With a little bit delay, Pascal and I finally moved to the USA, Colorado! We are five days into a new life, a new continent, a new climbing gym with new rules, climbing holds and people.
Despite being extremely busy finding a new house, car and getting administrative things arranged, we were still able to squeeze in two climbing sessions at our new local gym City Rock. The new climbing gym gave us new climbing challenges, none of the holds were familiar to us and we were gasping for air after climbing a route. It looks like we haven’t fully adjusted to living above 2000 meters yet. Another big difference is that the routes in the US climbing gyms tend to be defined by colored tags that are placed underneath the holds. This makes the routes less obvious, because you can’t just follow one color of holds.
Back in the Netherlands I had signed me up for the SCS Open National Championships at Movement Climbing gym in Boulder. I wanted to experience what it’s like to compete in the USA. It wasn’t until we came here that I realized what the SCS Open Nationals were all about. It is the main lead climbing event where the best climbers from all over the country travel to participate hoping to win a spot on the US National Climbing team. I saw Sasha DiGiulian on the list and other super strong climbers and almost regretted signing up myself. But I did and yesterday was the day!
When we walked in the gym, we could already see the routes because it was a flash format. They looked awesome! One color of holds in one route (good for me!) on a great overhanging wall. They had a video running that showed how the route could be climbed. At the start of my first route was a big sloper and I couldn’t figure out how good it was. I had to feel it.
I was second on the starting list for route B. Francesca Metcalf was first and I saw her climbing very smooth and steady. Supercool to watch. I had to tie in to the rope and it was funny to notice that the rope had the colors of the USA flag. “I’m really living here know”, I thought by myself. When I had to start climbing, my hands were tingling and I couldn’t get my nerves under control. I got passed the big sloper and climbed further. Couldn’t think, didn’t know if my hands would stick the holds, crazy! Worse then my first lead climbing competition a few weeks ago. Half way I forgot the sequence, searched and fell. Wow, I got further then I ever imagined!! After my climb, the judges showed me on the routeboard where they had seen me fall. I had to sign to agree. Very well organized!
After an hour I started on my second route. I saw most of the girls of group A climbing, so I knew where the difficult parts in the route were. Much more relaxed I started this route, passed the first two difficult sequences and fell approximately 3/4 of the way up. A very nice first experience and I’m looking forward to climb more competitions! The next big competition is the World Cup Bouldering in Vail. I have two months left to train hard, and I surely will!
Today we are going to tour some more houses in Colorado Springs and are then going up to Boulder to watch the finals tonight!!!