SCS Nationals 09
With route comps, you think before the route, but more importantly, during the route. One fall, one mistake, you're gone.
Here's your comp tee shirt, come again next year.
Being calm, but confident is the key. Just because you CAN do a move a certain way doesn't mean you SHOULD. Generally, a boulderer's power leads him into V8 sequences that gain them a few holds but cost them precious juice- that could have been saved if the easier, techy sequence was discovered.
Well respected for his bouldering skills, Carlo Traversi just flipped the switch and decided to do routes this summer, with a quick ascent of Dave Graham (and to be fair, Andy Raethers) "Girl Talk", a 14c in Rifle. With power enough to do any move a course setter would put on a route, he figured, hey, why not. I'll compete against veteran sport climbers like Ethan Pringle, Joe Kinder, and Dave Graham. Who are in great shape.
Emily Harrington and Paige Claassen revisited their heads up battle from last year, both looking to be in top form and as relaxed as any women's competitor since Robyn Erbesfield. Giving them a good chase were Sasha DiGiuligan, who will definitely be a contender for years to come, the fairly unheralded Sydney McNair, and another boulderer-turned-sport climber, Alex Puccio.
Is this a trend to continue? Boulderers tying in and adapting their ridiculous power to sport climbing power-endurance? If Alex and Carlo continue to lead the way, many of those gym and boulder rats may be invading the crags and comps a lot more in the near future.
Specializing used to be the way to the top. But now it may be that the buzzword from the 80s and 90s may be applicable now as well: Crosstraining.
The official SCS Nationals highlight reel is online now.
In Rememberance of Sean Patrick
Earlier today I was informed that Sean Patrick passed away after some post surgery complications. Sean was known mainly as the founder of HERA's Climb For Life foundation. After my first introduction to H.E.R.A. I became aware of all the issue surrounding ovarian cancer and I became a part of the event for the next four years. I was just one of the many people who's eyes were opened and was directly blessed with Sean's efforts and HERA.
Though this is a very sad day for all of us who knew Sean and had the opportunity of feeling her energy first hand, I know she would want us to remember her with happiness. Her zest for life was contagious and her strong will was a reminder to many cancer victims to never give up. Sean was one of those people that wasn't scared of death as she had faced it so many times. This mentality let her live every day fully, face many challenges without fear while inspiring so many others to do the same. Her life is to be celebrated, it is to be respected, and is a reminder of climbing all our obstacles with confidence and grace.She has created an amazing legacy within H.E.R.A. and it will surely live on in her name.
Behind the commotion caused by the usual Red River Gorge crew, many have a missed a calmer force crushing hard lines. Based out of Ontario Canada, Leslie Timms has been calling the road home for the past two years. Traveling in her souped out van with her ultra supportive hubby, Leslie seems to have the right equation for constant sending. This season her motivation was undying as she put down hard onsights and flashes on slimy days to frigid ones. Between her bubbly personality and persistent psych, you would never know she just returned to climbing after an eight month struggle with a daunting shoulder injury. Leslie’s newfound motivation has propelled her through her hardest sends this year such as Kaleidoscope, 13c, as well as quick ascents of Big Burley, 13b and Bohica, 13b. Check out her interview here and visit her blog at http://leslietimms.blogspot.com/ to see what keeps this lady cranking through the sweat, the freeze, and the pain.
You have come back stronger than ever after 8 months rest due to an injury. What’s your explanation for this?
Sheer psych! I actually think I’m weaker, less power and finger strength, but I’m just so motivated right now that I try really hard! I really look forward to when I am fully healed up (after surgery), then I know I will be ready to push some serious limits without any limitations.
You do several types of climbing, what’s your favorite and why?
I love all types climbing and I definitely would like to excel in all styles of the sport. However, I think that I will always be the most passionate about sport climbing. Nothing appeals to me more than a long and esthetic sport line. I love the physical and mental battle of a good sport route, how move after move you are battling with your mind and your body to keep holding on. It is amazing. Although I do like traditional climbing, it is really nice to not have to worry about placing gear and instead just focus purely on movement and difficulty.
What’s your redpoint strategy?
I’m actually kind of new to hard redpointing as of this fall, but I have learned a lot. While living on and off the road, I used to only put my focus towards onsight climbing or towards climbs that I could get quickly. The most important part of my redpoint strategy is to only pick a route that I am totally psyched about. I also do a lot of visualization and practicing the moves over in my head. When I have the moves memorized, it allows me to put my focus on my heart rate, my breathing and efficiency. This fall I’ve learned that you should really dial out the moves early in attempts, I would waste a lot of attempts just climbing it ground up until I fell, without wiring moves. I also like to set little goals for myself and I try to find motivation in subtle successes, and not just sending. This keeps me from getting frustrated and I leave each attempt feeling like I’ve progressed. If there is a questionable move or sequence, then I climb it like 10 times until it is completely wired and even climb into it from different sections of the route. Most importantly though, I just remind myself that it is just a rock climb and to think positive, have fun and try my hardest. It’s all about believing in yourself.
Do you follow any routines with climbing? i.e. Training, elected times throughout the year for bouldering or sports climbing?
Not really, I usually just go with the flow and with my motivation at the time. I have only been climbing outdoors for a few years, and it has been hard for me to find a routine when I have been shaping my climbing around injuries and travelling. When I trained indoors full time for 3 months and then bouldered outside for 2 months, I came back to sport climbing to redpoint a full number grade harder. I feel that once my shoulder is back to 100%, I will start to incorporate more of this training and more systems wall training (power moves on the same hold, varying angles, until failure). I feel that the best training for outdoor climbing is to climb outdoors, but I benefit a lot from system training, campusing and indoor bouldering. Endurance comes naturally to me, but in order to put down difficult routes I need to keep a strong base of power and contact strength. When on the road, I always try to leave a day a week dedicated to onsighting a lot of hard routes in a day. It is great endurance training, great for my confidence, and it keeps my onsight skills up to par. I also try to always pick projects of varying styles, so I stay well rounded.
You’re one of those chicks that climbs harder than her significant other. How does this change/dictate the dynamic of your relationship or climbing relationship?
My husband introduced me to climbing, and he definitely pushed me to climb harder. I think now that I am climbing harder than him, it is definitely pushing him to climb harder. Kyle has become like a coach to me, he is definitely my biggest fan and my best friend. He believes in me more than I believe in myself and he is always there to support and encourage me on anything. He puts my projects and goals before his own a little too much, but I think he gets a lot of fulfillment out of seeing me succeed. He definitely doesn’t battle with any ego issues with me climbing harder, he usually brags about it!
Who has the better climbing, Canadians or Americans?
I definitely can’t say which is better but I can say that Americans definitely have more variety and better weather. The bouldering is definitely better in the US and the southeastern states have the best sandstone around. However, the limestone in Lions Head, Ontario is some of the best sport climbing that I have done and in one of the most beautiful places in North America. There are some spectacular places in Canada to climb, but less of them and with much sketchier weather. If I could only pick one, I would say the US, only because the variety of stone, styles and settings.
Besides being injured you climb year round, what keeps you motivated?
I set a lot of short-term goals for myself and I make a lot of goal lists. I keep motivated by learning, and focusing on improving my weaknesses. I find if you are always learning something new, then you are always motivated to try out your new tricks. I also love to climb with lots of different people and feed off of others motivations as well. I get kind of lazy on the road, and I find myself losing my mojo at times. I just remind myself of how I always have more fun, when I try my hardest and to climb every day like it is your last day of the trip. Travelling to new areas always keeps me really motivated too. But most definitely my best headspace comes when I train and get psyched up all week and then crush on the weekend.
Who’s your climbing hero?
Lynn Hill is by far in a way my ultimate hero, I admire how well rounded she is at all types of climbing and her strong and positive way of thinking. I also admire Josune’s determination and discipline. Beth Rodden’s accomplishments are also a pleasant reminder that I need to stop being such a pansy on gear! I admire qualities in many different women that I’ve climbed with and I feel that you can learn a lot from anybody, no matter how hard they are climbing.
Do you ever become mental over routes? How do you over come that?
Yes! It gets so bad that I lose sleep over routes. I spend hours replaying a sequence or a fatal error over and over in my head; obsess much!?? It is definitely hard to overcome, because I will put a lot of pressure on myself over it. I guess what always helps me is to continually remind myself to just have fun, try my very hardest and to not forget to smile. It is crucial that I don’t take a route too seriously, or it is downhill from there. I also find that if you repeat positive talk over and over, eventually you’ll believe it. Sometimes I have to take a break from a route for a while, and come back to it later.
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