Raleigh Rampage 2009

AKA, The Company Climbing Team’s big debut!

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While our competition consisted mostly of young people teams (see below), there are few (if any) adult climbing teams.  While there are plenty of adults who compete (and kick serious butt), none climb on organized teams like the young ones.  So we decided to start our very own here in Chapel Hill/Durham, North Carolina.  Called ‘The Company’ after our main sponsor, our team colors are pink and purple (as you’ll notice in our official team shirts).  Right now we’re a team of 7 (Snooky and Ben are sadly missing from the picture), but always looking for more awesome recruits 🙂

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ROUTES: 8.  One of the many reasons I love bouldering competitions is for the routes.  For whatever reason, the routes at comps are so much better then then normal routes!  They’re more well thought out, more interesting, they require more technique and not just strength, and they’re more fun.  I love them.  Yesterday was no disappointment.  Overall I rate the routes an 8.  -1 for the horrible green slopey one, and -1 for the crowds.

The comp at Inner Peaks last year made smart use of many of the surrounding walls, creating different types of problems so that the actual boulder wasn’t nearly as crowded.  TRC didn’t do such a great job of that, and as a result there were tons of lines.  While adults handle lines well, kids aren’t quite as great.  Lots of obliviousness, lack of manners, and adults not wanting to push kids out of the way meant LOTS of waiting.  Thanks Glen for stepping up (‘Hey kid, she’s climbing over here, get off the wall’).

Please don’t get me wrong.  I love kids.  I just don’t love when they’re constantly cutting in line.

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Completing the hardest route of the day!

The routes for the finals were even more insane.  One of the men’s included a jump start, and the second move involved holding your entire body off of several fingers.  INSANE.

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A1: 5.  I want so badly to rate this lower as it was the bane of my existence, however in reality, it was kind of a fun problem and I’m just mad because I didn’t get it.  I really wanted to get the top 5 routes in the beginner category, and successfully got all but this one.  Probably a V2 (my best guess), I worked it for awhile, and finally, at the very end of the day, I made it to the last hold.  I went for the top and just barely missed, falling after all that hard work.  At that point my arms were just too spent, and after 5 more attempts I finally had to give in 4 minutes before climbing was over.

Even bigger disappointment= one of the routes set for the finals was right there, meaning they took it down and I’ll never get a chance to finally get it.

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And no picture of the finish, since it didn’t exist…

D1: 8.  I LOVED this route.  Granted, it took me four attempts to finally finish it, but I must say I genuinely enjoyed all four attempts.  It was tricky, adding the puzzle aspect which I love, required some traversing, wasn’t strength based, and overall was just a really great route.  And I’m not the only one who thought that.  There was a pretty large group of climbers who all spent a large portion of the day working on this one.

Good news= finally got this one with about an hour left 🙂

-2 because of how much I gave to it, ultimately taking away from A1 😦

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JAY’S CLIMBING FACE: 9.  While none that appeared on Saturday were quite as classic as the Hillsborough bouldering face of last year (see below), they were still all pretty great.  And some I didn’t even notice while climbing, but thank god for our awesome photographers who caught them on film.

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None will ever be as great as…

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TEAM CLIMBING: I think if our body soreness is any indication of how we climbed as a team, then we did incredible.  This morning at the Community Center we heard every complaint ever.  The classic forearms. shoulders, back, add in Paul’s sore knees and my sore quads, we had just about everything.  I’d say we left it all out there.  9!  (There’s always room for growth :))

And I hate to brag, but we did place first in the Adult Team Division…

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CHEERLEADING/SUPPORT: 10!!!  The amount of support received for our team’s first competition was incredible!  Outside visitors from Charlotte to some our local favorites, there certainly was a good showing.  In fact, we may have had the largest cheering squad around.  Special thanks to Kim for playing a great soccer mom, keeping our scores, taking pictures, and showing everyone love, and to Laura who made our team shirts (in less than a week’s time!) and brought us all Gatorade 🙂

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Paul's game face is better than mine...

Paul's game face is better than mine...

FOCUS ON FASHION IN THE FINALS: I didn’t know until yesterday that it’s imperative to take special care of your hair before a big comp.  I learned this, however, while watching the women’s finals.  4 out of 5 had their hair down (versus pulled back, which may seem the obvious choice), and all obviously done.  One even had curls (not natural curls, but ‘I spent the morning with a curling iron’ curls)!  I suppose it makes sense as ultimately everyone did end up watching them, and I’m sure lots of pictures were taken.

Note to self: must make more time in the morning for hair before the next competition.  May be the key to the finals…

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INJURIES: 8.  Overall I’d say we did great!  While we’re all a bit sore, every one of us returned to the wall today, so it couldn’t have been anything too serious.  -2 (one for each hand) for the rips acquired on the last climb of the day (goes to show I gave that A1 everything I had).

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MY RAFFLE LUCK: 9!  As mentioned in a previous post, I am not the person who ever wins raffles.  Ever.  So when I saw tickets for sale on the way in I didn’t look twice.  Kim, however, surprised me with 7 tickets later in the day, and I actually felt hopeful considering I hadn’t actually purchased the tickets.  This had to produce better luck than normal.  And that it did.

Most of the prizes given away were worth about $20-$30.  T-shirts, hats, gift certificates, etc.  However, the big prize of the day was a set of quick draws, used for sport climbing, worth about $100.

Now, it’s important to mention here that I don’t sport climb.  I’m scared to death of the falls you can take when not top roping, and as a result have insisted that I’m not a sport climber.  As they held up the quick draws and got ready to draw a ticket I turned to Bill and said “Watch me win this one and no longer have any excuse not to sport climb.”  And don’t you know 10 seconds later they pull my ticket and I won them.  All in all I have no complaints, and am actually a little bit excited about giving it a try.

-1 because only 1 of my 7 tickets won…

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TEAM POTENTIAL: 10!

I see our team potential playing out in several ways.

1)  Most importantly is our climbing.  Each day we’re all improving, and now that we have one comp under our belt, and we know what the competition looks like (4 feet tall and under 12), I think we’re more prepared to take them by storm next time around.

2) The future of adult climbing teams.  Right now there’s only fun, recreational climbing teams for kids.  But there’s lots of adult climbers out there who like climbing, and competing, and having fun.  So why can’t we join in too?  Once we make our presence known at several competitions I think word will spread and others will start their own too.  And before you know… BAM!  Worldwide sensation and adult climbing is the next kickball.

3) Behind the scenes work.  This morning, back at our home gym, Brian came up to the team and said “Since you all are fresh off a competition, I’m thinking you might have some insight for some new routes.  Would you be interested in putting a couple up?”  Needless to say the first Company route is hitting the wall this Tuesday night.  Be prepared.

Glen working on The Company's first route

Glen working on The Company's first route

All in all, our potential is pretty incredible and see no reason to take off any points.  10!!!

AFTER PARTY: 10 again!  (I told you it was a good day!)  The original plan was to head to my place and order some pizza, however Jay suggested a BBQ at his place instead.  And boy did he show me up (in the best possible way).  When I called to find out what I needed to pick up on the way over, I was informed by Paul that they already had the salmon, steak, cheesecake, Vermont Cheddar cheese (aged 2 years, clearly), guacamole, salsa, macaroni salad and more.  So much for pizza… we decided to go gourmet instead.

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And I’m most certainly not complaining.  In my opinion there’s nothing in the world more incredible than great company and great food, and we had plenty of both.  What a fabulous end to a fabulous day 🙂

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6 comments

  1. Awesome entry. The pics on facebook have encouraged two additional team member inquiries – Susan Trout (Jay’s next door neighbor) and Jen Kates (who was on our Race for the Cure team this year and all around awesome athlete).
    Yes, gourmet meal after climbing is impressive, huh? Only the prime for the company.

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