Fall has been going pretty well for the most part; lots of climbing and schoolwork, with the only real bad part being hurricane Sandy coming in and smashing up where I live. We lost power for about five days, but it could have been way worse- some of my friends were out for about two weeks, plus we missed over a week of classes since they could not get power back at the school. Aside from all that, I’ve crazy busy been training and climbing a lot, as well as doing all sorts of other things I’ve had to do. Last weekend I finally finished up the local comps I had to do to qualify for regionals, which means that I get a few weekends free for the first time in a month and a half.
Starting with the last weekend of October, I competed in three comps three weekends in a row, first in New Jersey, the second in Pennsylvania, and the third in Maryland. The one in New Jersey took place at the Gravity Vault, and turned out to be pretty crazy. They had a pretty huge turnout, which was not expected, so the space was pretty tight. I ended up taking first there, even though I didn’t feel like I climbed as well as I could have.
The comp at Philadelphia Rock Gym was a little different- even though a big turnout was expected, they got very few competitors from north of Pennsylvania due to the crazy gas lines from the storm. The climbs were fun though, and I ended up taking first place in the youth portion of the comp and qualifying to compete in open finals later that night. The finals part of the comp was one of the best-set events I’ve been to. After a near-very bad mishap leaving my shoes and chalk out of iso, I finally got warmed up and went out to climb. The first problem was pretty hard, with a big lunge to a pretty bad pinch. I managed to flash the climb, and I found it to be really cool. Next up was a powerful problem in the steep cave, where I couldn’t get past one big move over the lip of the cave. Finally, the last problem was a super long, 20-something move climb, and I fell going for the finish hold on my first go! I think part of why I fell is I was so surprised to get there. That managed to get me in second place to Five Ten athlete Sasha DiGiulian. The finals problems were great, and it’s always a good comp, so I was psyched.
The next Friday, I took a train down to Maryland to stay with my friend Kerry for the night, and compete at the 2012 Rock Wars comp at Earth Treks. The comp was held at their newly expanded gym, which I had only seen before the expansion, and I was blown away when I saw it again. The place was huge, with a ton of awesome features. I wished I lived a bit closer so I could climb there more. There was a huge crowd for the redpoint style comp/qualifier for open finals, but it was both adults and kids competing during a five-hour timeframe. After this comp, I was in second going into finals. It was a different format than I’m used to, with bonus holds and tops style scoring and a sessioning format, where each competitor got an onsight burn, then we got to work the climb for a certain amount of time with the other competitors. The first climb was pretty easy up until one big move off a sloper and an undercling- the swing threw off everybody but one competitor. The second climb was more technical, but after we began working it, my friend Kayla fell badly on it and hyper extended her knee. She went to the doctor, but it looks like her leg will be better pretty soon. Our third problem was pretty simple up to this one move on the “Death Star” feature…you were supposed to palm up against it and match but none of us could figure out in the short time we had. Finally, our last climb was dynamic moves on pinches- which I was psyched on. On my first try I got to the last hold, and after one bad attempt, I sent! I ended up taking second in this part of the comp too, which was pretty awesome. It was a really cool event and an incredible gym.
So I’m back to training again now, and the bigger USA Climbing comps are coming up, starting with regionals in two weeks. Hopefully all goes well there, and I’ll be writing about it shortly. Thanks goes out to everyone that’s been helping me out, letting me stay at their place, giving me a spot at a comp, or anything else. Thanks also to Five Ten for all their support.