So the day before the actual competition started we decided to calm our nerves and take a trip out to the world’s largest pool along the Chilean coastline. It was by far one of the coolest things I've ever seen, it is more than 1,000 yards long, covers 20 acres, has 115-ft deep end and holds 66 million gallons of water! It was off season so no one was really at the resort and we basically hustled our way into the pool convincing the managers to let us swim in the pool and have some fun. The most amazing part was that we could just take a boat and paddle around in this giant pool and the best part was that we had it all to ourselves! We also explored some of the coastline found some sick beaches and played in the numbingly, cold Pacific Ocean. It was a great rest day before the competition.
Chillen in Chile Part 2 - Joseph Gifford
The first day of the competition were qualifiers for rope climbing. Everyone found out the hard way that the Pan American games rarely have a fixed schedule, their often changing running orders randomly and running behind. I didn't even get to stay for awards because speed climbing, ironically, was running behind and I needed to catch my flight back home.
My first climb was a hard mostly over hanging climb and the second was a slabby climb with tricky moves I got really high on the first climb and finished the second putting me tied first of the 8 going into finals. Finals was the next morning the climb was pretty difficult it was very consistent in the way that it had hard moves only getting harder as you went up and then when you hit the roof it's all jugs. So I got out and went on my climb. At about the 6th draw I started to get super pumped, but I pulled through and got to a bomber jug where I rested and then fell going into the roof just barely missing a really good jug in the roof. At the end I ended up getting first and claimed the Pan American Championship for rope. Later that day was the start of bouldering qualifiers I finished three out of the four. The bouldering was very different than the American style I was used to; it had a lot of holds turned in weird ways, matching bad holds, and skipping a couple holds occasionally to make the boulder easier. I made it into semis where I made yet again three out of the four climbs and was the only person to flash the second climb. Finals was four routes and it was IFSC comp style where we get a preview and then go one at a time to do the climb and then move on the next climb. The first was a slabby boulder that gave me some trouble so only got up to the bonus hold. The second was hard and crimpy, but I flashed. The third had two crazy hard big moves to a bucket where you had to go huge to the finish with no feet; I got the bonus and fell throwing to the top. No one made the third anyway. The fourth was just a nice sustained climb and I flashed. I ended up getting fourth and first place was Facundo, the super strong Chilean, and also a really cool guy. I had a great time in Chile, the climbing, people, country and food was great, it was a memorable, once in a life time experience. Although I didn't do as well as I had hoped to do in bouldering I still came home with a gold medal in rope under my belt. Now the next big thing is ABS, so I’m just going to keep on training.