Get Psyched for ABS Nationals

13 02 2009

Once again, my awesome little sister Maddy is headed to ABS Nationals in Boulder this weekend, along with a bunch of other strong climbers. Unlike last year, Luke and I aren’t going this year. Instead, we’re running a trail race (most like in the rain) at the apparently beautiful Montana de Oro State Park. Also, my chest is only just healing and I would be totally not excited to get sick (like I did after volunteering at Nationals last year) again and start coughing again. So get stoked for the falls, the sends, the upsets, the victories, and all the news that will hit the blogs on Monday.

Maddy climbing at the Circuit (I think)

~Lizzy





ABS Nationals Recap

25 02 2008

February has been a crazy month and our three day trip to Boulder was no exception. Lizzy and I flew out of San Diego Friday morning so that we could compete in the Citizens comp at CATS that night. With only carry on baggage and an on time flight we were able to make our bus to Boulder from the Denver airport. One transfer lead us to within a mile of The Spot and CATS, what an amazing transit system! We grabbed lunch and walked with all our stuff to CATS. Snow on the ground was a drastic change and we exchanged flip flops and t-shirts for shoes and a down jacket.

CATS is small and was uncrowded since we arrived there with plenty of time to spare. The climbing section of this gymnastic facility has a lot of very cool angles in a very small amount of space. The walls were freshly painted but the gloss paint provided horrible friction. As well the finish holds were all odd configurations of 2 X 4’s and were not to friendly. The shortcomings in the facility were made up for by the friendliness of the staff and the quality of the problems. The various angles provided a variety of styles and the climbs were set very well. Lizzy and I had fun and her family arrived a bit after we started climbing since they had a later flight.

After tiring ourselves out we got dropped off at the Spot for our judging meeting. Lizzy and I volunteered to judge the qualifiers and the finals for the Youth section of the comp. It gave us something to do and I was happy to be involved in such a high caliber climbing event. We got to see some of the routes set on Friday night and had a lot of exposure to some of the up and coming climbing talent. For our judging duty we got an early start Saturday morning and were at the gym for almost 12 hours including our time watching the open finals. Our judging jobs were easy since the majority of the kids flashed our problems and we got to go to finals for free. Another benefit was getting to watch some of our friends and Lizzy’s sister climb up close.

The open finals were quite packed and it was great to see all the strong climbers. Video can be found at MomentumVM.com shot by Andy Mann and others. Susánica Tam, an LA local who we saw at regionals, also made a great slideshow of the event. Paul Robinson beat out Chris Sharma and the show was spectacular. The routes were more of a challenge this year for the climbers and the 4th final problem remained unsent during the comp. This is much different than last year’s nationals in Maryland. A report can be found at routesetter.com about how the field was much stronger than expected. During open finals four guys and seven girls flashed all of the problems. As well when they set a super finals problem 3 of the 4 guys flashed that as well causing the tie to be broken by the qualifiers. Paul Robinson, this year’s winner, only flashed one of the three problems he completed.

Sunday was the Youth finals and Lizzy and I got moved up a problem in the lineup so that we had more falls and more excitement. Lizzy even had one of her climbers top-out early over an out of bounds line causing the head judge to step in and confirm the ruling. I had the younger kids again, Youth D, and my problem was a bit easy for the field. It saw a majority of flashes with another three or so sends 2nd try. Three or less kids were unable to send the problem.

Boulder was a ton of fun and it was good to meet new people, including the Climbing Narc, and see some old friends. The Spot was very cool and helped expand my mind in terms of what people want in a climbing gym. It was quite small and had only 2 free standing boulders but it featured tall walls with interesting angles. I ended up winning Men’s Advanced at the Citizen’s comp which means I will have to do open next year. I hope to visit boulder again and get on some of the real rock in the area!

Cheers,

Luke





ABS Nationals and Red Rocks!

14 02 2008

ABS nationals is this weekend and we are flying out to boulder to compete and to help judge the Youth event. Lizzy’s sister is competing and so is Dan Beall, one of my friends from San Diego. We will also be seeing the ClimbingNarc and his team out from Wisconsin. Lizzy and I will be competing at the late Friday session at CATS for the citizen’s comp. It looks to be a small comp but it should be fun regardless and Lizzy is excited since Bobbi Bensman is going to be in our session.

Saturday we will be up early to help out with the Youth qualifiers which will be a new experience. It is just the experience I want since I would like to learn how to run comps and what makes good comps. Saturday night will be Open finals where we will see a crazy showdown of the top men and women from the US! There is extra pressure this year due to the upcoming Bouldeing World Cup in Vail, CO. It is pretty crazy that both Chris Sharma and Lisa Rands are coming back to compete. It will be great to see how the new generation does against these two super stars.

Sunday we will be judging Youth finals and then heading back to San Diego that night. Lizzy will be sticking around since she has the day off even though I have to work. After only two and half days of working we will be off on another trip to Red Rocks. Rebecca, one of my friends from college, will be flying out for an exciting four day multi-pitch extravaganza.

I did a bit of prep for this trip by going to Red Rocks last weekend. Lizzy was playing Frisbee in Vegas so one of her friends, Sean, and I took to the rocks with a vengeance. The gorgeous weather at Red Rocks allowed us to climb all day Friday and Saturday. Friday was moderate climbing with nothing over 5.9+ so we were able to do~ 1800 feet of climbing. We simuled Johnny Vegas to get to the upper tier of solar slab. From here we started with Sundog which was a fun 5 pitches with a funky 5.9+ bolted bulging groove. After rapping the route and resting our feet we decided to try to keep to our goals and climb Sunflower. This climb was a good bit harder and had a great finger crack and a run out crux friction pitch. After many repels, the last 4 in the dark, we got safely back to the ground.

The next day, with sore feet, we decided on the long hike to the Eagle wall. We set our eyes on Eagle’s Dance and were prepared for a bit harder climbing. Taking a more direct approach allowed us to cut 45 mins of the previous time I went to the Eagle wall. With perfect weather it was amazing that we had the wall practically to our selves the whole day. Our only visitor was a Peregrine Falcon that would occasionally dive past us. The climbing on this route was very sustained with only two of the nine pitches below 5.10. With a bunch of linking we were able to cut the route down to five pitches of mainly bolted climbing. The crux came after a short bolt ladder in the form of difficult stemming. The first section, supposedly only 10b was quite tricky and it took me a good while to believe that I should start climbing and leave the belay. After getting to good jams in the crack there was a rest on a slab and another crux section. This part was even more fierce and had amazing palming and laybacking in a slabby groove. I got buzzed by the falcon while I was placing gear and nearly popped off.

This was the last pitch and a relief for Sean who had been suffering from 20+ pitches of climbing in fairly new shoes. You could see the grimaces of pain each time he moved up on this footwork intensive route. We decided to take Sunday off to enjoy the sun and watch our girlfriends play ultimate. It was a great trip and I am really excited to go back!

A few weeks ago I got a tip from SpliterChoss about a 2 for 1 special and picked up a few guidebooks for paces I want to visit. In addition to the good price and they also had a drawing from those that bought books for a new rope. Magically I won!!! So I will be getting a new Sterling rope in addition too two cool guidebooks. I had been looking at Sterling ropes recently and was interested in seeing how they climb.

This has been a great month of climbing and it seems to only be getting better as we approach March and our week long Indian Creek Trip!!

Ciao!

– Luke





congrats, Maddy, on making it to Nationals!

28 01 2008

So my sister, Maddy, competed in the youth ABS regionals in Oregon a couple weeks ago and did well enough to get invited to ABS nationals in Boulder, CO.

Because I’m an awesome sister and love to travel, Luke and I will be joining my parents and one of Maddy’s teammates in Boulder over nationals weekend, Feb 15-17, to cheer, volunteer, compete in the citizen’s comp, and hopefully get lots of free stuff. When I went to nationals last year, I ended up standing on the same chair as Michael Reardon (RIP), so I have high hopes for meeting some more awesome climbers this year.

Anyways, congrats to Maddy and all the others who’ve qualified for youth nationals and we’ll see you there!

btw, here is some footage of team vertical world competing at regionals in Oregon:

Lizzy