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ABS14 Nationals - Semi-Finals! - Alex Fritz

ABS14 Nationals - Semi-Finals! - Alex Fritz
March 06, 2013 - 

Since qualifying for Semi's was my goal for the comp, I was pretty much happy with how I was going to do no matter what. I went into day two with no expectations and high psych which to me meant I could only improve from there. I showed up for Iso a little earlier than the day before because I felt like I could have used a little better warm up than the previous day, and that put me in a pretty good mood heading out to climb. 

The routes started on the opposite side of the wall for Semi's which meant another techy slab climb for the first problem. Problem one was pretty tricky once you pulled onto the slab because there was three small round slopers for each of your hands, all spun different directions so you had to figure out which one was better to use. The finish move was pretty balance-y because the foot was very low and you had two small slopey pinches really high above you so you were spread out. Although I "touched a hold" before pulling on, I "flashed" the first climb easily. 

My biggest mistake of the weekend was on problem two. The first half of the climb was all volumes in a dihedral which meant stemming and palming on the wall, and then into a dyno to a horn jug in the roof, a huge campus move over the lip, and some powerful moves between slopers to the finish. Climbs like this always force the climber to face towards the crowd (huge crowd pleaser) but for some awful reason I faced the wall on my first attempt. I managed to turn it around but this messed me up for the dyno causing me to have too much swing and fly out onto the pads. My second and third attempts went much smoother and I stuck the dyno pretty easily. However I knew as soon as I got there that I would not be able to do the rest of the climb so after my third try I sat down and used an extra minute to rest for the next climb.

Problem three was even less my style then the previous climb and I knew right away where I was going to get. After a lot of lousy attempts on the first few moves, I finally made some contact and got a couple moves further only to get shut down again. Again with a few more bad attempts and I decided to save whatever I had for my probably-final climb of the competition   

The last climb was power slab, which to me basically means really big moves between volumes with bad feet, but on positive angles. After reading my climb I knew I wouldn't be able to do the intended sequence for the final move, but my first few attempts I still managed to make solid movement towards the finish hold anyways. With 30 seconds left on the clock, I hopped back on and cruised through the bottom one more time and decided to switch up my beta to what I originally thought would work for me. This beta worked and I found myself hitting the finish hold a lot easier, but to tired to hold the swing and fell to the pads. Even though I second guessed myself, I was happy knowing I put in a solid four attempts to the top. 

Once the dust settled, my efforts bumped me up one spot into 17th place at my first adult bouldering nationals. After a week of reflection, I have realized what I need to improve on to get ready for next year. Out of 77 competitors in the Men's category, I am very proud of how I climbed and cannot wait for next year. 

Thank you to Five Ten, Asana, and Marmot for always having my back and making my trip a whole lot better!

Photo credit: Beau Kahler

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