There comes a time every year when the weather begins to improve, the snow begins to melt, and my motivation to get outside begins to build. That time is now. But, as a person who truly loves climbing on rocks AND plastic, this always creates an interesting conflict of interests. Since the competition season doesn’t ever really end, the Spring is the time when I often feel like I don’t have enough time to stay in shape for plastic while also pursuing outdoor goals.
Plastic & Rock: ‘Tis the Season…for both? - Angela Payne
At the same time, this time of year also provides great variety. Since January, for example, I have competed in numerous bouldering competitions (Dark Horse, Iron Maiden, Dynamic, ABS Nationals) and even a sport climbing competition (SCS Nationals). All of these events were great fun, and a few of them were even paired with a little outdoor climbing. I already blogged about my Red Rocks trip, which followed the Dynamic competition. Additionally, just last weekend I was able to climb outside at Black Mountain in California following the SCS Nationals at Sender One Climbing.
Back at home in Colorado, I have been spending as much time as possible outside between competition trips and gym sessions. It is still too early to climb at the alpine areas near here, but I have been having a great time exploring some boulder problems I’ve never tried in places like Elk Land and Boulder Canyon. Although Elk Land doesn’t offer the best rock around, the climbing is super fun! I got my first taste of this fun style on Dream climb, a V8 with a difficult and slightly scary top out. A few days later I was able to finish the sit start to the problem (I believe it’s called OG 18?), which adds a crimpy traverse into the stand and makes the top out a bit more desperate. Though the rock is a bit crystaly, I find the climbing to be really great.
Since then, I have acquired a new little personal project at Elk Land, called Afrika Bambaataa. This line is right up my alley; 4 moves on crimps up a slightly overhung face lead to a fun and difficult jump to a crimp at the lip, followed by a few semi-hard moves to top out. While the crimping is pretty intense, the movement is really fun. I’m really psyched to finish this one off soon!
I have also been exploring some other boulder problems that I’ve never had the chance to see and/or try. One of these fun little boulders is called A Tree car Named Desire (named for the old car frame embedded in a nearby tree). This problem climbs on a boulder that sit right in the creek, which makes for a precarious start and sketchy pad placements. But the climbing is fun! I also spent two days at the Graham Arêtes, two classic Boulder Canyon climbs, and managed to finish the Right Graham Arête, which is a great mix of thuggery and technical foot squeezing. The left arête, however, continues to stump me.
Yesterday, I was also able to see another problem I’ve never seen—Two Sizes Too Big at Wild Basin in Rocky Mountain National Park. There is still some snow on the ground at this area, but the boulder was dry. The name seemed appropriate in more ways than one, as the problem climbs a very tall face via large moves between crimps. It is a gorgeous line, and one that definitely makes me want to get stronger. This is a proud problem, and just one more awesome addition to the area courtesy of Dave Graham.
Now, the snow has returned for a day or two, which means it is time to head back to the gym. With some competitions on the horizon (Dominion River Rock, a few World Cups), I do need to keep some gym fitness. But, for the sake of variety and my motivation, I will DEFINITELY head back outside as soon as the boulders are dry again.