In the middle of January, I set out to finish a project and to start a new one. Somewhere Near Barstow (8a) is in Ute Valley which is a small park in Colorado Springs. With the climb being a 15 minute drive from my house, I had to take advantage of the situation. When I first moved to Colorado Springs a few years ago, I tried this thing and was shut down. It was too hard and I wasn't strong enough to finish it. The climb starts on a shoulder height sloping crimper with your right hand and an almost not-existent micro crimp undercling with your left hand. Pull on the wall and move your left hand to an equally terrible sidepull crimper. Now the crux move, Dyno out right to an ear-like pinch. the topout from hear is very manageable. I set out by myself with a pad or two and began learning the movement. I was surprised that the movement felt equally as difficult as when I tried it a few years back. However, I was fortunate enough to be able to stick the dyno rather quickly this time around to complete the boulder.
Attitude is Everything - The Start of a Good Year - Kegan Minock
The next day I was invited to go to the Lost Boulder in Eldorado Canyon with my friend Kasia Pietras and a few of her friends. That morning, it was snowing hard. temperatures were in the 20's (I think) and the hike in was a lot further than I thought it was going to be. It was well worth it. The boulder is a beautiful boulder with three lines on it, Elegant Universe (8a) Elegant Infinite (7c+) and Lost (8a). I had seen many videos of the boulder and had really wanted to try to do all three lines quickly. Not wanting to waste any flash attempts, I warmed up with a few push ups and stretches. I knew exactly what I needed to do when I sat down to grab the start undercling that both Elegant Universe and Elegant Infinite shared. I was really nervous because the boulder was only 6 moves long so I was trying hard to pull out a flash. going through the moves, I felt really good. Then the last move, a blind throw from two crimpers to a decent sloper ledge, shut me down. During my second attempt, I found myself at the top of Elegant Universe (8a). However, Elegant Infinite (7c+) gave me a lot more trouble and I was unable to complete the line. I do know what needs to be done so next time I think I will be victorious.
Three days later I competed at the Denver Bouldering Club's Heart and Soul competition where I was lucky to compete against some really talented climbers such as Garrett Gregor and Michael O'Rourke. I climbed well during qualifiers but was less than satisfied with my performance during finals. I ended up taking 4th place which I could not have been more excited about.
A few weeks later, I found myself at one of my favorite crags, Newlin Creek, with a great group of people. I had not been feeling good both physically and mentally for the past week so I wanted to see if I could send one of the rigs I had worked on a few months back to gain some confidence for the upcoming ABS National Championships. Everyone climbed really well and had a great time. I was able to send Walk Softly (7c), a gently overhung face that stands about 23 feet off a slanted landing. (Pictured). This was exactly the kind of thing that I needed to get excited for the comp the next weekend.
ABS Nationals was an interesting experience. I personally didn't think I climbed that well but I was told by a few friends that I climbed better than I ever had at a national event. I ended up falling off of the finish holds of qualifiers number 1,2 and 5 and got about half way through numbers 3 and 4. After reviewing the scores, I found out that if I had stuck the finish holds on those three climbs, I would have went in to semi-finals in 12th place. Unfortunately, my actual ranking was much lower than that and I missed the cut. I had a bad attitude at the comp and I think that was a huge factor with how I did. Usually, I am excited and happy to be there but for some reason, I didn't want anything to do with competing. But that's okay, Live and Learn. There's always next year.
That following Sunday, I took some friends from Texas to Newlin to show them some of the beautiful lines that the south front range has to offer. Again, everyone that came out had a great time and sent something. I was excited to try a climb that I have heard the name many times but had never actually seen it. Oddly enough, it was a line right to the left of Walk Softly, the climb I had completed during the previous weekend's trip. Sing the Sorrow (7c+) has really good holds with very poor feet. It took me a little while to figure out some of the foot transitions but once I figured them out, I was able to complete the body tension- problem.
with spring break approaching quickly, I am excited to return to some nemesis projects of mine in hopes of closing a few of them. And once the road opens for Lincoln Lake, I plan on being there as often as I can in hopes of completing my firs 8B boulder, Evil Backwards. 2014 has proven to be a successful year so far and I intend to keep it that way.