Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Tale of Two Comps.

Saturday was a full day of climbing at the Vedauwoo Bouldering Competition. The weather was beautiful, and we climbed with a lot of great people. One interesting development this year was the large number of female competitors. At a Vedauwoo comp a few years ago, Ashley was the only girl who competed. This year, it looked like the gender ratio was about even, and many of the strongest women climbers from the Front Range were there.

Davin and Josh do a pretty good job of mixing it up each year. One year the venue was changed a week before the comp. This year they upped the number of problems to ten, and only included a few problems at the most popular areas in the competition. This pretty much forced everyone to jump in their cars and visit outlying areas by the afternoon. I was a little bummed to see that "Iron Maiden" wasn't included in the guide. I had planned my competition circuit around that problem. It also seemed like having to send ten problems and get to outlying areas would put us both at a serious disadvantage. With the kids along, we didn't have a chance of visiting all the areas and problems that could help our score.

You can only do your best to work with the situation. So I studied the maps, and came up with a circuit that would work. We climbed well, sending most of our problems first or second try which was really important on the sharp rock.

Amanda doing the days warm-up "Day After Tomorrow."

Having to get ten problems turned out to be an advantage. The past few weekends at Vedauwoo had prepared our skin, and we know the area well, so we managed to avoid sharp, sandbag problems. Many bloody fingered competitors didn't manage to fill their scorecards. Ashley came in first in the women's division, and I got fourth place in the men's. Justin Jaeger managed to cruise up everything (even problems not included in the comp), socialize with everybody, take a lot of photos, win the comp and get the first blog post up all with bloody fingers. Quite impressive.

The rainbows driving home were incredible. Here are a couple photos taken while driving.

Pot of Gold road hazard!

The next day I was too sore, but Ashley felt good enough to compete in the Inner Strength comp. The place was packed,

and Colin seemed a bit stressed after organizing the event.

Alex Puccio was competing, and Ashley went into the finals in second place.

After getting into the finals, the top three competitor's places were totally determined by their performance on two final problems. Alex and Ashley flashed the first problem, and Elle climbed it in three tries. The second problem was flashed by Alex and Elle, but long moves, lack of feet, and fatigue kept Ashley from finishing it. Ashley came in third place. Ian Dory won the men's division.

Comps are a complex game. Different rules and environments, strategy, and pure luck on percentage moves, all mix up the game. Strength is a prerequisite to win, but far from a guarantee. That's what keeps them interesting. Thanks to Josh, Davin, and Colin for putting these two together. Fun stuff. Next week we'll be at the Horsetooth Hang. It's time to start searching for western wear.


sock hands said...

psyched to hang out w/ you cats on saturday! can't believe ashley competed on sunday. we did one problem sunday from a start that avoided most of the crimp-nasty moves... even w/ five alieve pills in me, i couldn't stomach pulling on small holds!

i'll have more woo shots up through the week.


everything is different in the morning said...

such a flattering photo of me...