The Gun Show

Yesterday I competed in the Gun Show at the Spot climbing gym here in Boulder, a fun local bouldering comp with lots of strong climbers competing. Since I've been back from Europe, I've been training really hard and especially focusing on getting my boulder strength back, so it was really interesting to see how I was doing compared to others. The qualifiers was redpoint and we had 10 Open problems to choose from. I climbed problems 1-6 pretty fast, but number 7 was a really weird traversey problem, so I wasn't too syked on it and decided to skip that one even though it wasn't that hard. Number 8 was the hardest one for me and took me a lot of tries, but number 9 was a lot easier and I did it 2nd go. By that point there was no point in trying #10 since I was sure I was in finals, so I decided to skip it. I was in 2nd place going into finals, behind Paul Robinson, so I figured it I climbed strong in finals I had a good chance of doing well!

In finals we had four minutes to try one problem, and the outcome of that would decide the winner. The crux of the problem revolved around a crazy span move or a tensiony cross-through move, both of which worked but definitely put you out of your element. On my flash attempt I tried the big span move and realized I was too stretched out to move, and couldnt reverse it, so I just fell and gave it another go. On my 2nd go I did the other method and it felt a lot easier, and ended up topping the problem pretty easily. Me and Paul both did it 2nd go, but Adam Markert, a really strong guy from Vail, did the problem on his first attempt and ended up winning. Since Adam climbed before us and we knew that he had done the problem, we were both nervous and knew that we had to flash if we wanted to win. The pressure did its trick and we both messed it up on the first try, and then did it easily next try when we realized what we did wrong. This kind of pressure is really cool and very similar to the one I feel in World Cups, so in the upcoming boulder comps I will hopefully improve and learn to deal with it better, and in the end be better prepared for the World Cups over in Europe! To give an idea about how strong the climbers in finals were, here are the results compared to the hardest grade each person has climbed..

1. Adam Markert - V13
2. Paul Robinson - V16
3. Gabor Szekely - V13
4. Alex Manikowski - V12
5. Ryan Sewell - V13
6. Nate Draughn - V12

Many other strong climbers like Matt Wilder, Justin Sjong, and Ian Dory didn't end up making finals, so the field was definitely a tough one! Needless to say Im really syked now for the up coming bouldering comps, and ultimately want to focus on doing well at ABS Nationals in February!