The 2012 Bouldering Nationals, held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, saw one of the strongest fields that North America could have provided. I was fortunate enough to score a press pass for the event, and got a pretty edifying, behind-the-scenes perspective on what is going through the minds of a number of Five Ten athletes as they line up time and effort for the annual showdown.
Backstage at the 2012 Bouldering Nationals - Chris Schulte
Personally, I’ve always focused on outdoor climbing: the baggage of competition seemed to always weigh my head down a bit... Seeing and hearing how these folks prepare for such an event, mentally and physically, was pretty refreshing, and definitley brought my own preconceptions down to earth a little bit. Many talked about trips they’d just finished as well upcoming adventures, from weekend getaways to wild exploratory journeys, not just the hours spent hammering away on plastic, shut away from the ups and downs of the winter season.
It was a bolstering bit of insight for me, to have the connections made and the parallels drawn by folks immersed in the game, so versatile in their passions as well as their abilities. They put on a good show, and, as what is typical for me when I go to these comps, the route setting was a very attractive draw: both creative and aesthetic.
It was a weekend well spent; I’ll not miss another anytime soon.