Weekend Warriors

Last weekend was enjoyable.

First, it started with a local ABS competition in Ft. Collins.  Jim Redo (a coach for Team Sik Bird) and I drove together at 7am to the Miramont gym in Ft. Collins where the competition was held.  It was a good drive; the ground was lightly covered in snow, the heat was on, and good conversations were being held.  It made me want to go road trip!

I miss road trips

Team Sik Bird had 12 athletes representing and they all placed very well.  Most importantly though, they all had great attitudes.  Some kids didn’t have their best climbing day, but they still had smiles on their faces.  All of the kids were cheering for their fellow competitors and friends.  Many of them told me they were proud of themselves for their performance.  I’m thankful that they are beginning to recognize their strengths as this will only increase their confidence for the upcoming Regional Championship.  Watching these young athletes grow and progress is something that I truly love about coaching.

After the youth event was the adult competition.  I changed my clothes, hung up my coaching hat, and got into game mode for myself.  My excitement was high because this was my first bouldering competition since the IFSC Bouldering World Cup that was held in Vail in June.   For the women’s side we had Flannery Shay-Nemirow and Chauncenia Cox among other strong women holding it down.  Kynan Waggoner made the drive up to support me (really, we had a mini competition going on between each other…I dominated him), which made the comp even more fun for me.  Overall the problems were really fun and well set!  In the end, Chauncey took first, I took 2nd, and Flan took 3rd.  It was great to climb with these strong boulderers!

Lots and lots o'plastic...

Sunday started off slow, but Kynan and I eventually rallied and headed to Clear Creek so I could finish up some business (and enjoy real rock).  The week before the IFSC Lead World Cup in Boulder I went to the Primo Wall with friends, Jim Redo and Jon Cardwell, for some fun and climbing in the sun.  It had been months since I had climbed on a rope outdoors, so it was good for me because it helped take my mind off of the upcoming competition.  I tried this route called Squeeze Play, a 5.13b or c (depending on who you talk to or where you look, but I don’t think it’s .13c) literally squeezed between two 5.12’s.  I fell a couple of times going to the finish hold and was unable to finish this route before the World Cup.  Sunday my goal was to finish this route.  The temps were only in the mid to upper 30’s in Clear Creek, but surprisingly it didn’t feel too cold for sport climbing.  I warmed up on a route and then immediately got on Squeeze Play.  I climbed to the top crux without falling, but quickly realized I forgot the beta at the top.  All the moves felt farther and slightly more powerful than I remembered.  I fell, again, going for the last hold and screamed.   I’m not really sure why I have been screaming when I fall from a redpoint burn on a route…it started in Spain and it seems to have stuck.  Maybe it’s part frustration or nerves.  I’m not sure, but I’d like to stop screaming when I fall…I think it’s a little annoying.

So imagine yourself sitting on the top of this boulder. Then you see hands like the ones here reach over the top. You may scream, but you also may wonder ‘wtf.’ This reaction is like the reaction I have when I fall…I scream because maybe I’m a bit scared, but maybe because I’m thinking ‘wtf, I was so close!’          Andrew Kornylak photo

After I figured out my beta again, I went to the ground, rested and quickly gave it a second burn before I got too cold.  I felt terrible through the whole route until I got to the rest below the final bouldery crux.  I was shaking and I felt as if I was going to fall at any moment.  But at the rest I was able to relax and pull myself together.  This time I didn’t fall going for the last hold…instead I easily grabbed it and clipped the anchors.  When I came to the ground, Puma was there greeting me happily, but also shaking from the cold, so we left immediately.

My Puma dog

I can’t wait to get out and clip some bolts again…even stacking some pads would be nice 🙂 Maybe this weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving!!


2 responses to “Weekend Warriors

  1. Great read Chels, nice to see you placed well in the comp. I think its really cool how climbers are so versatile as far as what style of climbing theyre doing from day to day. Ive been bouldering for a while and just now getting into sport climbing.. I can only hope one day to send a 5.13! Keep crushing and blogging!!

    • Chris,
      I’m glad you’re enjoying what I’m writing! I agree that it is really cool how versatile climbers can be: sport climbers turn ice climbers, boulderers turn sport climbers, etc, etc.

      Make sure you keep bouldering even when you’re focusing on sport climbing…it’s good for your power. If you keep it and want it bad enough, you’ll send 5.13! 🙂

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