27 April 2011

Milan Bouldering World Cup

I spent last week in Milan, Italy, people-watching and scoping out new outfit ideas because it was FASHION WEEK!! A few things I noticed:

Converse sneakers (takes me back to first grade, it´s the return of The Sandlot era!)
leather jackets
highwater pants
murses (men´s purses)

leggings with nothing over them
spandex all-green jumpsuits (?)
ugg boots

Luckily I wasn´t caught wearing anything in the OUT category, but I didn´t have anything from the IN side either, although in elementary school I definitely had red All-Stars and flood pants. I won´t post a photo.

I suppose the real reason we were in Milan was for the opening competition of the 2011 Bouldering World Cup Season. That was pretty fun too, I guess... :) I thought the problems were hard; they felt very powerful and I didn´t. I ended up in 8th place, just out of the finals, which is a great start to the season, but still leaves room for improvement!

Japan´s Akiyo Noguchi and myself in Qualifiers

Thanks to Pasquale Mangione for the photos!

The next competition isn´t until May 7 in Dragomer, Slovenija, which has given us a lot of time for climbing outside in the sun in all the cool places around Innsbruck.

It has been wonderful to be outside so much already, because soon there will be competitions every weekend and schedules will start getting busy!

07 April 2011

Route Nationals/My Birthday!

Last weekend Movement Climbing + Fitness in Boulder, Colorado hosted the USA Sport Climbing National Championships. It also happened to be my 22nd birthday!
Qualifiers were on Friday and the format couldn't have been more anti-me: 7-1-7; seven minutes for the first route, one minute transition, seven minutes on the second route. No rest period! Surprisingly I finished the first route. It was one of the most fun gym routes I've ever done. And all the holds were green which is my favorite color! Being a boulderer, and because we had a mere one [1] minute rest I did not get far up our second route, which gave me a 7th place combined score.
The next afternoon I competed in Speed Climbing for the first time in five years. Now, I know how the general climbing community feels towards the discipline of our sport that is racing up walls, so if you're reading this please don't tell anybody! Anyways it was fun, I got 4th place, and I need to run more. I blamed my wheezing on the Colorado altitude. Nobody needs to know I spent the past five weeks in Boulder...
Racing right along to the Lead Finals! There were twelve men in finals and nine women, and we were brought out and introduced.
I am way over on the left in yellow!
Photo by Dane Cronin
After our introductions, we were able to preview our finals routes. The women's route was blue and the men's orange. Every single hold on our route was a pinch, and every hold on the men's route was a sloper.
Photo by Dane Cronin
The running order is reversed for finals so I was the third girl out to climb. The finals route for lead was extremely similar to our last finals problem at Bouldering Nationals... Just longer. (See photos on my ABS blog post! I am right!) When I walked out of isolation I was excited to climb the blue pinchy route! It was very fun, and even had a little dyno in the center.
Photos by Dane Cronin
I fell off near the top going from this blue left hand pinch to this blue right hand pinch. My result in finals was second place!! The blue pinches spit off every girl except Sasha DiGiulian who easily pinched her way to the top with her 5.14c little girl hands. Unfortunately, finals only counted for 85% of the end result, and the 15% of being in 7th place in qualifiers sunk me down to 4th place at the 2011 Sport Climbing Nationals.

NOTE: After recent notifications scoring errors have been fixed, final results changed, and I have officially been bumped up to second place!! :)
The Champ! Miss Sasha :)
please note the blue pinches
Photo by Dane Cronin
To kill time while the scores were being deciphered there was a Best Dressed competition, the winner of which was voted on by the spectators. I was honored to be one of the top two with Paige Claassen. I was lookin' pretty fly but I'm pretty sure we tied.
Photos by Dane Cronin
The scores still weren't quite tallied so all that fashion show excitement was followed by Taylor leading "Happy Birthday" being sung to me by the entire gym. Then finally the award ceremony.
SCS Nationals was a super fun comp, but I was turning 22 at midnight and it was birthday party time. Check out these highlight videos by Jon Glassberg with LT11.

Women's Highlights

05 April 2011

From Bishop to Boulder

For someone who isn't in school and doesn't have a "real" job I've been super busy! Taylor, myself and our Canadian, Thirza recently road tripped together from Bishop, CA where I spent two lovely months, to Boulder, Colorado.
Home Sweet Home in Bishop
Goodbye, Love!
I've spent the last month in Boulder utilizing the numerous facilities here and trying to get back in plastic shape for this summer's world cup season.
Although it is training time, you can't come to Colorado and not climb outside... I've also been playing around in local areas like Horsetooth Reservoir and the Satellites with good friends/badasses like Angie Payne. (Not to drop any names or anything...) Cool stuff can happen when girls tag team boulder problems like the classic Moon Arete (V9).
A few weeks ago I traveled to Philadelphia, PA for the Junior Indoor Bouldering Championships. I attended this event last year to help with the competition and teach bouldering clinics the day after the event. I thoroughly enjoyed working with these motivated kids so much that I couldn't stay away. This year was just as fun. Be sure to watch out for some of these fresh young guns in the future: Solomon & Grace Barth, Devin Cooley, Jackson Tankersley, Emily & Elizabeth Mulloy, Zoe Steinberg and one of the most inspiring youths out there, Ashima Shiraishi.
Last week I had the privilege of climbing with Zoe and Ashima again in Hueco Tanks, Texas. Some of the older boys on the Movement Climbing Team spent spring break in the bouldering mecca and I was lucky enough to be able to tag along with Coach Taylor. Needless to say it was never boring being on a climbing trip with a fistfull of high school boys far outnumbering the females. It was hot, hot, hot in the desert but somehow we still managed to take down a few boulders.
 Assisted Brushing
Photo: Tucker Samuelson
Photo: Tucker Samuelson
One of the most motivating experiences I've ever had was the day I spent climbing with Ashima. Brett Lowell and Jason Kehl from Big Up Productions were down in Hueco shooting with Ashima and her coach, not-that-old-school badass from "back in the day" (aka like five years ago) Obe Carrion.  That girl is a powerhouse, and her climbing movements are so natural it's mind blowing. What I enjoyed most about being able to spend time climbing with her is her positive attitude towards the sport. Honestly, she truly doesn't understand how talented she is, and that makes her a very special kid. Here's a link to Jamie Emerson's blog "B3 Bouldering" to read more about all of her amazing accomplishments in Hueco this past spring break.
After spending six days in the park, we finally got our fill of wildlife on our final day in Hueco. Within the same five minute time period we ran across javelinas (mini wild pigs) and a nasty rattle snake! Regardless of how many cacti I had tripped over or bumped into in that week, walking around in flip flops was never the same again after the snake encounter.
Photo: Anders Rasker
We exited the park shortly after this sighting. This trip definitely wasn't boring. In the short, hot week we spent a stone's throw away from Juarez, Mexico, I managed to take down about three times as many Mexican donuts that are in this photo.
I also did a few fun boulder problems including Tequila Sunrise (V11),  Pumped Full of Semen (V8/9), Baby Face (V7, very cool!) and the playful Mexican Chicken (V6). There may be more that I have forgotten. Needless to say, Ashima's weekly ticklist far overshadows mine. Here's a cool video of Mexican Chicken shot by Keegan Ridgley. I still can't figure out how to upload videos onto this thing!
 We left the Texan desert exhausted, tan and unbearably filthy. I returned to Boulder, CO just in time to start training for the USA Climbing Rope Nationals taking place the very next weekend!