Tag Archives: climbing competitions

Official Results from Tallahassee Rock Gym’s Save The South 2013 Grand Reopening Event

There’s a rare phenomenon amongst writers: It’s that experience that you simply can’t seem to put into proper words. Any description or attempt at retelling the story feels subpar, grazing the surface at best. That’s exactly how I feel about trying to recount the incredible event that was Tallahassee Rock Gym‘s grand reopening and annual Save The South bouldering competition.

I’ve adopted the Save The South fundraiser event as my favorite rock gym project for the past three years, and while we knew that this year would be huge with the unveiling of our enormous new bouldering section, I was entirely unprepared for how incredible the event would turn out. Maybe it was the weeks of building and preparation I had watched unfold in anticipation of the event, or maybe it was the three hours of sleep I was running on, but I definitely choked up while welcoming climbers to our beautiful, hand built, grassroots, constructed-with-love, new bouldering section. I mean, look at it. We MADE this:A first look at the new bouldering section at Tallahassee Rock Gym.

Here’s a few stats to put things in perspective: Last year, we had about 50 climbers, and raised around $1500 for the Southeastern Climbers Coalition. Pretty sweet, right? This year, I wanted to dream big and aim to raise $2000 for the SCC. What really happened is this:

Over 100 climbers came out to the Save The South event,
and together we raised $3160 for the Southeastern Climbers Coalition

In addition, our friends at the SCC started a new effort to boost membership, so each registered climber at our event is now a 2013 member of the Southeastern Climbers Coalition – that’s over 100 new folks joining the family of this grassroots conservation organization. Incredible.A few of the lovely ladies who climb regularly at Tally Rock Gym, and came out to show their love.

We decided to host this year’s Save The South in January instead of the usual March date, largely because Niko and I will be many, many miles away from our home by spring – and this turned out to be the perfect way to kick off our year of Simply Adventure’s mission to spread the love of climbing and conservation within the community. We donated hundreds of dollars of gear to the event raffle, and spent the past few weeks toiling away to prepare for the climbing festivities.

I am still reeling from the unbelievable amount of love and sense of community that was exploding as climbers returned to Tally Rock Gym, some after being gone for many years, and celebrated the hard work and craft put into the new climbing walls. We had folks travel from Colorado, Texas, Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, and beyond. Whether Tally Rock Gym was the first place they learned to climb, or they were veterans of our annual Save The South event, everyone poured into our humble warehouse space with the same eager attitude and unwavering excitement. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came out to climb, spectate, and cheer – it was a true honor to have been a part of this event, and share it with all of you.
Max Richardson and Shea Nicole share the climbing wall during the Save The South event.

There are still over 1500 photos that I need to sort through and edit, but enjoy a few teaser images while you sort through the official score results. Note: The top three competitors for each category are in bold!  

LADIES

Meagan Martin 3769
Aubrey Wingo 2236
Lexi Toro 2153
Amy McKenna engages interesting beta during the Save The South event at Tallahassee Rock Gym.
Sarah Tepper 2061
Tessa Bullington 1773
Anna Hartzog 1750
Katie Devick 1713
Lauren Buntemeyer 1687

Cassie Newman 1648
Amy McKenna 1574
Nicole Nguyen 1533
Rima Nathan 1482
Jill Smith 1445
Melissa Martin 1390
Kaylee Cubeta 1313
Robyn Weinlauf 1258
Katie Pullen 1217
Candy 1175
Kayla Hibbard 1162
Ingrid Baldeon Passetti 1148
Haley Hyde 1062
Caitlin Marsteller 1013
Becka LaPlant 917
Casey Gray 893
Toni Sturtevant 805Sarah Tepper maneuvers up the arete at the Save The South event.
Tara Bullard 730

Kirsten Clauser 675
Leigh Fremuth 605
Heather Barry 350
Amy Gregor 310


MEN

Mark Mercer 4061
Usman Bashir 3556
Bryce Van Dam 3552
Brandon Iglesias 3184
Jackson Reynolds 3179
Ross Elliot 3150
Kris Long 2843
Wilkiam McKaba 2823
Johnathan Nilson 2803Finalist Lexi Toro crushes the women's finals route during the Save The South climbing competition.
Max Richardson 2801
Jim Smith 2773
Charles Carbiener 2688
Bryan Brindt 2665
Joe Mason 2631
Garrett Garner 2623
Mark Spottswood 2623
Thomas Sullenberger 2611
Ryan VanDeWater 2601
Nam Phan 2596
Colton Peters 2561
Michael Underwood 2546
Bo Cobb 2501
John Permenter 2491
Phil Harrell 2462
Jerry Polmerski II 2459
G Golding 2453
Eli Wolfe 2446
Marc Akbar 2436Dakota Lundeen eyes a big dyno move on the new roof wall at Tally Rock Gym during the Save the South event.
Kyle Sumner 2432
Dakota Lundeen 2431
Dominic Delgado 2417
Taylor Passetti 2398
Martin Stroh 2356
Mike Harrell 2347
David Lawson 2184
Patrick Bresland 2120
Ryan Abramowitz 2068
Alex Woo 1800
Philip Fralix 1768
Michael Hooten 1959
Asa Emmons 1753
Nick Seale 1723
Adrian Thompson 1509
Hunter Metzger 1427
Kurt Marsman 1349
Hal Fravel 1343
Justin Iseman 1304
Alex Pina 1167
Tyler Scheele 1005
Christian Stowers 813
Gary Fowler 727

Whether you placed first or fourteenth, I am so proud of each and every climber who came out to show their love for Tallahassee Rock Gym and the Southeastern Climbers Coalition. My heart grew about three sizes the morning after the competition, reading all of the statuses and posts from folks who love our rock gym, love our family, and felt welcome into our community. (We love you all too!)

Women's finalist Sarah Tepper shows off her raffle winnings - a sweet new Teton Sports Outfitter Quick Tent!Enormous heaps of gratitude are owed to some of our sponsors. Teton Sports and Geigerrig really stepped up to the plate and made generous donations for our gear raffle – which is a huge source of our fundraising for the Southeastern Climbers Coalition. Climbers were hovering over the swag table in hopes of winning the Teton Sports Outfitter Quick Tents and Geigerrig Hydration Packs, and I’ve already received a rave review from one of the lucky winners.

Thank you all again for coming out – and get ready for Save the South in 2014!

Advertisements

Trip Report: (Epic, Beautiful, Strong) Climbing at Hound Ears during Triple Crown Bouldering Series

I don’t know about you, but ever since handing in my score sheet on Saturday afternoon after crushing all day at what easily qualifies as the most beautiful and bountiful bouldering crag I have ever visited, I have been obsessively refreshing the Triple Crown Bouldering Series website, eagerly awaiting to see the final competitor listing – and it’s finally here: The results from the Triple Crown Bouldering Series competition at Hound Ears are officially posted!

But before I reveal how I placed, let’s take a look back at my amazing weekend out at this unbelievable crag:

The adventure began early on Friday morning, as Niko and I left Tallahassee at 6:00 AM on the dot. We wound our way through Georgia and South Carolina before crossing the North Carolina state line early in the afternoon. After a few wrong turns, thanks to my newfangled Apple Maps app, we finally landed at Grandfather Campground.

I was expecting a huge crowd of climbers to be milling around already, but we ended up arriving before registration even began. We set up camp, feasted on delicious Indian food provided free from Triple Crown, and swiftly retreated to our tent to rest up for the big day.

Holy mother of climbers – I have never seen so many folks gathered at a single crag on a single day. Since Hound Ears is only open for public climbing during Triple Crown, the event was sold out. That means a total of 300 climbers were bussed from camp to the peak of the Hound Ears boulder field on Saturday morning. Epic.

Despite having spent the previous evening pouring over our printed guidebooks, Niko and I would have been completely lost without the guidance of an old Tally Rock Gym climber, Ben Wiant, who joined us for the competition with his wife. Along with two other Tally Rock Gym regulars, Monty and Sara, we trekked through the trails towards our first stop of the day: the Air Jesus boulder.

The group warmed up on a row of V0-V2s, and then we dove into a grueling day of crushing. Despite being slightly intimidated by the height of the magnificent Air Jesus boulder, I decided to hop on the V5 version of this classic climb, and sent it within three attempts. I immediately knew it was going to be a great day.

I also quickly realized that it wouldn’t be such a great day for photography. When you’re scurrying around an enormous crag trying to send 10 problems within less than seven hours, whipping out your camera loses priority, very fast. So excuse my not-so-epic pictures, oops.

Niko jumped on a sweet V9 called Air Satan (Low Start), but kept slipping off a slick foot on the top-out. He coulda, woulda, shoulda sent it, but it was early in the day, and we decided to come back to the climb later (which we never did, naturally).

The second part of the day day my favorite send, Bleed Me Out (V5). I was working another set of V5s called Satan’s In The Tires and Body Disposal when one of the Triple Crown judges saw me climbing and insisted that I hop on Bleed Me Out. Frankly, I had already crossed that one off my list of problems I wanted to attempt, purely based on the wretched name.

The route starts on a very solid ledge, with not so great feet. You have to launch out and cross over to a microscopic crimp knob, which you have to match before delicately swinging your feet over and hurdle up to the next tiny crimp. My crux came at the last crimp before the top-out; it was literally invisible from the two non-existent crimps I was already on. I was terrified, but somehow reached up, locked my tiny fingers on the equally tiny hold, and cranked up to the top-out lip. The highlight of my trip was a feeling of absolute elation, which was amplified when I looked down and realized the judge was watching me the whole time. (Thank you wonderful lady for encouraging me to make the send!)

Our next little hike took us to one of the ultimate classics at Hound Ears, a highball V3 called Heretic. I took a little rest while watching the boys crush the huge moves on this towering problem, and cheered Niko on while he sent Unforgiven (V7). Yet again, the Triple Crown judges lent a helpful hand in revealing a hidden crimper that Niko hadn’t been using during his first attempts. With this new bit of beta, he was able to quickly make the send. (Thank you Triple Crown for having such fantastic folks running the event!)

The last truly hardcore session was at the Lost and Found boulders, where I sent two V3s while Niko worked on a vicious V9 called The Brady Problem. It wasn’t a send for him, but he did get to watch Jimmy Webb nonchalantly stroll up to the boulder, send the problem, and merrily stroll away. Pretty neat.

At this point in the day, we were wrecked from the sharp stone. We retreated to the main area in search of burritos (which we missed out on) and easier climbs to finish the day. After getting whooped by a V2 called Evil Slug, Niko convinced me to hop on a lippy V4 called The Anchor, which I miraculously sent despite an overeager spotter who literally talked me off the wall during my first attempt. I loved his enthusiasm, but couldn’t focus on topping out the problem while he was shouting “Come on, come on, get it, get your foot up, crank up, crank over, let’s go, do it!” relentlessly in my ear.

After that, I was completely drained. Who knew climbing 10 V3-V5 problems could be so daunting? I ended the day attempting a few V3 and V4 problems, but couldn’t even lift myself off the ground – so I settled with my 10th score sheet listing, a V1, appropriately named “Lard Ass.” I scored my signatures, surveyed my score sheet, and turned it in to the judges. 

At the end of the day, I had no idea how my performance stacked up against the other lady competitors, but I had already won the battle against myself. With two V5s, a V4, and a handful of V3s, I had rocked my strongest day of climbing to date. I pleasantly enjoyed the remainder of the evening sipping beer and tequila/lemonade cocktails, gorging myself on barbeque provided by Triple Crown, and laughing at the wipeouts during the crash pad stacking contest.

When the winners were finally announced, I knew my name wouldn’t be in the top 3 for women’s intermediate, but my notions of where I might place were instantly crushed when the called out the name of the top climber, Alexa Russell. I had watched her climbing earlier in the day, and she crushed every V5 and V6 she got her hands on (keep in mind, we were competing in the V3-4 category) – and apparently, she’s only 13! I didn’t stand a chance.

Final verdict? I placed 15th in the Women’s Intermediate.
Not too shabby for my first competition.

Overall, I am so satisfied with how the competition turned out. My month of training truly paid off, and I felt incredibly strong throughout the day. The biggest improvement I saw was with top-outs. I have never fearlessly mantled over a flat ledge before, and my confidence was sky-high during Hound Ears. Even on the V2s, I felt like a champion as I rocked my body over the boulders – I only beach whaled twice! 

Next time, I’m going to incorporate more endurance training into my pre-competition workouts. Seriously, sending 10 problems (in seven short hours) at your limit is no easy feat folks.

PS: WHY OH WHY ISN’T HOUND EARS OPEN EVERY DAY? It’s my new favorite crag, and you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be attending every single Triple Crown there for the rest of my climbing career. Hound Ears 2013, anyone?

Oh! Have you entered my giveaway for your chance to win a sweet, BPA-free, 100% recyclable Eco-Bottle? Click here for your chance to win – all you have to do is leave a comment telling us why plastic bottles suck! Giveaway ends on Friday!

Official scores and results from Tallahassee Rock Gym’s ‘Save the South’ climbing competition

What began as a 36-hour rock gym transformation overhaul commanded by a sleep-deprived staff armed with an enormous shipment new holds somehow blossomed into Tallahassee Rock Gym’s most successful Save the South climbing competitionso hats off to you, climbers.

We labored over creative new routes, celebrated the spirit of our humble climbing community, feasted on delectable Momo’s pizza, and had ourselves an amazing event.

All while raising over $1500 for the Southeastern Climbers Coalition.

Those are record numbers, folks – and we couldn’t have achieved it without you. I also recently found out from the head honcho’s at the Southeastern Climbers Coalition that our event has become one of their top fundraisers. For the staff at TRG, our goal has always been to hit $1,500 in fundraising, and we owe it all to our amazing climbers and generous community. Reaching our previously unfathomable goal means only one thing – it’s time to raise the bar for next year’s event! 

I couldn’t be more proud of the participants, staff members, spectators, and everyone who had a hand in making this fundraiser a true success. We came together to share our love for this adventurous sport, and showed our support for one of our favorite climbing organizations.

And we couldn’t have done it without our sponsors. A huge ‘thank you’ and heaps of gratitude are owed to the wonderful companies who stepped in and contributed to our cause. We deeply appreciate the support from climbing businesses like ClimbOn!, PMI Rope, Pro Balm, and the always wonderful Kurt Smith. As a local facility, we also extend many ‘thank you’s to our local community sponsors, including BagelHeads, Trail & Ski, Tasty Eats, and Momo’s Pizza.

But I know what you’re really here for – the final score listings.

In similar fashion to last year’s competition, a few of our favorite climbers from Gainesville made the drive up to the panhandle to sweep our high scores and crush our hardest routes. With tireless effort and friendly determination, they once again earned some of the highest rankings during the event – and Gator boys, I better see you back again next year!

Below are the official scores for participants who turned in score sheets at the conclusion of the competition.

WOMENS

Arieanne DeFazio – 2410
Rachel Putman – 2290
Cassie Newman – 2035
Chelsea Boetcker – 2025
Montana Napier – 1645
Barbara Ellis – 975
Maryanne Shaw – 880
Tessa Bullington – 755
Kristin Kozelsky – 635
Madeline Rosenfeldt – 635

MENS

Louie Talacay – 3185
Usman Bashir – 3150
Brian Huang – 3125
Mike Stanton – 3045
Bo Durham – 2995
Bryan Cox – 2980
David Valdivia – 2970
Thomas Bowers – 2805
Spottswood – 2705
Joshua Larsen – 2705
Max Kruse – 2710
Vinny Medina – 2680
Sam Raley – 2640
Colton Peters – 2585
Brandon Iglesias – 2370
Dakota Lundeen – 2365
Tom Patten – 2315
Jacob Stalder – 2475
Chase Pedersen – 2455
Charles Carbiener – 2265
Alex Woo – 2210
Dominic Delgado – 2130
Lucas Larson – 2085
Alex Griffel – 2060
Bob Rosenbaum – 1890
Smiley – 1860
Kris Long – 1855
Zach Stivers – 1855
Brian Drewke – 1825
Doug Walters – 1815
Ray Uzonyi – 1560
Isaac Bakan – 1425
Girish Ramachandran – 530

NOTE: Through the chaos of tallying score sheets, announcing top competitors, and drawing raffle winners, a small handful of men’s beginner score sheets found their way out of the stacks – but top climbers David Miller and Andrew Young certainly earned their mention, congrats fellas!

So, how do you prepare for a climbing competition? Behind-the-scenes of Tally Rock Gym’s second annual Save the South event

Greetings from purgatory. It’s that halfway point between the hell of stripping every hold and sliver of tape off the climbing walls, and that moment of pure heaven, a few hours after the sun has risen, when every inch of the rock gym has been reset with creative new routes.

Ah, the joys of preparing for a climbing competition.

As the hours until the second annual Save the South benefit climbing competition at Tallahassee Rock Gym tick down, the stress begins to rise a bit. Will we be able to finish everything in time? Will the brutal hour of 4:00 AM creep up and leave us too delirious to set quality routes? (Probably not. We’re seasoned pros at the all-nighter setting routine.)

So what goes into setting up a climbing competition?

First, we began to strip. Every piece of tape was removed from its route, and then each hold was screwed out from its respective t-nut. Holds were then organized into giant bins describing their style (crimps, slopers, edges, etc.).

The next day, the rock gym was closed to the public, and the real work began. Anything that hadn’t been stripped the night before was removed from the wall, and we slowly began to reset. The morning and afternoon flew by as I sat transfixed on a single problem I set on the lead wall – but the hours of toiling proved valuable as I ended up crafting my best route yet. While I mulled over a single climbing line, my fellow Tally Rock Gym staffers littered the walls with a collection of innovative, inventive routes that will surely satisfy tomorrow’s climbers.

When the hour crept to 8:00 PM, I hopped over to our lovely neighbors (and event sponsors), Tasty Eats Beer Garden. I ordered a little catering to feed the often underappreciated staff, and show them some gratitude for all the hard work they do to make this event happen. We enjoyed a miniature feast of tempeh sliders, crisp egg rolls, Asian hot wings, and spicy sesame hummus. And then it was back to work.

As the hours begin to blend together, things always tend to get a little weird. An entire day of nothing but dreaming up routes and hauling up ladders with giant hunks of plastic eventually starts to get to your head. Don’t even ask me how I ended up in my bathrobe.

Climbers, I hope you’re as stoked for this event as I am! I may be slightly off my rocker and in dire need of some shut-eye, but you better believe I’ll be ready to rumble come 2:00 tomorrow.

Get ready for another great fundraiser to benefit the amazing folks of the Southeastern Climbers Coalition. We’ve got a sweet stash of swag to give away, and while I’m currently too sore and beat up to even be able to climb my own V4 – these routes are pretty badass. Can’t wait to watch everyone climb them tomorrow!

Official Results and Photos from Tally Rock Gym’s Save the South Competition!

I’ve kept you waiting long enough, it’s time to unveil the complete score listings and a few of my favorite shots from Tally Rock Gym’s phenomenal Save the South benefit competition for the Southeastern Climbers Coalition. It was a great event, and between all our entry fees, raffle ticket sales and other donations, we raised over $1,600 for the SCC! I am proud to have been a part of the competition. Everyone climbed hard, and we even had a collection of climbers travel to Tallahassee just for the event.

Our swag table stood impressively next to the registration counter, and we outdid our expectations for raffle sales thanks to our eager competitors who all wanted a shot at our giveaways, which included: a free shoe certificate from Evolv, complimentary stay vouchers from The Crash Pad of Chattanooga, guidebooks from Greener Grass Publishing, tasty certificates from VooDoo Dog and Bagel Heads, a free hold set from So iLL, and a load of swag from Pusher/Revolution, Mountain Khakis, Rock Candy and Kendal Jackson Bags.

The actual competition went swimmingly, with many climbers racking up impressive scores and hardcore sends. I must give a big shout out to Louie, Usman and Mike Stanton, who traveled from out of town to climb at TRG. Coming from huge gyms with impressive setups, it was a big compliment when the boys spoke highly of our walls, routes, community and the great time they had at our gym.

Enough talkin’ – here are a few of my favorite photos from the event. Check Facebook tomorrow for a complete posting of all the photography. Scroll past the photos to view the complete score listing (of competitors who turned in their score sheets, many did not).



Read More…

A Sneak Peek at TRG’s Save the South Event: Stripping, Setting and Sweet Treats

Do you smell that in the air? It’s the wonderful scent of chalky hands, red velvet cupcakes and climbing! Tomorrow is the big day – Tally Rock Gym’s “Save the South” competition will commence with registration at 1:00 PM, and climbing from 2:00-6:00 PM.

We’ve been slaving away at the gym since last night. First, every hold and skinny strip of colored tape had to be removed from the bouldering walls. Everything was haphazardly scattered in the rubber gravel flooring, so I spent the next 12 hours organizing all the holds and picking up tape confetti while the boys began setting new routes. Yes, I’m a little OCD – but tell me that’s not pretty.


When I last left the rock gym, the walls were  dotted with the initial batch of routes for the competition. I have never been so impressed with the setters of TRG; these problems are high quality routes with beautiful beta and smart movements. We’ve got everything from the most intimiating V2 I’ve ever seen to a fluid V6-7 that was inspired during the crew’s recent trip to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Arkansas (yes, the trip I bailed on).

I’m about to return to the gym for another session of comp preparations, but first I baked a couple dozen cupcake treats in three different varieties: red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, coffee crumble cupcakes, and funfetti cupcakes with chocolate icing and sprinkles.

The best part? During the competition, TheMorningFresh.com will have a special sponsored route. The first five people to send the problem will get an extra special baked good: red velvet cupcakes topped with crispy, salty bacon. Oh yes, Erick Delgado, you better get this! VooDoo Dog will also have a sponsored route, where the first three ascents will earn themselves a $10.00 gift certificate to the best hot dog eatery in town.

Rest well, climbers. Tomorrow brings a sunny day of hardcore climbing, stellar prize giveaways and a great afternoon spent at Railroad Square. Did I mention that the Cravings Truck will be in parked in the square all day for the Spring Day Festival for Autism Awareness?

Two days until Save the South – all our swag is in, and we’ve been featured in today’s Tallahassee Democrat!

The back room of the spare warehouse at the Tally Rock Gym is stacked with boxes from all our fantastic sponsors – our collection of giveaway swag is officially complete. If contributing to a good cause isn’t enough motivation to get you out to TRG’s Save the South climbing competition on Saturday, then our exhaustive list of prizes will certainly inspire you to chalk up.

We’ve been blessed with an amazing sponsorship line-up: The Crash Pad, Pusher/Revolution, Rock Candy, Kendal Jackson Bags, Greener Grass Publishing, VooDoo Dog, Bagel Heads, Evolv, Mountain Khaki, Momo’s, So iLL holds and of course, yours truly, TheMorningFresh.com – have I mentioned that we’re the official sponsor of the event scores? This is the only place you’ll be able to see a complete score listing.

A special thanks goes out to the Tallahassee based Ramba Consulting group for generously donating $500 directly to the Southeastern Climbers Coalition.

The most exciting news of the day comes from our local newspaper, the Tallahassee Democrat. Fellow climber Alice Hafer wrote a preview piece about the competition, and you can check it out here. For those of you fortunate enough to have a paper copy of today’s edition, you can find the article on page 4 of the Local section! Here’s a little preview from the piece, which she kindly interviewed me for:

“The SCC is a great organization not just for climbers, but for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. They establish a lot of hiking trails and clean-up days. If you appreciate Mother Nature, then you can appreciate the SCC,” Katie Boue, volunteer coordinator of the event, said.

This event is going to be the best comp yet, and I can’t wait to see how everyone performs. Tonight and Friday will be spent furiously stripping and setting at the gym, and climbers are reminded that Tally Rock Gym will be closed on Friday & Saturday for the competition! Keep yourselves busy on Friday as we give the gym a route make-over in preparation for Saturday’s event.
%d bloggers like this: