Last Saturday I competed in the Blacklight Bouldering Comp held at my climbing gym. I'd heard about it for a couple years, but never felt like I was good enough at climbing to compete in anything. After finally being able to climb some V5 routes, I figured I'd go for it and ended up competing in the Female Advanced division of the comp. One bonus of being a lady climber? Not as much competition. There were only four women in my division and I ended up taking 3rd, winning an awesome Black Diamond day pack! It was a bit weird climbing in the black light, your depth of field is all wonky, but it was really fun. The best part is, since the comp was held at my gym, I get to keep working on the routes I wasn't able to finish during the comp! There was one 630 point route that I was two moves from finishing but couldn't manage to pull it out for the comp. A few days after the comp I sent it! Of course, had I sent it during the comp I probably would've taken first, but hey, a few days too late isn't bad. Plus, it was my first V6, which means I've totally surpassed my goal to send a V5 before I turn 27. Exciting!
After the comp they turned on the lights and we got to climb around on the routes we weren't able to try during the comp. You only have 3 hours to climb and accumulate as many points as possible. So each route has a point value assigned to it and if you climb it without falling, you get those points. If you do fall, you have four more chances to climb it to get the points, but once you fall 5 times on the same route you can't try it for points any more. There were a lot of routes that looked like they were fun but I wasn't sure I wanted to waste time trying them during the comp. Thankfully since they're all still up at the gym for a couple months so I can see how many I can get!
It was fun to step outside my comfort zone and do something I'd never done before. I don't know if I'll compete in more climbing comps but it was definitely something I'd wanted to do at least once and I'm glad I went for it. Plus, I love climbers and it seems like one of those cool communities to be a part of. For a long time we've been kind of on the outskirts of the climbing community, but it'd be neat to be more involved in a community of people I really like.
photos by dan
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