A lot has changed since I last blogged. Colorado continued to heat up and it started to get unbearable (for us English who are used to the cold…). It was in and around 40 degrees most days in Boulder, a bit cooler in the park but still pretty warm. We started climbing a lot in Upper and Lower Chaos to get the cooler temperatures, heading out in the afternoon so that we could climb in the evenings and then at night by torchlight. We got some great climbing in and I really enjoyed the boulders at those areas; cool lines with really good moves.
However the heat eventually got too much for us and we decided to head home early, with a plan to return in September for a couple of weeks before heading to Joe’s Valley. Here is a video from our last period of time climbing in the Park:
Before heading back to the UK, we went and spent a couple of days in Independence Pass with climber Chris Schulte and Photographer Keith Ladzinski. Chris has done a lot of developing in this area and has put up some really good climbs including some amazing problems in what is known as the Ice Caves. The granite is flawlessly smooth creating some unique and inspiring features. Unfortunately it rained while we were there rendering it un-climbable. There was just enough time for Keith to get pictures for a Rock and Ice article before we moved on. Just up the hill there is Gollom’s Cave, a 15ft horizontal roof with two of Chris’s problems on it. I tried Choke Hold, a V10 with a brilliant pinch hold in the middle of the roof. I would highly recommend this problem; fun and involved climbing. Here is a little video of me doing it:
Before leaving the US I did some training with Kris Peters at Movement Climbing Gym in Boulder. It was a great session, really hard and very constructive, thanks again Kris! I wish I had some photos actually, to show the immense effort we all put in that day!
Shortly afterwards, we headed back to rainy Sheffield. The rain felt like bliss after the heat, it was so nice to layer up and feel cosy again! Obviously now, (less than a week later), the rain is somewhat frustrating.
We arrived back in Sheffield on Tuesday night, just before the British Championships were due to be held on the Saturday. I hadn’t planned to be around to compete but as we were back I thought I would have a go. I was still feeling the jet lag a bit but not enough to put me off. The day started well with some fun qualifying problems, I felt strong and fairly confident (which is good for me in competitions). I qualified in 3rd place for the finals, with Shauna and I being the only ones to complete all the qualifying blocs. This was a good confidence boost for me and I was psyched to get to climb again. The finals were a mixture of things for me: enjoyment, exhilaration, frustration and acceptance. I felt frustrated on blocs 2 and 3 for my lack of thought and problem reading skills but that is all part of the game and those are areas I need to develop.
However, on the whole I felt strong and probably for the first time I felt like I wasn’t out of my depth in the field of strong women; I felt I belonged there with them and I could do my best alongside them. I was a bit disappointed with 4th place but that feeling of competence and strength is what I choose to take away from this weekend. Back to the drawing board for some more training ideas……
Me on the first finals problem.
Photo courtesy of Craig Antcliff/ Five Finger Thing
Me ecstatic and relieved after flashing problem 4 in the finals.
Photo courtesy of Paul Bennett
Thanks to everyone for all your support and well done to Dave Barrans and Shauna Coxsey who climbed brilliantly to become our Champs!