Spring Ahead

Over the weekend Spire Climbing Center had its annual Spring Fling route climbing competition to open up the outdoor season. To get ready for the event we started taking holds off the wall on Tuesday to wash and reset the entire gym. The Majority of this process is volunteer based. My first year in Bozeman I got started out helping tear down the walls with the Bozeman Climbing Team and I’ve helped out the last two years. This year I think I spent somewhere around 8 hours mostly washing holds (most of those by hand). Its surprisingly funner than it sounds. I know it goes toward a good cause so I’m more willing to pour over a sink for hours with gloves up to my elbows washing away chalk and rubber and dirt.

On friday night we had the adult competition and it seemed like it was one of the busier adult comps in the past few years. We definitely had a bunch of people leave towards the end but it was a lot of fun nonetheless. Those people who left early missed the amazing wrestling matches between John, Brandon, Pat, Todd, and Loren after the awards.

I managed to claim my third title in a row this year. Pat Dyess gave me a run in the beginning of the comp staying neck and neck with me for the first hour or so before he finally hit the end of his stamina. I was able to keep going this year and I gave a pretty good performance (probably my personal best at a redpoint competition) flashing 3 1300 point routes and flashing two 1275 point routes giving all five of my scores at or above 1300 points. Inge Perkins came out strong in her first adult Spring Fling appearance winning the women’s Open category but not without first having to put up a good fight against Joanna Onorato. Jo has been known more for here bouldering ability but recently has been taking to ropes very strongly this year. She even flashed Fistful of Steel (11d) a week prior to the event!

On Saturday kids from all over the state came to compete in one of the youth regional competitions needed to move on past region finals next month. This year it was a large Montana crowd with very few out of stater’s coming to the event. Charley, from Billings, took 2nd place overall (he’s turning 13 at the end of this year!) just behind Domonic from Helena (a 17 year old). Bozeman’s own Bridget took first in the women’s, she’s another strong kid turning 14 this year.

Bridget on her way to winning the Female Youth B category

Meanwhile today a huge crew descended on the Cave. The BCT, and two other groups totaling 11 other people were there (I haven’t been there with more than 5 people before…). I was able to put down Sub Zero on my first try of the day and linked into the top of On the Job Training for a great full value 12c pitch. Weapons of Mass Destruction saw an onslaught of sends today and most people tried Rodents of Unusual Size (a link up of Of Mice and Men and The Raven) but only Brandon managed to send as far as I know.

Brandon beta flashing ROUS

Apart from news I’m beginning to plan out my summer time off. I figured since I’m not getting paid a whole lot I might as well use all the free time I’ve got. As soon as School gets out I’m off to Tensleep for four or five days, just in time to set for Region Finals at Spire. Then I’m off back to New Hampshire for two weeks! Then for July I’m taking two week long trips one either to Maple Canyon/Lander and the other to the Wind River Range for a 100 mile ultralight backpacking trip.

I haven’t been backpacking in a few years so I’ve got to start getting back into shape and quick. I only have about two more months… When I went to Philmont for a two week backpacking trip I started training about 6 months before hand! The plan right now is to start on the north east side of the range and hike down over Mt Gannett (the highest in Wyoming) cross the pass and then down along the west side of the range until we just about get to Lander. I’m super stoked for summer right now, it’s hard to focus on School!

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