I thought I submitted a post about Reno, but something went wrong! So here I am writing the whole thing again... Which is alright, because I've done a few more things since Reno, anyways. :)
Reno (take 2) & Lead WC - Alex Johnson
In early October I headed out to Reno, NV with fellow Five Ten teammates Dave Graham, Jon Cardwell and Josh Levin. The event was the grand opening celebration of the tallest climbing wall in the world!!
It was a fun and exciting event filled with "climbing with the pro's", a ribbon cutting ceremony, a Five Ten shoe demo, and much more!
The event was held at the newly remodeled CommRow. CommRow was an old hotel/casino that was purchased and completely redone in a classy style boasting zero slot machines and a no smoking rule; an utter rareity amidst the city of Reno.
The first floor is a hip hang-out spot with themed bars, food stands and a restaurant with a dance floor. The second floor is home to the bouldering gym with free standing boulders built by John Stack, and also the "V15" climbers' bar, where you can drink martinis and watch climbing to your heart's desire. The second floor also holds the balcony where the 200ft tall lead wall stands. The wall starts 30 feet off the deck, and the first pitch is 70 feet. When you start the second pitch--which is another 97 feet long-- you're already standing 100 feet high. The craziest thing about climbing on this wall was actually looking down. When you're in a gym you look down and see padded floors. When you're outside you look out at a vast landscape containing trees, bushes, hills, all of nature. When you look down between your toes from this wall you see pavement, Main Street, and tiny cars. It's different, for sure. The third floor of this building is where the dance club "Cargo" lives with its outstanding acoustics. Starting in April 2012 the connecting hotel will be re-opened for business and this location would be one helluva place for a huge comp...
Shortly after being in Reno I found myself back in Boulder, which seemingly always pulls everyone back with a powerful magnetic force. Just for kicks I was competing in the Lead World Cup at Movement. I mean, what did I have to lose? I did place 2nd at route nationals after all!! I was out with my mother, aunt and grandmother, so we did all the touristy things one from Northern Wisconsin would aspire to do: hit downtown Denver and of course Celestial Seasoning's Tea Factory tour.
As for the competition, I got pumped! And placed 16th. Not so bad in my opinion. :) What was exciting was watching my good friend Johanna Ernst of Austria CRUSH all the rest of the female competitors and easily win for the women. And for the boys for his 6th straight world cup win in 2011 it was Jodl's teammate Austrian Jakob Schubert. The crowd at Movement was the best world cup crowd that has ever been, all the Euros said so! I was given the opportunity to commentate the event for the IFSC Live Webcast with Taylor Nystrom and the feed had 20,000 national and international listeners. So that was also fun.
I'm back home in Wisconsin working on finishing up a busy October here, and racking up the frequent flyer miles almost daily...
Off to Boulder, CO (yes, again...) and then to Dallas, TX for some clinic teaching. After that, I am a free bird! Looking forward to climbing OUTSIDE!!