TOP OUT COMPETITION
The weather was in the 60s and sunny, dry after practically no rain for a whole week, but I took my chances and went to check out this comp in a nice little gym called “Elite Climbing Gym”. It was either this short 1-hour drive to the comp or a 6.5-hour drive to the New, and I chose to compete… I simply couldn’t resist competing against Rob D’Anastasio and Nick Picarella.
I’ll start with the results:
1. Vasya Vorotnikov (me)
2. Rob D’Anastasio
3. Nick Picarella
1. Emma Chilton
2. Maddy Grupper
3. Anna Kavaoerchik
Side note: Not too many people know this (I didn’t), but apparently Paul Robinson started climbing in this very gym. While I didn’t exactly feel the presence of the legend himself during the competition, I could imagine a scrawny little kid with short haircut pulling down on those tiny crimps in the cave.
The qualifiers were typical: a whole bunch of problems with the hardest being in the V10-level. After the this round, it was me in 1st, Rob in 2nd, and Nick in 3rd, followed by Pat, Connor, and Matt. Mr. Jason Temple was excited to miss the finals by one, snagging a few slices of that free pizza. For the women it was a no-brainer with practically no one there to give Emma Chilton a run for her money.
The finals were run very differently – elimination style. While the finalists may not have agreed on the format to determine who is the best, it seemed to be satisfying enough to the crowd. Here’s how it worked:
- The top person from the qualifiers would go first, given an onsight attempt with nobody watching. Then, the rest of the guys would turn around, and the second person to qualify would try the problem, allowing everyone to watch as if it were a redpoint round.
- The catch: the first 5 to top out the problem would move on to the second boulder problem! Say 5 guys did the first problem first try; then, the 6th person would automatically be eliminated despite him not even trying the problem. The time limit was 10 minutes and after those 10 minutes, whoever had the highpoints would move on.
- 2nd problem: 2 more guys were eliminated similarly with only 3 remaining for the last, third problem. Whoever finishes the 3rd problem first wins the comp!
And so it happened: the first 5 guys, including me, flashed the first boulder problem, automatically moving on to the next problem, with no chance left for Matt regardless of how he climbed on #1. #2 was a bit more difficult, with only Rob and I flashing the problem, but Nick making quick work of it and getting to the top 2nd try, not allowing anyone else into the finals. The last problem was not as hard as expected, and I was able to flash that one as well, automatically getting 1st place. It was now between Rob and Nick, and Rob was also able to flash the last problem. Nick came really close, but it wouldn’t have mattered as he was automatically in 3rd after Rob’s flash.
Emma was simply at another level comparing to the rest of the girls as there were no Sashas, Sydneys or Mollys to compete against.
GREEN LANE BOULDERING
With skin as tender as filet mignon, after just 6 hours of sleep due to noisy upstairs neighbors, we (Jason, me, Rob D, and Nick) decided to check out Green Lane, a local PA bouldering area that has remained secretive due to its access issues and lack of parking… We met up late in the morning and, after getting lost on local roads that we shouldn’t have gotten lost on, we got to the boulders.
My first thought was: cinnamon bun! Rob D came up with rule 48, which allows him an after-the-comp 48 hours of abusing his body with carbohydrate-high substance called food before preparing for the next event or escapade. And, I enjoyed it!
Me with a cinnamon bun. Photo by me.
The next thought was coffee, which I drank as I took pictures of the gang tearing up the warm-ups. Nick claimed that he onsighted the V0 on this boulder, but it is still under dispute. An official complaint of lying to his peers about this V0 “onsight” may be filed shortly. Stay tuned.
Rob D’Anastasio, sending the sendbag V0 on his 3rd go. Jason Temple awaits at the top.
Nick Picarella demonstrating his slab-scrimping powers as he tops out a V7 boulder problem.
It was truly impossible to focus on something called “sending” as we were not exactly in top form after competing the previous day. Unexpectedly, however, the “San Diego” part of Green Lane brought us some sends, with Nick, Rob, and I all sending the “Redneck” V10 boulder problem! While somewhat contrived, it was the obvious way to do this direct crimpy line up the middle of the 40-degree overhang. The “San Diego” project, which skips the broken-off part of the boulder (the more obvious line), remains undone, likely in the V12-14 range. There are plenty of promising lines just in the “San Diego” area, but they will have to wait till our skin grows back a little.
Me on a sequence of the “Redneck” (V10).