Columbus, Ohio: Named after Christopher Columbus; home to the Buckeyes and Blue Jackets.
A couple of weeks ago, a crew of seven climbers and dozens of family members made the trip to Columbus-town, not for a hockey or football game, but for the ABS 14 Regional Championship, hosted by Vertical Adventures.
The mission of From The Field is to give readers a taste of the experience using words and pictures. A climbing competition such as an ABS Regional can be difficult to describe. Why’s that? Because for competitors and coaches most of the day is spent waiting in a back room reading a book or playing board games in “climber’s isolation.”
Unlike local competitions, in larger regional, divisional or national competition, climbers have a smaller number of routes to choose from, typically four to seven routes for each age division. So that climbers scheduled earlier in the day aren’t at a disadvantage to those that climb later in the day, competitors are also not allowed to see the routes before their assigned time slot.
If that sounds boring, it’s anything but. Imagine it this way: Someone has given you and your friends six gifts. The catch is that you only get to open them one at a time, and you don’t get to watch anyone else enjoying their presents until you’re done. It’s actually quite exciting (and nerve-wracking), and it goes much faster than you expect. Things only speed up for competitors when they exit isolation and begin climbing. Each climber is given 4 minutes to evaluate, plan and climb each route, with 4 minutes of rest in between routes. If that sounds like a long time, clock yourself on a challenging bouldering problem next time you visit The Crag. Add in the pressure of competition and you can imagine the level of nervous energy our team was dealing with.
The Crag had seven climbers competing in the event: Xzavier Thompson, Will Starcke, Tyler Beiden, Sam Perry, Ryan Beiden, Mark Holmes and Boone McClellan. Of the seven, Boone, Sam and Will qualified for divisionals next month in Indianapolis, IN.
Thank you to all our climbers and their families for being great ambassadors for The Crag this weekend and look forward to sharing pictures and stories from divisonals in a few weeks!
For more pictures from the weekend, visit our Facebook page.