Plastic and Cracks!

14 01 2008

The past weekend saw a lot of rock climbing and even more sore muscles.

After fueling with pasta and cheesecake in Pasadena on Friday night, we headed up to Ventura on Saturday morning to compete in the citizen’s ABS Regionals comp at Vertical Heaven. When we arrived in Ventura and got out of the car, the air smelled disgusting – I was concerned about having to breath it all day, but amazingly I either got accustomed to it or it smelled better inside the gym. We checked in and got some free stuff in a Mad Rock bag and sweet T-shirts.

The comp itself was 3 hours long, with 60 problems, 15 each in Rec, Intermediate, Advanced, and Open categories. It being my 2nd comp ever, I struggled a bit. I tried basically all of the the intermediate problems, flashing 2 and making good progress on a lot of others, although I didn’t end up sending them. Luke was climbing in the Advanced category and did pretty awesome, winning 2nd (a free headlamp). We were able to garner some more free stuff – lots of t-shirts, stickers, and a chalkbag via a raffle and them randomly throwing free stuff to the crowd before the finals.

We were a little surprised at how few really good climbers were there, but apparently the comp didn’t really matter for people who wanted to go to Nationals. Lisa Rands and Alex Puccio were the strong women, placing 1st and 2nd in the women’s open category. It was really cool to see Lisa climb AND she put her bag next to my bag on the floor so I ran into her a lot. There were some pretty crazy problems, too – including one involving a jumpstart to campus moves to a bat hang to an upside down dyno… a little ridiculous but a crowd pleaser for sure.

We had dinner with Hartley, Jamie, and Nicole, and headed back down to San Diego, sore but stoked for a day at Woodson on Sunday.

It was a great day for climbing – sunny and warm (although a bit chilly in the wind atop Robbins boulder). We climbed Robbins Crack first – I soloed it for the 2nd time and felt a lot less freaked out than the first time, which was good. Then after doing some easier cracks that our companions could actually climb, we managed to find California Night for the first time! Luke sent this and I was making pretty good progress, but wanted to save some energy for my nemesis, Jaws. I also made the stupid mistake of running a track workout in too-small shoes last week and my big toe has been painful and oozing a little blood since, so I couldn’t fit my right foot into my smaller shoes.

Then the boys enjoyed some time climbing steeper routes in a cool cave area before we headed to Jaws to finish the day. Luke and I soloed Baby Robbins and relaxed in the afternoon sun on the top – by this time we were both pretty worked from all the climbing we’d done this weekend. Luke’s left arm was really hurting and my tips were worn down practically to bleeding!

Then it was time to throw ourselves at Jaws. Luke sent it first try, which was pretty awesome. I got pretty close to the top on my first try, but fell as one of my off-jams slipped out. But it felt pretty good. The next couple tries felt awkward for me and I never made it as high as my first go… maybe next time when I’m less tired it’ll happen. Then I just have to keep sending it to get ready for IC…

I’m pretty sore still today, but luckily its a rest day for me – just classes and homework, so hopefully I can recover before this coming weekend. I’m also feeling pretty motivated to work hard at my Tuesday/Thursday ARC bouldering sessions so that I can climb better at the next comp we go to, whenever that may be.

That’s it for now,

Lizzy

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