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And They all Screamed Dark Horse… Again - Nicholas Milburn

 
And They all Screamed Dark Horse… Again - Nicholas Milburn
And They all Screamed Dark Horse… Again - Nicholas Milburn
And They all Screamed Dark Horse… Again - Nicholas Milburn
And They all Screamed Dark Horse… Again - Nicholas Milburn
And They all Screamed Dark Horse… Again - Nicholas Milburn
And They all Screamed Dark Horse… Again - Nicholas Milburn
And They all Screamed Dark Horse… Again - Nicholas Milburn
 
February 05, 2014 - 
 

This past weekend I competed in my second Dark Horse! Last year’s Dark Horse had some fierce competitors and I missed finals by two spots. This year redemption was my goal.

I almost forgot there was a Dark Horse at all, but Josh Levin reminded me to buy my tickets a few weeks before the competition. Josh had a bye to finals along with Nick Picarella because they won a previous Dark Horse, so they were in the clear. I had to compete in the qualifying redpoint round. Just like last year, qualifiers was crazy hard. There were a lot of strong people and a lot of hard boulders. I climbed a fair number of the harder climbs, but I wasn’t sure if that would be enough to get me into finals. Once qualifiers was over the finalists were announced and I barely made it in! The top six climbers (along with the two people with byes) moved on to finals and I placed 6th!

I was really excited to try some of that crazy Josh Larson and Dave Wetmore creative nonsense bouldering I’ve seen in the past. I was not disappointed. The first problem was a crazy sideways dyno with a slab mantle and a finish hold too far away. The second problem was way harder! After flailing on it for a bit I learned I need to work on my volume wrestling. The first move was a cool dyno though. The third problem was a nice powerful/techy slab. The first move was a dyno to two pinches in an overhang followed by a technical slab. Luckily I managed to flash it because I don’t know how many times I could have done that dyno. The forth problem still blows my mind. It had some more volume wrestling with a massive dyno at the end. From the ground it didn’t look that hard. After some flailing I watched the rest of the competitors. Realizing what the correct beta was and it looked much easier. After everyone was done all the competitors tried it again and I flailed once more. I now realize it’s just a hard boulder.

Surprisingly I ended up 4th! I was so excited to have moved up. I was a great competition! It’s well run, well set and if you’re old enough there is free beer. One of the best parts about this competition is the crowd. I’ve never heard or seen a crowd more excited about climbing than at the Dark Horse. Peter Dixon even managed to start a wave! I can’t wait until next year to do it all again!

 
Photo credit: Garrick Kwan
 

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