I am sitting here after midnight with my backpack packed and ready for an extended weekend on the Appalachian Trail. My father and I have right around 30 miles of the AT left within the Nantahala National Forest. This time we are bringing my little sister with us; it will be her first backpacking trip! The funny thing is I'm not here to talk about that. Last Saturday I ended up entering my first Climbing Competition at UNCG (the university I attend).
The past month-and-a-half I have climbed about as much as I had climbed in the past decade-and-a-half. It has been great! I decided to take things to the next level and enter the Spartan Summit, an annual Climbing Competition held each year. I was placed into the Beginner Division since I had limited climbing experience and it was my first competition.
Each division had four routes they had to climb (with Intermediate sharing one route with Beginner and sharing another route with Advanced). Each contested had three attempts per route. For each hold a climber reached in a controlled manner they earned 1 point. If the climber flashed (topped out on their first attempt) a route they would earn an additional 2 points. The competition was super fun and had a really relaxing atmosphere. To me it was mainly a great way for me to meet new people who share interests with me. Everyone was extremely encouraging of each other. I think it was the most fun I have ever had as a student at UNCG. This truly means something when you know how long I have attended!
During the competition I ended up getting to know the other Men Beginners really well. Everyone's climbing was super solid. I ended up flashing all my routes to earn a perfect score, but still only managed to win by 4 points. I struggled with our crossover route, the route we shared with the Intermediate Climbers. It was full of crimps down low and switched to pinches higher up with large gaps between holds. I remember being on the wall for what felt like forever. Twice I almost fell off, but managed to recover. The second time both of my feet slipped off the wall and one of my hands almost came completely off the wall. Reaching the top of that route was super gratifying.
I ended up trying the other Intermediate routes later in the week to see if I might have been able to compete with them. I was barely able to make it half way up the wall on the next easiest route before I fell off of it. It was still super fun and I look forward to improving my climbing technique. Even though I actually have already accomplished the Climbing Goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year I am looking forward to getting back to the wall after Spring Break is over.
|What I walked away with!|