Saturday, February 16, 2008

ABS Nationals 2008 - Qualifiers

The results are in for the Qualifying round of the Open category of the ABS Nationals Championships. The Spot was fairly packed for the first round of the comp. With 78 men and 59 women competing and at least a couple hundred spectators, it looks like finals is going to be a packed house. Lots of strong climbers showed up this year, including some international folk that are definitely at the top of their game. As a first time competitor at the Nationals, I was interested to see how things would play out. When I finished climbing on the four qualifiers, I only had two thoughts in my head. Damn those problems were hard. And fuck, I definitely didn't make finals. However, I was pleasantly suprised to find my initial standing in 4th Place. I knew that this would be short lived because there were lots of very strong climbers to go. At the end of the day, I sit in a very suprising 7th Place with possibly the worst day of competition climbing (for me) under my belt. I can only promise that I will be much stronger for Finals. I have a lot left to leave on those fake boulders littered with plastic holds.

Alex climbed extremely well despite feeling dizzy, ill, and weak. She certainly didn't show it as she was the only climber to finish the 3rd and 4th women's qualifiers and flash every boulder problem. She is extremely psyched and can't wait to climb on some more challenging boulder problems in finals.

You can find the full qualifying results here.


And definitely drop by the Spot gym for finals which start at 7 o'clock on Sat. night. Their should be lots of amazing climbing going down. Shit's gonna hit the fan!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Breaking News

Connor Griffith has apparently scored a 110 second Expert minesweeper win blowing Alex Puccio's 115 second victory straight out of the water. It seems the showdown has begun for these two youngsters with no lives to speak of. I mean seriously, get a life you two. Hopefully this will be the last time I post about this ridiculous topic.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Next Generation

The qualifying round for the 2008 ABS National Championships commences this Friday with an extremely strong field. Lisa Rands and Chris Sharma will be competing and it will be interesting to see if the next generation of climbers can steal the top spot from the seasoned veterans that know it so well. Not to say that Alex Puccio and Paul Robinson (the top young climbers in the recent Mammut/EMS Series) are not accostomed to winning, but this year we'll get to see the ultimate showdown between young and not-so-old. I'm psyched. And hopefully I'll make finals and get to take part in the youth takeover.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Random Musings And A Serious Lack Of Psych

Today was the first day in a long time that I really feel like I accomplished something. Unfortunately that accomplishment was four hours of moving snow off the top of Suspension Of Disbelief in Eldorado Canyon. When Paul and I arrived at the boulder in unusually warm temps, I knew we were in for an epic. The climb was dry, but the top of the boulder had about a foot of snow hiding another inch of ice. So we went to work. Brushing snow, chipping ice, and expediting the slow melting process provided by the cold Colorado winter. When we hiked out a couple hours later I was suprised at how psyched I was to return and try to climb on a boulder that I've now put so much work into. Especially considering the overwhelming lack of psych I have been feeling lately.

For example, I can remember and count on one hand the days that I have been psyched in the last 2 months.

Here was one of the days:

Same day, New Psych:

Am I the only one that finds it funny that I have a highlight video on youtube.

Another day of psych was the last time I was bouldering in Eldo:

And then I did this four times and considering the fifty other times I have messed up this problem on previous days, the psych was lost again. Back to its Winter Hibernation I guess.

Switching to another subject (yes, they will continue to change sporadically), I talked to my little brother Giovanni the other day and he told me about his current exploits in NorCal. We discovered an area a few minutes from our house over the summer and it holds a suprising amount of potential.

Here are some pics:

Apparently G just found a 25' highball in the area and it could be pretty hard. More on that to come.

Another random bit. Alex just finished off her longtime project of beating Connor's (120 seconds on Expert) minesweeper score (somebody needs to convince her to get a job). 115 seconds on Expert is her new record. The world record is 37 seconds by some Australian dude. Crazy youtube video that one.

So the last month has been crazy. At the end of December I was fired from my job at the Italian Restaurant because I got sick and I guess they couldn't handle that. So for Christmas we drove to California to visit my family. We ended up staying for a month. It was a nice visit and it was fun to experience the local sandbagging that occurs at my home gym, Vertex Climbing Center. The head routesetter, Kevin Jorgeson, still manages to set V7's that take me three full days to complete. Nonetheless, it was a good time to train for the upcoming Rope and Bouldering National Championships.

We left California in mid-January and drove back to Boulder then back to Salt Lake City four days later. I hate Wyoming in the winter. We were scheduled to attend both the Outdoor Retailer Show and the SCS Adult National Championships. The Show provided a remarkable amount of drama and its fair share of suprising outcomes. After talking about the business aspects of the climbing industry for days on end I came to a startling number of realizations: 1. The athletes are getting screwed. 2. Companies need to improve their marketing strategies in order to better utilize the athletes within the sport. 3. The industry makes me sick to my stomach. The rope Nationals didn't go any better for me either. After tying for first in the Qualifiers, I completely screwed up the sequence on the finals route to land myself in a dissapointing 9th Place. Oh well, I'm not a rope climber at this point in my life. Despite the negative vibes I was getting in SLC, I had a great time staying at home of the very hospitable Steven Jeffery. I was also very impressed with the quality of the new Momentum Climbing Gym. Especially the boulder problems. They were definitely some of the best indoor problems I've climbed on in quite a while.

I guess this brings me up to date. ABS Nationals is in a couple of days. My brother and my mom are flying out for the comp. I can only hope for the psych to return for the comp. But if it doesn't, I still have a Sunday session on a dry Suspension to look forward to.

Updates to come. Soon. Not next month. I swear.