Where'd the summer go?? Its been too long since our last update, but better late than never. Since we last posted we've been to Maple Canyon and back, kicked butt at Sport Divisionals, and had a blast at Sport Nationals. Maple came first, so lets start there.
Our trip to Maple Canyon, UT (4th annual!) never disappoints. Absolutely perfect weather, an awesome Ranch House to stay at, good food and company... not to mention the world class sport climbing! A crew of 9 Youth Team athletes made the trip this year and we were quick to find out just how motivated of a group we were. On day one we tore through a dozen or so routes, including many first-timers learning the skills needed for cleaning gear from routes. That first day really set the tone for the week. So many at first were groaning in anticipation about the hike up to the Pipe Dream Cave, but excitement took precedent and we ended up there three times over the course of a week! A lot of our first-timers really amazed themselves with what they thought they could accomplish there and for me there is nothing better than that. I won't inundate you with details, but I invite you to check out the photo album put together that will sum everything up much better than I could do in words. Link HERE.
Next Up, Divisionals! Hosted at Stone Age in ABQ, this comp was a blast. Day one had excellent routes, and of the 17 athletes we had compete roughly half qualified for the Finals round the next day. Everyone climbed hard and it was great as a coach to see a lot of our training pay off, especially with our mental game. Day two had MUCH more challenging routes, even some of the Divisions top athletes didn't see a send. Athletes only get one attempt on one route during finals so you can imagine that being a source of anxiety. We train specifically for performing under pressure, I feel like we were well prepared. In the end Laurel, Davin, Brodie, Molly and Spencer ended up with an invite to the big stage at Nationals.
The big show! I had been a while since I personally made the trip to Sport Nationals, it was good to get back. The amazing facility of Stone Summit Kennesaw hosted the event, and all I can say is I was jealous of our athletes that they got to climb on those tall walls. The first order of business is the qualification round, which is split over two days and athletes climb one route per day. The combined score of the two is your result, and placing in the top 20 is needed for advancing to semis. Unfortunately, we didn't quite make it to the next round, but everyone, myself included, felt satisfied. Either from knowing that we showed some of our best climbing or from knowing that we all gained very valuable experience and knowledge. That last bit is key, I know that we always come out stronger in the end regardless of results.
We're on to a new season and new chapter. Stay tuned!