This past weekend the citizens’ ABS southwest Regionals was hosted at Vertical Heaven in Ventura, CA. I really enjoying going to big comps because you get to see some big name climbers come and crush. It’s really motivational and it makes me think that I am part of the big community.
Chris Danielson was there to set routes along with Paul Dusatko. An interview with Chris can be found on the E-Grips site. Vertical Heaven is the home gym for Halo Holds and they had quite a few amazing features on their routes such as the B.A.H. This giant volcano hold, whose acronym likely means Bad Ass Hold, is perfect for roof climbing and heel toe cams and was featured on the Men’s #4 final problem.
Five Ten had a booth at the comp and I was able to try on a pair of the 5X which were first seen at the Summer OR Market. They fit well and had the new 5.10 heel cup which is matched perfectly with the zipper and Velcro closure. One of my friends got a pair of the new Jet7’s for the comp and really loved them. He said they have super sticky rubber and fit great. The only complaint was that they are sized quite differently and he had to go 1.5 sizes down from what he wears in the new Dragons. This weekend is the Winter OR Market in SLC and I will be interested to see if any new sweet gear is on the horizon.
There were a lot of top athletes at this comp including Lisa Rands and Alex Puccio. It was amazing to see Lisa climb and I had got to chat with her husband, Wills Young, who was really chill. Ethan Pringle showed up at the comp and climbed a few problems but didn’t really compete. He was there to sign posters since he was still recovering from a fall from the Mandala. In December he had been working the Sit Start and landed badly on his heel putting him in crutches.
Carlo Traversi was also at this comp hailing all the way from Colorado. It was pretty cool to see him climb after reading his blog. Recently he has been sending hard with the 2nd ascent of Thrice. His ascent of the climb likely sparked new interest in this Holloway test piece since it is now up to its 6th repeat after sends by Jamie Emerson, James Pearson, Daniel Woods and Dave Graham. Carlo won the ABS 9 regionals with a few flashes and a strong showing on Men’s #4 which stumped all other competitors. He was able to make it to the 2nd to last hold which was 2 holds further than any other climber. After the comp ended he got back on the climb and sent the problem!
Woods has also been busy with the 2nd ascent of Ty Landman’s Midnight Express. You can see a video of the FA here courtesy of the MoonClimbing. The video of Daniel’s ascent can be found on MomentumVM.com. As well Daniel established Epochalypse which according to Chip Phillips from 8a.nu “links Reverse UCT (RUCT) -> Trice or 10+ moves of ~7C/7C+ traversing into 8A+”.
After sending Trice on January 10th Dave Graham went to work on Midnight Express. On his fifth day of effort he managed the third ascent in freezing conditions. So far snow and ice seem like routine conditions for those working on this boulder. These two sends put Dave back in the lead of the combined 8a global ranking. This spot, which he has held on and off for the last 6 years, was momentarily stolen by Ethan Pringle.