Saturday the 13th, the Halloween climbing competition at Electric City. Originally the plan for this weekend was to go to the Catskills place and do what we could before it started getting cold and time to close things up. During a visit to the gym the week before last week I noticed an ad for the comp. Looks like we’ll have to change the plans… we can’t possibly miss a climbing comp!
I was only climbing a few times since coming back from visiting Cindi. I felt pretty rested up. It’s always good to taper off before something like this so that you’re back up to full stamina (or pretty close). I climbed once during the first week of October, found out about the comp, and then didn’t climb any last week. Should be a good enough break.
I remembered the time wrong and got there way early. We got there at 4:00, and it started at 5:30 (whoops). It worked out though, since I had some time to run a power line for the computer I built for Andy. Me and my brother played jumpnbump (very fun game involving two battle bunnies) until everything was ready to start. About 100 people showed up. I saw Ben, so I went over to say hi. Ben’s been climbing since March and is pretty solid at 5.11 in the gym. Nutty. He has the strength and power, I have my technique and endurance. We’ll see which set wins.
This was actually a climbing as well as bouldering competition. Most tend to be just bouldering. So this makes it interesting. I warmed up just by climbing on random stuff on the back traverse and after a few runs I did my first route, 120 points, probably a V1. I never start at my level at a comp, a warmup is a must. I’ve seen quite a number of other people in the past just hop on the high scoring routes right away and burn themselves out. I worked my way up to some 300′s that felt V2ish and then noticed this 410 pointer that looked doable. Usually 400 is where it starts getting pretty rough. I onsited it after watching some people try and fall off. That’s one of the main strategies for me, gain as much info as you can to put the odds in your favor. On average you get about 30 more points if you get the route on your first go versus after a number of attempts. I hopped on the 410 and it didn’t seem too bad. I finished it nicely. Woohoo.
The rules for the day were stated that your top 5 routes count (which is pretty standard), and you must select 3 bouldering routes and 2 ropes, or 2 bouldering routes and 3 ropes. I needed another high scoring bouldering problem, so I walked over to the 60 degree wall to see what everyone was falling off of. People were working this route that looked kinda tough but doable… I studied the movements… I started up and got half way and got into a weird body position and couldn’t continue. I thought about what I should have done, got back up on the route and finished it! A nice 400 point route for the list. Now to head for the wall.
On average you get 20 more points for leading routes on the wall. I looked at this 300 pointer lead route and decided to give it a go. It felt 5.9ish, not too bad. On the right side of the wall I watched a guy attempt and fall off a route. After studying the holds I went to lead up it. I finished the route in nice style, a 375 point route for the card, nice. I eyeballed the next route I wanted to lead, a pink route for 430 that looked about 5.10ish up the middle. I went for it. The beginning and middle weren’t too bad, but at the top was a nasty sloper that spit me off. Rest time.
My brother pointed out a route in the left corner that was 310. I needed more wall routes for my score card so I did that one. It was really awkward and reachy but I got it done. So now I had 400, 410, 375, 310. I need either another high scoring wall route, or another high scoring boulder route to finish it up. I looked and looked for another wall route to do, I settled on a 350 in the middle. I got about 15 feet up and buttered off. On my second attempt I got about 20 feet up and buttered off. Rest time.
I gave the pink route another go. I got to the SAME spot with that nasty sloper and couldn’t make it. Time is running out, we have 30 minutes left and I need another route. I headed off to the bouldering room and checked out this sloper funfest that was 350. I gave it a go and fell off. Oh well, so much for the onsite bonus, now I can only get 330. I tried it a few more times… each time I got a little further. Man I’m tired. I sat down, drank some water and watched my brother climb.
I gave it a few more go’s. Twice I made it to the end and couldn’t stick the last hold. Andy walked by and I asked him if there was a hold missing tape towards the end. He looked and said, you know, this little thing here should be in. Noooooooooooooooooooo. All that effort to JUMP for the last hold and hold on, when I could have used the foot chip to balance over. Andy said that the missing hold was out the whole time and so it would be unfair to use it now. I tried the route again. And he said, you know, with both hands on the last hold, I’ll count that. Yes! 330 points. 1825 total, not too bad. Now to see what other people had.
The guy who won intermediate last year had 2300, dang, so much for first. Ben had 1940. If only I had gotten that pink route Aughh, now I might not even place at all.
Since people enter which ever category they feel they most likely belong, many people wind up in categories too low for them, and so the people who run the competition will bump people up to the next category if their score is too high. Everyone with more than 2000 got bumped to advanced. So that put Ben in first, myself in second, and my brother tied for fifth. Ben won a bouldering pad, I got some nice techware clothing, and my brother got a travel cooler pouch filled with organic energy bars, not bad for fifth. Ben deserves it, he works hard, he has the heart too. I already have a bouldering pad and I was thinking of getting a new under armor shirt anyway, so this works out great!