After all season of training and comps I had these last 25 days to climb at divisionals, train, and then compete at nationals. This ropes season was my favorite of all of them. I had a fun time competing and training the whole way through. This ropes season was awesome and I cant wait to do it again (after bouldering season J).
25 Days of SCS 2013: Divisionals, Training Camp, and Nationals - Matt Grossman
I had trained all season and it came down to these last 25 days of ropes season. I flew to Seattle a day before Divisonals. We went to the Glass Museum and the Space Needle both were fun but we were just killing time before the competition. When I got to the gym and checked in for qualifiers I was nervous for the comp. We previewed the routes and that made me even more nervous because the routes looked harder than they actually were. I made sure to look for rests and cruxes. When I got back into ISO (isolation) I started to warm up. I was still nervous but felt ready to crush. They called my name and I went into the chair. Once the next climber was done I went out and sat in the chair in front of my climb, facing the crowd, for another 5 min. Then it was time for me to climb, after a 30 second transition. I was ready, nervous but ready. I pulled on and started to climb. The holds were better than I thought. It was probably rated 5.11a (6b+) I sent it and so did the rest of my category. Even though it was easy, it made me feel confident. I was psyched and ready for my next climb, after my 5 min rest. The climber before me fell and then I tied in. There was a 30 second transition again and then it was my climb time. It was pretty easy in the beginning and got to be about 5.12b (7b) at the end. My foot slipped 5 holds before the finish but I ended up in 3rd place.
After sport we had a few hours to go and get lunch before we had to check back in for speed. I was feeling pretty confident about speed climbing. Although the route wasn’t really my style for speed, I knew I could do pretty well. I still had to compete and actually do well. For my warm up I did some jumps, burpies, dynos, high knees and more cardio vascular exercises. I was warmed up and ready to do my 2 speed climbs. I was dead last in speed. But that means that I was able to watch everybody’s beta. My times were ok. I ended up getting 4th in speed for qualifiers, but knew I could do better.
I was psyched and ready for sport the next day. I had an idea of where my route was going to be because our category had been on every other top rope wall in the gym. I was excited to see that it was where I thought it was going to be and a great route that was my style. It seemed pretty easy in the beginning and slowly got harder throughout the route and finished with a big move to two small pockets. I went back into iso psyched for my route. I was third to last so I had a little bit of time until I had to warm up. When I started warming up all I could think about was my climb. It was going to be awesome. Today was finals so I only had one route. My name was called and I went out only to sit in a chair for 5 minutes. When it was my climb time I stepped onto the wall and started to climb. It was probably 5.11c (6c+) in the beginning and got to be about 5.12c (7b+) in the end. I got to 3 holds before the finish and got one hand in the first pocket for about 1 second but I only got usable surface not control on the hold because I didn’t hold it for long enough. I ended up finishing 1st in sport at Divisonals.
I wanted to get a better time and a better place in speed today. I knew I could, I just needed to be precise, hit my marks, and go fast. I did the same for my warm up. I went fourth to last and raced 3rd place. On the first run I wanted to go fast. Climbers, on your marks, ready, go! I was off to an ok start, but was going too fast and not precise. I slipped and fell. I only had 1 more climb to get a good time. When we were switching I saw my coach in the crowd and he mouthed the words “get a time” I knew that I needed to get a time otherwise my time would show up as 99.99 and I couldn’t let that happen. I had to be a little more cautious on this run because I couldn’t fall. My time ended up being about 9.56. It is a mediocre time but not good enough to make it to nationals. I got 9th in speed at divisionals. Although in the end I got a second round invitation to nationals.
From Divisionals I flew straight to National Training Camp in Atlanta, GA (where Nationals was being held) with the rest of my team that made it. On the plane they announced our team going to camp and competing at Nationals. They gave a special shout out to the Divisional champions. Our house that we were staying was kind of old and seemed like they cut corners a lot. In the end part of the ceiling in my room caved in because the kitchen had flooded from the washing machine. At least it had air conditioning so we could get out of the humid heat. We spent the next 2 weeks climbing 5 hours a day, 3 days on and 1 off. We would do laps, projecting, and berlys. Laps is doing the same route 3 times in a row without a rest. Berlys is staying on the wall for 10 minutes at a time, going up a hard route and down an easy one (both are about 6-10 moves). In the mornings we would run 2.3 miles, then do 60 burpies with pushups. We also did tons of mental training. We would fill out sheets that would talk about our goals, whether they were mental, emotional, or performance goals. We would also talk about how we did at divisionals and at the first and second week of camp. We could talk about whether we did good or bad in speed and sport and why. This really helped me because when I knew what it was I was doing wrong, I could start to work on it and make it a positive instead of a negative.
When I walked into the gym at Nationals, I felt confident and ready to climb. When I walked out and saw my climb I knew it was going to be pretty easy with some hard moves at the end. I still had to treat it like it was my finals route so I wouldn’t make any mistakes. It was on the same wall that my qualifier was on last year and I had done a set of laps on it a few days before. I knew this wall and knew how it climbed. It was jugs until the last boulder problem. Often in competition setting they have a 4 or 6 move boulder problem guarding the anchors. The climber before me got the rope stuck on 2 draws when he was climbing. This caused the setters to have to go up and take off all of the quick draws so the rope wouldn’t get stuck under them. Once the problem was fixed I could climb. I stepped on and started climbing. The route was probably 5.11b (6c) with one V4 (6c+) move to get over the lip. It was a fun route and I did it in about 2 minutes, I climb fast in competitions when I’m nervous.
I felt good about speed, I knew that I could do well. I just had to hit my marks and not try to go fast first but to be precise and then fast. I went 2nd to last in speed. I saw people in front of me getting 9s and 10s. I was nervous because I wasn’t sure that I could go that fast. I ended up getting 3rd in qualifiers behind Seth Rogers, another good competitor.
My second qualifier was fun. It was on another wall that I had done laps on before. I felt confident about it. It was my kind of route, some hard moves and a little bit of slab in the middle. Only a few people got the route. It was probably rated about 5.12a (7a+). It didn’t seem that hard, except for a big move to a sloper 3 holds before the finish. I was confident and ready to climb when I was called into the chair. Today there were no holdups. When I stepped on the first 10 moves were about V0 (6a) then it got to be about 5.12 (7a+) for the rest of the route until the final boulder problem. The last 5 moves were probably 5.12b (7b). I got the route, it was probably 5.12 b or c (7b or b+).
I felt good about semi-finals in speed. I did my regular warm up and got ready to climb fast. I went third to last and raced 4th place to day. We would both climb then switch routes and climb again. I got into the 8s again. I finished in third again. I was happy about how I climbed but wanted to do better in finals.
In sport semi-finals I went into the gym strong and psyched. When we previewed our routes I was happy because I got an awesome route that was hard but cool and looked fun. I warmed up the same way I had the other days and all of camp. I felt strong when I was sitting in the chair. When I got on to climb I felt strong until I got to the first of 3 volumes. There were some weird moves and I was second guessing my original beta. I was climbing fast which didn’t end up working out for me because I fell before the lip. My beta was wrong, I ended up going right and then left, instead of left and then right. This caused me to miss finals by one spot. I got 11th in sport. It wasn’t that bad though because I had speed and I still have next year.
I felt confident in speed and wanted to win. I knew that I had to be precise in order to win, otherwise I would slip or make a mistake. I was still in third so I raced fourth place and started on route 2. I like starting on route 2 because it was the bad wall so I could get a decent time on the right wall (less slanted) and then go all out on the left one because it was more slanted. I had a pretty good time, which got me into third. I made National Team! Sadly I couldn’t go to worlds, because I’m not in an old enough age group. Worlds is in Canada (a 3 or 4 hour plane ride) this year.
Overall it was a great Nationals and I look forward to competing in it next year, and if I make it, competing in worlds.