Climbing in Vail two weeks ago was unbelievable. In one cliché, yet fitting word, Vail is magical. It has everything you could ever want in a city (except cheap food), and more importantly, it brings everyone together for one heinous weekend. I wouldn’t call myself a boulderer. I’ve always enjoyed lead climbing way more and, if you haven’t noticed, I’m a static climber and consequently struggle with some of the more dynamic movements that inevitably compose boulder problems. But, that being said, the Bouldering World Cup in Vail is probably one of my favorite events of the year! I love how basically anyone with any connection to climbing comes. Of course, there are a few exceptions, but honestly I think it unites the climbing community of the US more than any other single event. That’s pretty sick, and on top of that there’s free swag from vendors, jumping dogs, slack liners, and these crazy kayakers doing flips in the river! A comp can’t get any better!
GoPro Games - Delaney Miller
So like I said before, I wouldn’t classify myself as a boulderer. But, for the past two months bouldering has been all that I’ve been training. Powerful moves tend to kick my ass, but the first step to solving any problem is acknowledging it. I did a lot of acknowledging in prep for Vail, and in the end, it was definitely worth it. The qualifying problems were technical, reachy, and of course powerful. I failed pretty miserably on the first problem, mistaking a running start for something I should static, but I didn’t let that get to me. The second problem had a massive dyno on it, and I was ready. Ok, so it took me few tries to get it, but point is I made the dyno and that is not something I would have been able to do at the start of the year. The third problem was on steep angle with good holds and involved some tricky flipping around and bicycling stuff. I eventually figured it out and sent the boulder. I then sent the fourth and fifth as well. Upon finishing, I felt frustrated. I didn’t know what my placement looked like, but I knew there were things I should have done differently with my climbing (like not trying to be a rope climber on the first boulder). After I found out I was in semis, I calmed down, but honestly I should have calmed down sooner by taking the advice I give to kids on my team. “There is no perfect performance. Ever.” You can always look back and say I should have done this or that, but at the end of the day, you didn’t, so get over it and focus on what you did right/what you can learn.
The semifinal problems were hard and tricky. I was confused most of the time, but just did my best to read each problem and figure it out as I went. I let my confusion get the better of me on the last problem and wasted a try by stepping off the start to figure out how best to position my body again. That one step-off ended up pushing me back a spot in the overall placements, leaving me in 19th. With it all said and done, I’m proud of my performance. I did my best, I re-learned not to get too frustrated with myself, and I had fun! Thanks to all the setters and volunteers who made it all possible!