Monday, December 7, 2009

Triple Crown Birthday Weekend

This past Friday I turned 28 and I am proud to say that despite cranking out some serious boulder problems yesterday, I am not in a world of hurt today (just my hips- ha!) This Triple Crown event, like all the years past, did not disappoint and included a bonus SNOW DAY on Saturday. Kenneth and I headed up to Chattanooga Friday afternoon with Jack-the-Dog in tow and went straight to the pre-registration party and set up the Prana tent. It was when my hands turned to icicles during the tent set-up that I first began to wonder if I was going to have any hope of climbing well. I had on more layers than the kids in the Christmas Story as I handed out Prana beanies to all the crazy climbers (mostly Floridians) who had not brought any head-coverings to the event and whose ears were disturbing shades of crimson. From there we met up with Michelle and went to Mudpie for some beans, rice, cake, and karaoke.

We stayed with our good friend Michelle in St. Elmo at her new kick-ass abode. Hotel Michelle was also the headquarters for the boonies (Pat Goodman & Jessa Goebel) and for fellow Prana/FiveTen athlete, Alex Johnson. Michelle’s dog, Oliver the fluffy-white-talking-dog, was joined by my dog, Jack (an old friend of Ollie’s), and Fritz (A.J.’s 4lb. chihuahua). Oliver (a huge husky) and Fritz became the star-crossed lovers of the weekend with an unfortunate mutual attraction thwarted by dimensions.

We all hunkered down for the night and I was the first to wake up Saturday morning (comp day) and look out the window. Chattanooga was covered with an inch of snow and it was still snowing! Still in my sleeping bag, I grabbed my laptop and hopped into Alex’s room playing “White Christmas” on my iTunes. For those of you who don’t already know, Alex lives the life. She climbs and hangs out with Fritz and sleeps. That being said, the girl does NOT wake up early or easily. I turned up the music and started to dance in my sleeping bag until Fritz woke up and decided that attacking me was the only option. Poor Alex finally opened her eyes and in a very confused tone looked right at me and inquired, “what ARE you?” That was how the snow day began.

Our entire snow day events: coffee, Waffle House, coffee, Bluegrass show downtown (Gerle Haggard rocked it), hot chocolate, hike with the dogs, tea, dyno comp at the gym, served tea at the tent, and then went to bed with hand-warmers in my sleeping bag. Hot beverages were definitely the theme. Before the dyno comp started, they had a pad-stacking contest where you had to stand on top of bouldering pads and add pad by pad until you eventually toppled over. Hailey (bad-ass local climber) tore it up and beat all the boys with an impressive thirteen-pad tower with her teetering at the top. Zach Walker brought the pain in the massage corner helping climbers loosen up and work out the knots.

Sunday=comp day. With temps in only the 20s to begin, we filed into the frozen boulderfield. When it gets that cold outside, I usually tap out and stay home and knit next to our space heater. I do not function well in freezing temperatures. I had on more layers than I care to admit (notice there are no climbing pics of myself below in part because there was no time and in part because I resembled the Michelin man). I had hand-warmers in my pockets and in my down slippers that I wore to get from problem to problem- all while having my climbing shoes tucked in my long underwear to keep them warm. The day got better and better and my climbing got better and better as the sun graced us and I ended up having my best bouldering day ever- and managed to win the entire comp! It was unexpected, but a great birthday gift. My ticklist:

  1. Man Hands (V8)
  2. Odyssey (V9)
  3. Grimace (V8)
  4. Spanky (V8)
  5. Cleopatra (V8)
  6. Bedwetters (V9/10)
  7. Dr. Atkinson (V8)
  8. The Brotherhood (V8)
  9. I Think I Can (V9)
  10. Fatigue Syndrome (V8)

Jack & Ollie enjoying the cold
Chattanooga's Gerle Haggard Band

John Hur on Odyssey-V9

John on Space-V8