I felt pretty good warming up and headed out 2nd in the running order. I got myself pretty psyched listening to my ipod with my friend Charlie Andrews in the chair, then fired off the first qualifier quickly so I could have more time to rest. From the preview period, I saw that the 2nd qualifier was a tricky slab route with the crux in the roof section at the end. I tried to focus on resting and drinking water, but the stereo aimed at my head 4 feet away kinda distracted me a little. Still, I managed to stay in the moment and climbed the bottom half of the climb without too much trouble. The second half had a tricky move to a SoIll feature, then a huge move out right onto a good right hand (picture above). I then had to bring my feet up and finish the rest of the roof with some cool foot beta and crazy undercling moves. It was a pretty cool route overall.
After a quick lunch at Panera Bread (I got a turkey sandwich), Charlie and I headed back into isolation to start finals. We played a couple rounds of Jungle Speed (best game EVER) and walked out for preview. The final route stretched up the right side of the roof, with what looked like the crux coming off of a huge volume and having to make a big move to double underclings. I previewed the whole thing with Charlie, my friend Eric Sanchez (who is in the next age category up), and the two other kids in my category, Will Roderick and Rick Gentry.
The first part of the climb looked like it had some pretty tough sequency sections, followed by either a big move straight up or down to an undercling to get the right hand on a crimp, following that, there were a couple pinches leading up into the roof, where the climb went to some roof jugs and a big move to a good hold on a volume beefore heading up. As I flashed both climbs in qualifiers, I was last to head out of isolation. I heard Will and Charlie get pretty high, so I knew the bar was set. I set up on the starting holds and cruised the bottom section without much of a problem. The crux ended up being transitioning off of the upper volume in the roof to the underclings above. After that, the last move to the finish hold wasn't too bad.
right before the crux
Photo: Eric Wang
After difficulty was finished, we headed over to the speed wall while some of the kids in the other categories were getting ready for superfinals. Charlie and I ended up racing each other, which we usually end up doing anyways. It was really close again, with both of us pretty much tying on the first wall, but I hit 4.75 seconds on wall 2, putting me ahead by about a second. Probably the greatest speed sets I saw today came from one of my friends on my team, Sam Steuart. He climbed the left wall in about 10 seconds, but he was really pissed at himself for slipping at a couple spots, so he went as fast as he could and hit 6 seconds on the second wall and won! Way to go dude!
Back in the superfinal, Cicada Jenerik, Hannah Le, and Ana Stirniman had all flashed their final route in Female A, so they were put on my final route as the seperator. All three of them flashed it! Pretty impressive stuff from all those guys. Eric Sanchez and Gregor Pierce tied on the Male Junior final route, so they were put on the ridiculously hard superfinal route that hadn't been used yet. Neither of them ended up getting up into the roof and fell on the cruxy slab, but Eric won by controlling a pinch out right. Second regionals win in a row for him. Way to go man!
After the comp was over, Eric belayed me on the superfinal route, and I surprised myself by not only pulling through the crux on the roof, but sending the whole thing! Eric tried it again after the comp as well, sending it casually this time. I'd say we're ready for divisionals.
In the end, I got first in speed, first in difficulty, and we won our 4th team championship with Zero Gravity. Pretty successful day overall I'd say. While getting our awards for difficulty, Charlie and I tried to do a chest bump after getting off the podium, which kinda failed, but was worth it all the way. By the way, a big happy birthday to Charlie for turning 16. Have a great day dude!
on the podium with Charlie (left) and Will (right)
Zero Gravity: regional champs '10