After spending some time visiting family, I returned to Colorado just in time for the Heart & Soul competition at the Denver Bouldering Club. This was a local comp that drew a strong crowd. The boulder problems were all very fun, the finals round was challenging and entertaining, and the proceeds from the event were donated to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. I placed 3rd and had the pleasure of climbing with many strong women, including Alex Puccio (1st), Kasia Pietras (2nd) and Nina Williams (4th), and Emily Ziffer (5th), to name a few.
A few days later, I headed off to Salt Lake City for the Winter Outdoor Retailer show. The Front climbing gym hosted the di'namik competition while the show was in town. The redpoint prelim round was held in the original portion of the gym, but a new wall was to be revealed during finals. The wall was impressive and the boulders were fun. After a poor performance on the first problem, I managed to rebound on the next two problems and pull out a 2nd place finish.
Next, I took a quick trip to Red Rocks with a great group of girls. It was my first visit to the area. We only had four days there, three of which we spent climbing, but we managed to see and try some great boulder problems. Some of the most impressive problems I saw were in Black Velvet Canyon, a gorgeous location. Wet Dream is one of the gems of this area. This incredibly powerful boulder problem climbs a beautiful steep sandstone face. I found this boulder to be really challenging, but it is one that makes me want to get stronger so I can do it one day. We also had the pleasure of climbing an amazing V2 highball in this canyon called Natasha’s Highball. It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip for me. While I did get the chance to try a handful of problems at Red Rocks, I found the climbing very challenging and didn’t quite settle into the style before having to leave. I would love to go back someday with a little more time to experience more of this area.
I returned home from Vegas just in time to unpack and repack for a quick trip to Boston for the Dark Horse Championships. I had qualified for the final round of this final competition by winning one of the preliminary competitions in the series. So, I spent most of Saturday waiting for the finals round that evening. There was a strong field in Boston, and the boulders were set accordingly. I found the round to be very challenging, and I didn’t have my best performance ever. I did feel that I tried incredibly hard during the round, but I definitely have some things to work on before Nationals. Alex Puccio won the comp with an impressive performance. I took 2nd, followed very closely by Ashima Shiraishi and Meagan Martin (with just a single point separating me from them, and falls dividing 3rd and 4th). It was a very hard round, but a fun one, and the kind that motivates me to train harder. And in the 2 and a half weeks leading up to Nationals, that’s exactly what I plan on doing.
A big thanks goes out to all of the organizers, setters and sponsors of these three events that worked hard to make them possible!!!