Summer 2012 was probably my best summer as far as climbing goes, but as far as accomplishments, not so hot…
My summer started at the Red River Gorge in Kentucky, as it usually does. I went to the red with one goal, Southern Smoke (5.14c), however I came up short. It is an awesome climb, unfortunately, the beta wasn’t found until the last day, not to mention it was really hot. I ended up being able to two fall it with the wrong beta. Once I had the right beta I rolled what I had originally thought was the crux and fell in ultra perm. I like to think that if I had another week and some cooler temperatures it would have happened. I did some moderates there, including Last of the BOHICANS(5.13d). The climb was an extension of BOHICA, a classic 13b in the madness cave. Last of is basically a one move wonder, so I did it pretty quickly, 2-3 tries. For the last days of the trip I started to try Transworld Depravity (5.14a). I spent two or three days trying it at the end of the day, and once I figured out the lower crux sequence, it was on. The day we were supposed to leave, I woke up early to give it one last try, which ended in me catching an unwanted toe hook at the upper crux and falling. It was pretty rough, I felt fine and knew I only had one try and that was it.
Going to nationals this year I was pretty confident with high hopes. I felt as fit as ive ever been and was at my strongest. I was in second going into finals to other five ten athlete, Alex Fritz. I had read the move wrong and fell near the top, whereas Alex read it correctly and stuck the move. In finals, t be honest, I choked big time and fell of really early and ended in 8th place. I was definitely really hurt by the experience; however it gave me a knee jerk type reaction, in that I needed to start training my mental game just as much as physical. Since nationals, I have bought some mental training books and it has really helped. If anyone reading this struggles with their head game, I highly recommend buying a book and reading it. After reading one there is a noticeably different way to my approach and even climbing style.
After nationals heartbreak I really wanted to get away from everything and make myself remember that I love climbing and all that it has to offer. I then went on a trip to Rifle, Colorado for 12 days with Owen Graham, Brendan Mitchell, Joe Gifford, and Nicholas Milburn. It was one of the most fun trips I have ever been on. The climbing style was definitely different than what I was used ( the red with down pulling crimps) so the first couple days were funny, just cause we all kind of just fell on everything. The climbing style there I grew very fond of. All the movement was new and different with lots of high stepping, scary clips, and slow moves on low angles. I came away with a slew of low end 5.13s and a climb called Spray-a-Thon (5.13c second go) and Huge (5.13d). It was a blast.
Lastly I went back to the red for another 12 days, with 6-7 climbing days due to driving and what not. The first day I did a climb called Angry Birds (low angle 5.13c) second try. My onsight I had fallen at the last bolt due to hitting the wrong side of a hold, not pumped or anything, just dumb. Then the rest of my trip was plagued with the hottest and most humid days I’ve ever had there. Then add in a little lack of motivation, and the having to get re-used to the style there again.
So that was my summer! My future plans include a trip to Seattle for the UBC comp in September, then hopefully a couple of trips to Arkansas and such for outdoor bouldering! Psyched!