With all my required USAC competitions to compete at Regionals, I have about a month until comp date. This last week was Spring Break for me, meaning lots and lots of climbing. I went to Smith, spent a lot of time setting in the gym, and sent my hardest sport route to date – along with some other various hard boulder problems. I plan on as much time as possible outside until then, and even more this summer.
Alex Fritz - Spring Break
Last weekend (April 2-4) I took my first trip down to Smith Rocks, resulting in some bad weather and a not-so-good first impression. We got rain and snow the first day, which allowed us very little climbing, but I managed to fall of the finish of Churning in the Wake, 5.13a twice. Then on day 2, I climbed notable routes such as Chain Reaction, 5.12c and onsighted Heinous Cling, 5.12a. Day 3 was unfortunately just too cold to climb, with some harsh winds, ending the trip on a semi-decent note.
This last Saturday I got out to Gold Bar in over a year for some bouldering, setting my eyes on Ebriosity, V11 and Ross Bongo, V9. I sent Ross Bongo second go, downgrading it for myself to probably hard V7 or V8. Giving Ebriosity a few tries, I worked out most of the moves and got to the finish move in less than 6 tries; but didn’t want to give it any more than that. We headed to the Clearcut area - about an hour hike uphill of where we currently were - where I sent Rubik’s Cube, V9 second go. This felt like another soft V9 to me, but it felt good sending two V9’s in one day. To finish off the day, I onsighted a few other V6’s and V7’s pretty easily.
To end Spring Break on a very good note, I went up to Little Si with FiveTen® Athlete Bret Johnston for some steep rope climbing. This was my first time up here since August; previously leaving the wall very discouraged and upset at a few routes that I had worked numerous times without results. I set my eyes on my two projects: Chronic, 5.13b and Psychosomatic, 5.12d. I warmed up on Chronic, working out the moves and finding new beta that I had never tried before, which ended up feeling loads better than the last time I was on it. Next, Psychosomatic went down easy, resulting in me having a new project after I gave a quick burn on its’ extension, Flatliner, 5.13c. Finally: Chronic – the 25 meter Little Si classic. I don’t know what I did differently than the 20 other times that I tried this line, but I knew from the moment I got on it that I was going down.
It felt really good to finish off Spring Break with this. Two V9’s, and my first 8a is a really good accomplishment. I’m super psyched to get back out to both Gold Bar and Little Si in the weekends to come. I now have new projects to work on and a whole new level of motivation to climb harder outside and inside, hopefully meeting my overall goal this year of going to Scotland for Youth World Championships.