I still remember qualifying for the National Championships for the first time. When I came into the gym, I saw the strongest boulderers of The Netherlands drinking coffee with each other while waiting for the competition to start. I felt pretty uncomfortable, being a newbie at the competition scene with only one year climbing experience. That was almost four years ago. This weekend I had a similar experience, only this time I was sharing boulder problems with world-class climbers such as Daniel Woods and Dave Graham.
Galina, Mike and I competed at the Gladiator competition at The Spot. This is the last competition of four within the Spot Bouldering Series. It was my first Spot competition and I have to say: I had tons of fun!
The route setters had stripped all the walls and did an amazing job putting up awesome, technical and fun boulder problems! When we entered the gym I wanted to jump on all those cool looking problems. But we had to wait till 5 pm…
We started with an advanced problem, starting on a big volume with balancing moves to the top. My nerves were present, but they faded quickly thankfully. Climbing a problem with many people standing behind you, watching your moves, make you want to flash every problem.
Directly after this first climb, Galina and I decided to try Open #1. While we were standing in line, watching others to gain some beta, Daniel Woods jumped on the problem. What else can you wish for? Beta from one of the strongest climbers in the world :). I was happy to flash this fun problem.
Open #2 was a super technical slab climb whereby you had to balance your way up to two volumes and then jump to the left. With a lot of trouble I made it onto the volumes and then I jumped. I stuck the holds and was two moves away from a flash. The next move wasn’t easy but I managed to hold on and yes there it was, my 2nd flash of the evening.
Open #3 was a traverse on small crimps and pretty shouldery. I had trouble with the first moves, getting my feet high up a volume. When I managed to step up in my next try, I blew it at the shoulder move. Copying the beta of smaller people (high right foot) wasn’t working for me apparently Using my own beta in the third go resulted in a top.
Open #4 was a powerful problem with pinches. I almost flashed it, but unfortunately my hand slipped of a hold. Bummer! The next try I couldn’t get through the crux anymore. Luckily I could climb that part in my third try again and then finished it.
Open #5 and #6 were both pretty powerful with big moves. I tried them, but decided that it wouldn’t be worth it. Too hard for me. It was amazing to watch Nina Williams and Megan Mascarenas finish Open #6. So strong!
Photo Credits: Jackie Hueftle
GladiatorsIn between the qualifiers and final we watched the death-match between the gladiators! With big sticks they had to fight each other and oh my, that was rough! They really went for it, hitting as hard as possible to push each other off.
Within this strong field of climbers, I was super happy that I made it into finals. Oh gosh I felt tall and old, standing next to the other finalists. I guess some of those strong kids are half of my age 😉
We had four minutes to climb one final problem. I qualified 6th out of the 8 finalists. The men’s final was climbed at the same time. A crazy strong field including Dave Graham, Daniel Woods, Michael O’Rourke and Matty Hong were climbing the finals. It felt almost like an ABS Nationals! The crowd was super enthusiastic and motivating.
Then it was my turn to jump on the problem. When I was a few moves into my problem, someone called me out. I used a hold that wasn’t on the problem! Oops!!! Still not completely used to the colored tags instead of colored holds I guess 🙂 In total I did three tries and made it up half way the problem. I couldn’t make the move into an undercling.
|Photo Credits: Katrin Bell|
|Photo Credits: Katrin Bell|
It became pretty exciting when Isabelle Goodacre, flashed the problem. Nina and Megan must have felt a lot of pressure because they had to flash it too now! Impressively they both did, which resulted in the following ranking:
1. Megan Mascarenas
2. Nina Williams
3. Isabelle Goodacre
Mike became 4th in the advanced category!!!! Great job! I was happy to see that I ended up 4th in the adults open category.
I would like to thank everybody for the great atmosphere and the setters of the Spot for all the awesome problems! Looking forward to the next Spot Comp!
The Spot Setting Blog – Womens Open Final Results
The Spot Setting Blog – Men’s Open Final Results
I signed up for ABS Nationals. Super psyched, especially because it’s in my own hometown!!
Two more weeks of training and then try my hardest!!!