Well, my bouldering season has ended (sort of) but on so many high notes and with much more potential to achieve. The last day of my Hueco vacation in January produced a flash of Rubber Chicken aka Van Dame (V10), bringing the trip damage to two V11’s and six V10’s over the course of three weeks. I took a break for another couple of weeks before returning to Texas for the Hueco Rock Rodeo, and then geared myself up for ABS Nationals the weekend after!
This year was the Rodeo’s 20th Anniversary, and was certainly celebrated as such. The usual entertaining suspects were there; beer, music, food, vendors, slideshows, and freakin’ amazing bouldering of course. But the unusual suspect was our breakfast cook, climbing legend Fred Nicole! I squealed (on the inside) when I received my perfectly-made pancake. I firmly believe it helped my climbing that day as myself, Angie Payne, and Paige Claassen went out as a group and proceeded to try our problems from the bottom up…each and every time, haha. We were gunning for Yosemite-style dedication to clean ascents I suppose! In the end this method wore us out, with no more than three ascents completed by any of the female Open competitors. Angie placed first with her sends of Crimping Christ, Butterpumper, and Hobbit With A Boner. I placed second with my sends of Butterpumper and Sunshine, and strong southern crusher Jill Waters placed third with her send of Butterpumper. Overall the event went incredibly smoothly and a great time was had by all :)
I was a little worried that climbing outdoors for the Rodeo would risk injury for ABS Nationals coming up the following weekend but I managed to leave Texas intact, and made my way towards Colorado Springs! I had reservations about Nationals; I hadn't trained as consistently as I had planned, having went to Hueco instead. But climbing in Hueco is pretty similar to climbing in the gym and served as a decent substitute for a campus board. I went into Qualifiers with no expectations, climbed really well and snagged a 5th place slot into Semi-Finals. I was pretty surprised, thinking I would have been crazy-lucky to even come close to Finals! My strong performance in Qualifiers lifted my hopes up a lot, maybe a little too much. I went into Semis with confidence and still climbed well, but my weakness in slab was highlighted on our fourth problem. I would have had to top the slabby Semis 4 to make Finals, but unfortunately I ran out of time. I ended up placing 8th overall which I'm very proud of as it is my strongest Nationals showing. I have wanted to make Finals for as long as I've been competing and this was the closest I've come but I know I'll make it next year :)
With this in mind I've committed to consistent training for the next few months. I'll be competing in SCS Nationals this year, a prospect I am extremely excited and slightly nervous for. I haven't trained or competed in sport for nearly 7 years! I know that the endurance will definitely help me, in my bouldering as well as my leading. I plan on attending the Dominion Riverrock competition in Virginia, which I hear has some pretty long problems so hopefully all this sport benefits that as well. Afterwards I'll build my power back up for the IFSC World Cup in Vail, then its off on a glorious summer vacation trip; destination TBD!
This year has kicked off really well for me and I intend to keep the ball rolling ;) psyched to be PSYCHED!