Monday, December 6, 2010

Dark Horse Series 2010/2011: Stop #2

Dark Horse Comp HIGHLIGHTS - December 2010 from Eastern Climber on Vimeo.  I believe Nicholas Steinwachs is the man behind this video, check it out.

Untitled from Sean Harris on Vimeo.  This is one of the videos taken during the comp.  Check out for updates, they should have a video coming right up.

This was the 2nd of the three-comps series, held in Everett, MA.  Metrorock’s setting team of Dave Wetmore and Josh Larson did an even better job with problem setting in my opinion, and I expect even more from the final round in February.  [I would say that the comp was run perfectly with respect to the setting but I’m afraid that if I say it, the guys won’t take it as seriously]  As far as climbing went, I have to say, this was one of my best performances in the finals up to date and I really hope to keep it up in the future…

The following results have been modified, i.e. Brian Kim actually got 2nd!!!

Open men results:
1. Vasya Vorotnikov
2. Brian Kim
3. Andrew Kim
4. Rob D’Anastasio

Open women results:
1. Francesca Metcaf
2. Melissa Godowski
3. Natasha Barnes

Details:  The qualifiers were great!  Rob and I battled it out on the top 5 climbs the best way we know how to.  I couldn’t help myself and almost immediately started on the 3rd hardest climb in the gym.  After an embarrassing failing attempt, I pulled through the problem, and then couldn’t stop for more than 5 minutes at a time.  In a total of about 1.5 hours, I finished my top 5 climbs with 4 falls.  Those falls (the result of a poor warm-up) are a toll I was willing to pay for an extra rest I’d get before finals.  Rob D, on the other hand, brought his experience as always and ended up with top 5 climbs and only 3 falls, finishing just 30 minutes later.  The other contestants (Brian Kim, Andrew Kim, Connor McDonald, Max Zolotukhin and Andy Lamb) were pretty close, all finishing the hardest climbs but the top two.  Brian Kim fell at the top on both of those climbs, but the rest of the group decided to stay away from the top 2 climbs and bring on the competition in the finals.

Finals:  It was a whole new game.  Rob and I were 1 try apart.  Everyone else basically flashed the other problems, also within 1 try of each other.  In addition, the format changed from the newly standard UBC to an old PCA-style format, with the number of points being more important than the number of climbs topped out.  Brian Kim did the 1st and the 3rd of 4 problems, Andrew Kim did the 1st and the 2nd.  Rob D came close to finishing every problem, but something wasn’t clicking and no top-outs except the 1st occurred.  With crowd’s help, I managed to get all 4 problems and was extremely happy with the results, only making two falls in the finals.

As for women, Natasha Barnes made it all the way from California to take a shot at beating the home-field advantageous Francesca Metcalf.  But, Francesca came out dominant again, Melissa Godowski in 2nd, and Tasha getting 3rd…  Maybe Frannie needs more competition to come on down for the final Dark Horse event.

After celebrating the successful completion of the 2nd Dark Horse and getting home at 5AM, I got up to Rumney to finish off a boulder problem I tried about two months ago, called B-Boy Stance (V11/12).  The conditions were crisp (28-30F), which made my fingers stick to the wall better, thus making the problem feel easier than it probably is.  I’ll have to do Dave’s Full-Sized Man to get another opinion of the grade on this one… don’t hold your breath.

Pat Bagley’s photos from the comp: me (top) and Francesca (bottom) finishing our problems.  Pat will probably be posting more soon.