Saturday, October 31, 2009

Philadelphia Rock Gym - Another Blue Ribbon

Eva loves indoor rock climbing, and in the autumn competes in the Friction Bouldering Series / American Bouldering Series competitions in the Mid-Atlantic.  The competition this weekend was at Philadelphia Rock Gym (PRG) in Oaks, Pennsylvania outside Philadelphia.  We had a miserable drive to Philadelphia, leaving DC at 4:30pm Friday and taking almost 4hrs to get to our hotel in Oaks.  It should have been 2.5hrs.  

Eva gorged on sweet breakfast food this morning before the competition, so I hoped she would have plenty of energy.  When she started climbing, it turned out that the routes were interesting, but frequently deceptive.  What looked easy turned out to have some twist that made the route very difficult.  The way bouldering competition works, a competitor has 3hrs to climb, and is scored on his/her 5 best (most difficult) climbs that have been successfully completed.  Normally you try and get five moderately difficult climbs done quickly, then work on more difficult (higher point) routes.  

For some reason, the waiting between climbs at PRG was long.  Eva would try a route, if she did not make it we would wait 15 - 20 minutes to try the route again. After an hour, she had only successfully completed one route.  She sent (completed) another climb, then had a bad fall and had to take a break.  Eva had some candy and soda, and said she would stage a great comeback.  She did, but it was a nail-biter.  

The competition was ending at 1:10, and at 12:55 Eva only had 4 climbs on her card.  She picked a pretty hard climb and had to complete it successfully, or she would have ended the day with only four completed routes.  I was nervous, but Eva finished strong.

Eva competes in the Female Youth D class - girls 10 and under.  There were five girls in her class, and she won.  This was Eva's second win, and she was thrilled and is now looking forward to competing at her home gym, SportRock Alexandria, in two weeks.  

In the photos, note the 'snow' in photo three.  This is the light from the camera flash bouncing off chalk dust in the air.  Climbers use chalk on their hands to improve grip.  SportRock in Alexandria bans loose chalk and requires climbers to use liquid chalk or chalk that comes in balls.  Both approaches minimize the release of chalk dust into the air.  My lungs hate chalk dust suspended in the air, and I hope all climbing gyms soon start banning loose chalk.  

Posted via email from Bill's posterous

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