Last Saturday I competed in the first of the Touchstone Bouldering Series (TBS) competitions at Berkeley Ironworks. Touchstone really put on a good show in honor of their 15th anniversary. It was probably the biggest competition in the Bay Area since ABS Nationals in 2005 for those of you who remember that (I know I do, 2005 was my year baby!). This comp was unique in that for the first time in TBS history there was a finals round. Top 5 men and women, 3 problems, 5 minutes on five minutes off, World Cup style with zones. YESSSSSSSSSS!
My friend Randy from Humboldt came down to hang out and compete on his way out to some hippy festival called “Burning Man” or something. Randy is really strong and fun to climb with so I was excited to get to climb with him, not to mention he wore his “peacock” (blue-green) cut-off jean shorts, my fav…AYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEE!! I also climbed together with Cicada Jenerik for the most of the competition. It was fun to have another strong female to climb with. Watching Cicada climb was, needless to say, amazing. I have never met someone for whom climbing has come so naturally. She has been climbing since she was very very young and it shows. Climbing is second nature to her. She executes moves flawlessly, knows how to use her feet, knows exactly how to position her body and can hang on forever and figure out the most intricate of sequences. She is a real climber by nature and I can’t help but feel inspired by her. There were other strong Bay Area women there too including my friend Ngan Nguyen who has a very powerful style of climbing, also inspiring.
After a close first round with Cicada, I ended up 1st place by flashing all three of the final problems. w0000t!! With 600 people in attendance the energy was very high and the competition very exciting. I won a case of Pyramid beer (I won BEER you guys!!) and $300 thanks to Touchstone!! Just another day at the office, right??
The next day I went on a day trip to Yosemite Valley with my friends and photographers Anthony Lapomardo, Colin Delahanty, and Kris Cheng. The weather was looking ridiculously good for the end of summer and we were psyched to get some photos and video for Dead Point Magazine. The weather was reminiscent of earlier this spring which is better than we could have hoped for in late August. What was even more exciting is that all the climbs we shot felt easier to me than they did earlier this spring. I even managed to climb through one of my hardest problems to date (The Seam, V11) first go!! I crushed the granite crimps and felt super static and in control. It felt…easy. It made me think twice about the V11 grade until I realized that it plays EXACTLY to my strengths. Small, incut Granite crimps, medium sized moves, slightly overhung with a “thank god” jug at the end. Perfect. Driving into the Valley I felt at home right away. Having a really strong day REALLY REALLY inspired me and I am looking forward with anticipation to the coming Fall. I have so many projects/goals in the Valley and I feel like I will start off the season stronger this year, a very exciting prospect.
We shot a few good climbs including Atlantis, some climbs at Bridalveil and the Ahwanee. I am really lucky to be surrounded by so many talented people and these three photogs are probably some of the most creative and talented people I know. Below are some of the things we shot.
I hope these photos have got you all salivating for Yosemite boulders. When Fall arrives I will be updating more frequently and posting a lot of photos from Yosemite and other Fall climbing destinations around Northern California. GET PSYCHED!