Well it’s almost 2012 or the end of the world (for the second year in a row….) so that means it’s time to look back see what got done what didn’t get done and what to do next. For me, 2011 ended up being a year fully devoted to sport climbing. I can’t complain about that, but I’ve gotten used to mixing it up with the seasons the last two years. The reason most of my climbing time was devoted to sport climbing was due to the invitation to my 1st IFSC World Cup. As a result everything I did this year was to prepare for it; I took a lot of trips to Ten Sleep, tripled the number of 13s I had climbed, onsighted 12d multiple times, and got to make a lot more friends after various trips across the country.
The switch to focusing on hard routes changed what I was climbing on. Like last year when I wanted to do a lot of gear climbing, I did it, and thus I had to leave other things off for later. It’s interesting looking at the numbers from last year and this year: last year I climbed 117 new routes and 127 boulder problems. This year I climbed 165 new routes and 57 boulder problems. The overall change is only 22 less than 2010 total climbing-wise. My guess would be that this has something to do with trying harder stuff and spending multiple days trying to put moves together…
Other than climbing I finally figured out how long it’s going to take me to graduate from college instead of just taking it one semester at a time. I also realized, thanks to my professor and Bozeman climbing legend Pat Callis, that my passion for climbing outweighs my passion for chemistry. I know a lot of people who would say duh! but it took me by surprise. Meeting with Dr. Callis and talking about homework sets and climbing last semester I noticed the twinkle in his eye when talking about research and other non-class related chem topics. I just didn’t have the same enthusiasm as he did about the chemistry topics. The opposite happened when we spoke about climbing, both of us had this understanding of each other and how the sport draws at us. I’m still very pleased with my choice of major in college, I’m just glad I know the limits on my interest in it for now.
8 new gear routes from 5.7 grade II to 5.11c
157 new sport routes from 5.6 to 5.13d
57 new boulder problems from V0 to V10
Mean: 5.11b, V5
Mode: 5.10a, V2
Competitions: I was able to represent the United States at the IFSC Lead World Cup in Boulder, CO in addition to 2 national level competitions and 3 local comps.
Setting: I was able to set for both the Prince and Princess of Plastic at Montana State in January (I will be this year as well) and the Big Sky SCS Regional Championships at Spire Climbing Center.
It looks like I’ll be in Bozeman for a two more years, at least. This provides me with an interesting option as I start setting goals for myself for next year. On the flight out to New Hampshire I wrote down 30ish comps that I might be interesting in going to in the next year. I could also focus on repeating the diminishing number of routes in Bozeman I haven’t done yet. Or I can try to step up like everyone else and put in some hard work establishing new cliffs (thanks should go out to all the work the bolters out there do for the climbing community every year). Right now I’m not devoted one way or another I just know I’ll try a little bit of everything which helps keep me balanced.
The one thing I hope I learned this year is that if you want to get really good at something, you have to put a ton of effort into it. The world cup was the best example of that for me. Watching people who have devoted their entire lives to onsight sport climbing showing off what they do best at. I’m no Patxi or Ramonet or Killian, and I’m not sure if I want to try to be. The level of commitment required is a little above what I’m able to give right now. I still want to improve as a climber and I still want to compete, I just don’t want to have to invest months of training and preparation for 5 mins of climbing.
2012 may be the tipping point for me in that way, I’m going to try to climb as many of the gear routes I haven’t already done in the Gally as I can, I’m going to try to climb my first 5.14 sport route, and I really want to do well in all the comps I attend. In my mind I want to be good at all these things but I’m starting to understand I can only be the best at one. In any case I’ve got two more years in Bozo to figure it all out or if I want to say to hell with it all and start ice climbing. Either way I can’t wait to head back to Bozeman and get back to into the groove, exciting things are in the works for this January, PAPOP is back again!!!