks to Five Ten and Marmot for wonderful shoes and clothing that helped me perform in the SBP's NORTHWEST BOULDERFEST. :)
Photos courtesy of Five Ten Athlete Kevin Newell.