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!

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