Winter can be a weird time for climbing. It is not unusual to find myself feeling torn between climbing outside and training inside. Because, despite what some might think, the climbing in Colorado in the winter can be quite good. This winter, however, has gotten off to a slow start in terms of outdoor climbing. So, I have found myself in the gym quite a bit, trying to stay fit. This has paid off, however, as I have felt pretty good recently.
Winter Happenings - Angela Payne
Before the holiday madness hit, I went to Boston for the third preliminary Dark Horse competition. In the weeks leading up to this event, I had been climbing inside a lot and had enjoyed a few really great sessions that stood out from the rest. They were the kind of sessions when everything clicks and it feels like climbing is easy. It is always nice when I hit the peak of my strength cycle, and this time the Dark Horse lined up perfectly with that high point.
The competition was held at Metro Rock, so I made the quick cross-country trip in early December. In the morning, there was a redpoint round and in the evening, a finals round. Quick trips like this can be taxing on the body, but I was pleasantly surprised when I felt great in the first round. I continued to feel pretty good in finals, although I had to fight pretty hard during that round. The young up-and-coming Megan Mascarenas climbed just before me in finals and definitely put the pressure on me to perform well in order to keep up. I was able to pull out the win, but not without having to fight through some nerves and a few botched sequences.
As a bonus on top of the comp, I had the pleasure of enjoying a BBQ dinner and a late-night home wall session with a great local crew. Although I was feeling tired and weighed down from a great post-comp meal, I couldn’t resist pulling on some plastic on the little attic woody.
Upon returning to Boulder, I was able to sneak in one fun day outside in Boulder Canyon with my long-time friend Lizzy Asher who I know from the early days of my youth competitive climbing. By some miracle, we both managed to get out of work early enough to run out to a fun little boulder problem called Koyaanisqatsi. This boulder problem isn’t actually on a boulder, but rather a cliff band. Nevertheless, we had a great time enjoying the lovely evening and climbing this problem.
Since then, outdoor climbing has been put on hold over and over again. Holiday vacations and poorly-timed bad weather have kept me from accomplishing any rock climbing. Gym sessions have been abundant, and I have been mostly enjoying those. In the upcoming month, I hope to make a trip or two to some outdoor areas in warmer places. On this 10-degree day, nothing beats the thought of climbing on sandstone in the sun! Soon enough J