We are back from Cincinnati and the ABS Midwest Regionals competition. Overall the comp was a very good experience, and we had 4 kids qualify for Nationals at the Spot which was very exciting. The comp itself was very well run, and for the most part the problems looked really fun. It is looking like we will be heading out to Boulder next month!
Here are a few other random observations:
- Props to regular climbingnarc readers Tony and Sarah for being 2 of the kids to qualify. Way to do us a solid.
- A ton of kids these days are wearing Evolv shoes and the La Sport Solutions. There are not many wearing Five Ten.
- Standing around a gym inhaling chalk dust and spectating for 10 hours is in many ways more physically taxing than climbing in the comp itself.
- The host gym, Climb Time of Blue Ash, is a really cool bouldering facility. All the tall steep walls really made me wish I could have climbed. It is easy to see how climbers like Grady Bagwell have gotten so strong climbing there.
- With the exception of the problems for the 11 & under kids, the climbing seemed to be hard but fair for everyone. The ones for the smallest kids seemed a bit on the hard side too close to the ground. Of course, setting boulder problems for kids under 11 is also one of the hardest groups to set for so that wasn’t all that surprising.
- Having a second, bigger comp on the same day was a really cool idea to give the kids more climbing.
- Taking pictures in a climbing gym using only the built-in flash is really, really hard.
- The atmosphere at this comp was much more relaxed than other USA Climbing comps in recent memory, and there were fewer of the overbearing parent types that were more prevalent at other comps. If you were there, the reason was clear.