Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2nd Place Finish PRG Winter Burn - ABS Regionals

photo: Danielle Vennard (WB11)
This weekend was the 6th annual Philadelphia Rock Gym ABS Regional Championships (Winter Burn).  Despite some snowy weather Friday night that looked like it might impair our travels, Saturday morning came and the roads were clear so we made the trip to Philly. 
The Winter Burn always draws a large crowd including some very strong north east climbers.  This year was no exception.  From what I gathered from the staff, this year was PRG's largest turnout and the Open category was stacked as usual.  We had 3 hours to climb in a section judged format competition.  I barely filled my card at the end of 3hrs but I was happy, had a lot of fun and felt good despite having lost a significant amount of skin.
I managed to make finals and in the end ended up in 2nd place when it was over.  Looking back as most competitors do, I wish I would have done a couple of things differently to gain additional holds on some of my attempts.  The competition was tough but I was happy to do as well as I did.   
I had a great time, the setting for the competition was great and seeing old friends and meeting new people is always a good time.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

South East

The weather was prime and I couldn’t ask for a better crew or psych than I had over the past week.  I made it to Alabama late last Wednesday and we stayed with our friend Josh Reyes and his family near Birmingham.  Josh’s wife had a pulled pork dinner waiting for us when we got in at 1am.  Southern hospitality cannot be beat.  Where else can you roll in at 1am and have a delicious home cooked meal waiting for you on the table?  We stayed up enjoying our meal and the amazing hospitality talking about the climbs we wanted to get on the next morning at Hp40.  I mentioned that I was really psyched to get on God Module, Slider and a few other rigs that looked incredible.  We were all getting sleepy and decided to call it a night so we cleaned up and went to sleep.

We woke up early the next morning to make the 40 min drive to Hp40.  I have been wanting to try out God Module one of the king lines at hp40 for some time now.  The rock felt like velcro that morning.  I was sure that the weather would not be a factor so we warmed up and headed back to give it a few tries.  My first two attempts were complete failures.  The starting foot on God Module is no better than a grease spot on a flat wall.  The first move felt really difficult and I barely managed to pull off the ground and grab the first crimp let alone make the next move.  I quickly warmed up to the first move and managed to do the rest of the climb in about 10 trys.  I was psyched.  I didn’t expect to send let alone send quickly.  I had some skin to spare and my psych was high so we ran around the boulder field and did a ton of classic hard lines.  I couldn’t have asked for a better first day in the south.
My second day was equally as good but I felt a head cold starting.  My partner on my trip had contracted nothing short of what seemed to be typhoid fever the day before we left and I was the victim of circumstance.  I took some time to rest but the sickness had already set in.  It didn’t end our trip rather, we decided to stay and take longer rest days than initially expected. 
My next day climbing I got a tour of a local AL spot.  I was psyched about getting a chance to climb at a new area and meet some new friends but what I was really looking forward to on the trip tho was my time at LRC.  I had only been there once before and I was injured so my time at LRC was very minimal, a few hours at best and I didn’t get to climb very much.   This time was different.  I was feeling sick but not run down between rest days.  My main goal was the Shield.  Every area has a king line.  The Shield at LRC is a king line.  It climbs an incredible piece of white sandstone with a lighting crack feature directly down the center of a gently overhanging face.

It was cool the day I got to climb at LRC.  Temps were in the 40’s and I was feeling good after a few days of rest.  My throat felt like I had swallowed a mouth full of glass and my nose wouldn’t stop pouring but I was going to make the best of it.    I warmed up on some classics, White Face, Faces in the Crowd and some other lines in that area and then made my way back to my project.  It was my first time attempting the shield so i wasn’t sure what to expect.  I shoed up and made it to the crux of the climb first try.  Got down...  pondered the slopey crimps and cruxs move then gave just the crux section an attempt.  I did the crux moves independently first try and I felt like the climb would fit me very well.  I jumped down and started my red point burns.  I jumped on for my red point burn made it to the jug felt great hit the slopey crimps, still felt good did the crux and was amazed that I was at the top of the boulder problem.  It felt like i had energy to spare and I was surprised to be at the top on my 3rd go at it.  I was psyched however; I couldn’t reach the last move.....  I tried everything...  but the hold felt completely out of reach.  I finally dropped to the ground and made a few more goes at the last move until I realized that I would need to grab the last good crimp slightly differently than I originally thought and needed to adjust my beta.  Once I realized what I had to do at the end of the climb I felt confident that it would go down.  I did the climb next try and was so psyched to be topping out this amazing boulder problem.  The rest of the trip didn’t resonate completely with me.  I was so happy to do so many great lines while I was in the south and to have climbed really well even tho I was sick.  It felt heady as we walked out of LRC our final day.  The south is just an amazing place to climb.