Girl’s Trip: The Heist Competition

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Results: 28th out of 67

Competition season, how I missed you! Last weekend my climbing buddy, Carlie, and I hit up the Heist all-female climbing competition in Watertown, Massachusetts. We started counting down the days until we’d be back and the day had finally come. With only Carlie and I having both the time and the money to attend, we were a smaller crew than our usually packed vehicle, which was fine. We were hoping to convince a couple more girls to come this year to enjoy the experience, but there’s a short supply of competitive female climbers in New Brunswick. That’s fair – it’s just not something everyone wants to do!


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Fall makes for a pretty drive.

Before I get to the comp stuff, I have to tell you about our less than ideal morning (sadly). Firstly, we arrived fairly early Friday night to our hotel to finally get a good night’s sleep. We had a solid plan for Saturday morning to make it to the comp before it began at 11. It’s not often we get so much time in the morning to get ready as we normally have to be at the gym for 9 or earlier. Our hotel was 30 minutes away, so we thought that leaving at 9:15 would give us ample time to get to the gym, check-in, and do a proper warm up.

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Myself with the big reach

In a morning stupor, I naively punched in “Central Rock Gym” in the GPS and clicked on the first search result to appear. Unfortunately, there are several gyms of that name in the area! It said we were about 40 minutes away from our destination (I should have clued in at this point that this was slightly longer than it was supposed to be). It was not until one of our last exits that I noticed we were definitely going West, when we were supposed to go East. With a quick check of my emails I discovered that the addresses did not match up. We were indeed going in the wrong direction. Actually, we were going in the opposite direction.

When I punched in the correct gym it said we would arrive at 10:45, but we were already getting into some heavy traffic so we were very worried. This worry was amplified when I realized I had left all my American cash at the hotel, when we really needed some for the tolls. We ended up getting a “bill” for a “no cash violation” because they wouldn’t accept our Canadian money. We had a little laugh over that, so that was nice.

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Carlie with the splits

Turns out we missed the pre-comp run-down as we arrived with one minute to spare. We sped walked into the gym, checked-in and went immediately into warm up mode. Luckily, the rest of the day went much more smoothly.

There didn’t seem to be as many women there as last year, but that being said, the walls were still quite packed. People generally moved in packs, so it was easy to find a less busy area now and then where you could work something in peace (more or less). Most people were quite respectful of first-come-first serve in terms of jumping on routes, so that was great. There was a nice supportive atmosphere, and I even worked a route or two with people I didn’t even know!

Excuse my teen lingo, but the routes were on point. Kudos to the route setters for setting some really unique and challenging problems. I enjoyed every route I tried, even if it took a few tries for the beta to sink in. If you wanted crimpy routes, there were crimpy routes; if you wanted slopey routes, there were slopey routes! They had it all, including a really cool dyno I unfortunately ran out of time to work (but still gave it a few tries at the end anyway). The only injury unfortunately was my chin smashing on an ill-placed volume in the middle of a big span move. Of course, I tried it again several more times and did not hit my face so perhaps it was entirely user error. Who knows.

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Giving out door prizes – arguably the best part of any comp (besides climbing)

On a personal note, I felt good at this comp. I wasn’t as nervous as I normally am at comps and managed to fight off the pump for much longer than usual. If you’ve read any of the my blog posts, you’ll probably know that I rarely feel satisfied after as I normally feel like I could have done better. I know I could have tried some harder routes and potentially sent some harder problems, but I am happy with the amount I sent and how solid I felt on a lot of challenging moves/holds. Yay!

If you’re nearby, get there next year! It’s a lot of fun and finals are always a joy to watch. For us, it’s just a fun opportunity to take a girl’s trip and climb new routesIf you need details, feel free to contact me or check out their facebook page here.

**UNRELATED NOTE: If you are ever given the opportunity to voluntarily bump yourself off your overbooked flight in exchange for a rather large travel voucher (in my case, 800$), ensure you have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do the next day. Trust me on this.

Climb on xx

Photo dump:

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