This weekend I traveled to Seattle to compete in the Seattle Bouldering Challenge Pro Competition. The event was put on in collaboration with the UBC and was hosted by Stone Gardens. I had never been to this facility before, and I must say I was immediately impressed with the extensive bouldering terrain the gym had to offer.
I flew to Seattle just two days after returning from Paris, so I was a bit weary from travel when day one of the comp rolled around. Qualifiers went well, however, and I (barely) managed to flash all the boulders. The problems were very fun and I really enjoyed the climbing. After some lounging in the hot tub, a nice sushi dinner, and the first full night of sleep I had enjoyed in a while, I was ready for semis on Saturday. These boulders gave me a bit more trouble, but I somehow came out of the round in the lead by just a few points.
Finals were a real battle for me. I was the last of the six women to climb on each boulder, which can be a blessing and a curse. I felt like I put up a real fight to stay in the hunt for first, but in the end AJ beat me out by a few points. Although I would, of course, like to win, it's never bad to come in second to a close friend and skilled boulder crusher like her. The women's round turned out really well, it seems, and everyone put on a great show (from what I heard...I wasn't able to watch any of the climbing...). I think I climbed relatively well, despite some mistakes, and I was happy enough with my performance, all things considered. The problems were very fun, and I enjoyed most of them, even though they beat me up pretty thoroughly :) On the men's side, Josh Larson walked away with his first big comp win. From the little bit of the comp I saw, he looked to be on a mission to try hard and have fun. And, in the end, he won too!!! Nice work to all the guys who battled it out on what looked to be some very difficult boulders.
The event itself ran very smoothly, and I was impressed with the facility and the organization. We had half of the gym to warm up in, which was amazing, and the staff provided us with lovely snacks and a complimentary massage therapist. It seems that competitions are steadily improving in this regard, and I always appreciate it when these simple (but very important!) elements are part of an event. Thanks to everyone at Stone Gardens, the UBC and the setting crew for a great weekend!
So, now I'm back in Colorado for a short while. I am pretty exhausted from so much travel recently, but it's been a great few months. Now I am hoping to spend a little bit of time working on my personal project in Rocky Mountain National Park before heading to the southeast for one of the Triple Crown bouldering comps and some outdoor climbing. Let the fun continue!