Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sourland Smackdown 2015

As often as the weather takes a turn for the worse, I couldn't have asked for much better at yesterday's Sourland Smackdown bouldering comp in New Jersey.  Yes it was a little warm for diabase bouldering, but after the forecast a week ago showing rain yesterday as a near certainty, I was so excited about dry sunny rock that I didn't mind a little extra heat.

I've been wanting to get back to the Sourlands ever since Chris Irwin and I were there for the Smackdown two years ago, so when they announced the date this year and Chris decided to put together a Maryland team for it, I was all over the idea.  It was actually a good excuse to log a bunch of diabase time over the last couple weeks, since it's a style I still have a lot to learn about.  Okay, so a couple of those trips were just excuses to have dinner at the Troeg's brewery afterward, but I'm a firm believer in recovery meals being a key part of any training program.

Altogether we had about ten climbers representing Team MD yesterday, and it was by far the most fun I've ever had at a comp.  I was especially happy since my main goal going into the day was not to hurt my finger that's been bothering me all year, and it actually ended up being the most pain free day of climbing I've had in a long time.

                                                                                          Photo: John Brunson
I'll admit I was a little disappointed that I was totally shut down by the offwidth climb that had gone so easily for me last time, but otherwise it was one of the more solid days of climbing I've had.  Somehow I walked away with a 3rd place finish, with Charlie Garcia just ahead of me for 2nd.  There's no way that would have happened if I'd been there by myself.  Between a strong group of friends to keep me motivated, and my favorite spotter John Brunson giving me the confidence to make a couple moves that scared the crap out of me, it was definitely a team accomplishment.  John was also climbing harder than I've ever seen him, in between his demonstrations of spotting mastery.

                                                             Photo: Chris Irwin
                                                             Photo: Chris Irwin
                                                                                        Photo: John Brunson
Team MD's biggest victory of the day came with Dana Bleiberg's first place female finish, especially since she took down most of the male field in the process.  Even more impressively, she pulled it off after showing up three hours late!

A huge thanks to everyone who organized and ran the event, especially to the volunteers at the boulders helping us navigate and make sense of things.  Can't wait to get back up there!

Team MD!

No comments:

Post a Comment