Sunday, December 22, 2013

Red Rocks Trip

                 Oreo in the bush

My trip in Vegas has come to an end and I'm sad to leave, but it was a great experience and great trip! 

I was able to hang out with old friends and meet new ones.  We were fortunate enough to have a place to stay. Our friends Kenny and Julie live in Vegas about five minutes from the boulders! It was a pre location and they were really awesome for letting us stay for two weeks! Our friends Courtney and Daniel stay with us as well.  Cameron, Nalle and Lisa were part of our crew as well but they stayed elsewhere.  

The first few days we all climbed together, but once the boys found projects in other canyons they would go do their own thing.  So in a way it was a boy trip and a girl trip.  That's how Courtney and I decided to make a video of the trip.  We will have two parts of it so be on the look out for that here in the next month or so.  We spent a lot of time at the Kraft boulders, but were able to make it out to a few other canyons as well.  Next time we might be spending more time developing then repeating boulders. 

              Courtney on Scare Tactics

We were able to tick off many classics out here. Scare tactics, bubble butt, Americana exotica, jabberwocky, bitch slap 5, Timmy's problem, orange top blue sky, mr. Moran, Quercus (FA), vino rojo, monkey bar direct, alexisizer, blood trails, all nightmare long and pork chop.  It was a great trip and I learned a lot about myself and my climbing.  

                 Cam on Pork Chop

I really enoyed the group of people that we were with.  We had a bunch of fun climbing together all day and then hanging out at night and making dinner together or just going out.  It was truly a great trip that created many memories! 

            Nalle on Clogging the Feed

It was awesome to watch the boys establish new boulders.  All of them walked away with FAs.  Daniel with 'the nest' and 'half magic.' Nalle with 'clubbing and tubbing' and 'clogging the feed.' And Jimmy did 'one flew over the cuckoos nest' and 'fear and loathing.'  I also got to watch all of them send a scary high ball 'the shinning path.' They had a great dynamic between each other.  It was really motivating to see them push each other and laugh and have fun doing it! 

         Jimmy on The Shinning Path

We spent a little time on the strip.  One evening Lisa, Courtney and I went to Fremont St. We were there right in time for a pep rally and walked around gift shops. Also went down a slide that was a lot of fun.  Haha.  Had some frozen yogurt and I gambled away $2.  Overall it was a great time experiencing a little bit of Vegas.  

                    Fremont street 

My birthday was yesterday and we all went to the Rio Buffet.  We had to wait in line for an hour but it was worth it! So much food!! We spend over two hours in there! They had Asian food, southern food, Italian food, sushi, desserts, and much more!  It was fun to hang out with a great group of people for my birthday!! It was a great day of climbing as well!  

                 Entrance to the Rio 

Now Jimmy, Oreo and I are on our way to Hueco Tanks. We have about a 12 hour drive ahead of us, but it will be worth it in the end.  My climbing team from Chatty will be joining us on the 26th and staying till the 4th!  I'm so psyched to show the kids the beauty of hueco and all the classic climbs!! 

                  Daniel on The Nest

                Lisa on Mr. Moran

                 Me on Blood Trails

Thursday, December 12, 2013

ABS Regionals - Boulder, CO @ ABC Climbing Gym

I had the privilege of being a part of the setting crew for ABS Regionals in Boulder, CO.  
It has been something that I've wanted to do over the last few years.  In the past I have helped out at Regional and Divisional level events but never to the extent that I did with this event at ABC Climbing Gym.  

The setting crew consisted of John Gass, Paul Dusatko, Kegan Minock, Garrett Gregor and myself.  It was a really great crew of people and we had a lot of fun setting together.  Garrett laid out a schedule for the week and we stuck mostly to it.  Friday night we spent a couple more hours at the gym, but that's bound to happen.  

Garrett allowed us to pick a set of holds that we really wanted to set with.  I ended up choosing the Talus Set from Voodoo Climbing.  I was really psyched to set a boulder with them, but I didn't know what I was going to be setting until I got to the gym Wednesday afternoon.

Garrett had chosen for me to set:
Male Youth D/Female Youth D - Boulder #1
Male Youth D/Female Youth D - Boulder #2
Female Youth B/Youth A/Junior - Boulder #6
Male Youth B/Youth A/Junior - Boulder #1
Male Youth B/Youth A/Junior - Boulder #4

Paul and I also set:
Male Youth B/Youth A/Junior - Boulder #2

  Male Youth D/Female Youth D - Boulder #1
When i was done setting this boulder everyone said that it was way too hard.  I had given the youngest kids slopers to climb on.  I ended up making a few adjustments to make it easier.  In the end, after the tweaks I think it was perfect for the Female D category but a little too easy for the Male D category.

Red holds with yellow tape

Male Youth D/Female Youth D - Boulder #2
For this boulder I concentrated on pinches along with a few slopers towards the top.  I used the two big beehive holds from E-grips.  The problem consisted of some tension at the beginning with a few compression moves at the top.  Overall the climb itself turned out well but for the competition it had the same effect as the first boulder for this category; perfect for the girls and a little easy for the boys.  

Yellow holds with yellow tape

Female Youth B/Youth A/Junior - Boulder #6
I had a fun time setting this boulder.  It had a dyno for the first move, yet it wasn't too big.  It continued up the overhanging arete with some compression moves to get up to slopey jug.  It then crossed to some small flat edges from which you did a move to a smaller slopey pinch that you had to match and go to the top from.  For the Youth B category there was an extra holds on the problem that made one of the moves a little easier, but I think that the boulder was slightly harder than it should of been for this category.  For the youth a and junior category it was about perfect separating some of the top athletes in each category.

Orange holds with pink tape

Male Youth B/Youth A/Junior - Boulder #1  
I really enjoyed setting this boulder.  It had a dyno as the first move followed by some interesting moves through the roof.  There was a double toe hook around the lip.  It finished with three pinch moves and a dynamic yet technical move to a slick volume.  There was a good amount of positive feed back on this boulder.  I was proud.

Purple holds with white tape

Male Youth B/Youth A/Junior - Boulder #4
This was the ultimate test of technique.  I used the voodoo holds that I had picked out.  They were flipped outside down as feet making the first few moves very technical and slick.  There was a really awesome move at the top that was dynamic and technical at the same time.  I really loved this boulder problem.

Pink holds with white tape

Male Youth B/Youth A/Junior - Boulder #2
I set this boulder with Paul's help.  I really like how this boulder turned out because it was powerful yet technical.  It was set on a some what overhanging wall, with some awesome compression moves at the top.  
Red holds with white tape

Overall I think the boulders turned out well.  I think the biggest mistake of the event was the youth B category.  We should of made the beginnings of the boulders easier and progressively harder.  A lot of the climbers got shut down on the first few moves, but luckily there were no ties.  

It was a great experience and I hope to get an opportunity like this again in the future with regionals, divisionals or nationals! Hopefully i'll be able to get into the Level 2 Route Setting Clinic.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

One day Vegas Trip

I helped Jimmy drive out to Vegas and I was able to climb the evening we got there
I was able to do two really fun boulders!
Here is a video of the short trip!!

Day Trip to Vegas from Kasia Pietras on Vimeo.

I flew back to Colorado to set for regionals at ABC!
I'm really excited for the opportunity and experience!
I think it will be A LOT of fun!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Portland Boulder Rally 2013

It was a rough weekend 
I came to this event not expecting anything, just go out there and climb and have fun! 
For the first two hours that's what it was... I was trying all sorts of boulders but only completed two harder ones
But the ones I was trying were really fun and I was progressing on them, but could never manage to get to the top! 
I'm the last hour of the event I started to spiral down into a very bad place... And I couldn't control it
I have five boulders on my score card but three of them were warm ups... And I just couldn't manage to send anything else! 
I try all the hard ones at least once and nothing... 
I was in the rabbit hole and couldn't crawl out... It was very frustrating and annoying... I didn't realize how out of shape I really was
It shows that I have not been doing much to improve my climbing, and the only thing that I have to say to my defense is that I've been traveling the last two months which caused a lot of disorder in my life.  I am just now settling in and feel like everything is in place.  But in the end I feel as it is just another excuse that I give myself. 

In the end I did not make finals but jimmy did so it was great to watch him climb. Chairing outside the gym was I little iritating because I do not like crowds, but once we were let in it worked out well because we were in the front row and were able to have maybe the best view in the house! 

Chris and I were keeping track of results and it was nerve racking to watch jimmy compete since he was last out on all the boulders and I knew what he had to do to stay in the lead.  My palms were sweaty and my blood was racing.  

JIMMY WON!!! I was so happy!! 

Sunday we played putt putt at a glow in the dark place.  It was really fun!! 

We ventured to the gym later on where I tried a bunch of other boulders along with the finals boulders.  Once again I was disappointed with myself, but at the end of the day I was able to calm myself and just turn the last two days into training days.  

I finished off with doing an ab workout after all the climbing and I know I will be sore tomorrow!  There are so many things I need to work on, and my attitude is one of them! Hopefully with time I will be able to get to where I want to be.  I just have to be patient and keep a smile on my face even when it seems I'm failing all the time... 

I mean 90% of climbing is failure, falling, trying hard and only 10% of the time we succeed! 

So it's time to train! And get back into shape!! 

The bonus of today was breakfast!! 

Either way I want to thank everyone that made this event possible!! 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Trip to Idaho!!

Almo, ID is a small town of 172 people which encompasses a large area. They have a general store, a pizza shop/car repair place, an inn and a steak house. 

There are two main areas to climb at in this small town... City of Rocks (free access) and Castle Rocks ($5/vehicle).  There are a few places you can stay such as the Smokey Mountain Camping ($20+ per night) but they do have awesome showers ($3) or there's the City of Rocks campground ($12/night).  There's also the bunk house at Castle Rock that sleeps twelve and is $12.95/person/night and you have to go to the Visitor Center to make a reservation.  We got the hook up and were told about the FREE camping. Down the main road in town till the road turns into dirt and right after you pass the cattle guard you take a right. 

Most of you might of heard of Castle Rocks... It has the infamous 40+ move roof climb "war path" along with many rope climbs for both the trad climber and the bolt clipper... We unfortunately didn't bring our rope and gear, so I won't be able to tell you much about that. 

What I can tell you is that the "taco roof" is an amazing formation of rock that we are fortunate to climb on.  There's a few different lines on.  Most of which are a little bit "morpho" and hopefully I'll be able to figure out some beta before we leave to send a few of these boulders.  

Jimmy and I explored the boulders that surround the 'taco cave' and were surprised at the amount of untouched rock.  There is a great amount of potential out here and hopefully more climbs get developed as the news spreads. 

As of now, due to the goverement closing down nationals parks (which I think is ridiculous but there's a time and place for that rant) City of Rocks has limited access. Some of the land is owned by the state so as climbers we have access to that part of the land.  Jimmy and I hiked around to explore the large amount of rocks that litter the area.  Unfortunately most of the rock is choss with the occasional dyno boulder or some morpho (I hate that word) boulders.  We were able to find a few boulders that had the potential of being good climbs.  

The best part of this trip has been being together with Jimmy (and Oreo).  Even though we had an epic time getting here due to snow in wyoming we have enjoyed our whole time here. I'm really grateful to have these guys in my life. 

The main purpose of this trip was for Jimmy to try and send 'war path'. It took him four tries over a four day period. First day he fell off the move over the lip. Same for the two tries on the second day. Then we took a rest day which involved a lot of hiking around. And the fourth day he did it his first try and made it look easy. I am so proud of him for accomplishing one of his goals.  Watching him over the years has empowered me to become a better climber and I'm psyched to see what the future brings.  

Video of our trip will be up soon!! Till now just pictures!! 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Heist

I was very fortunate to be part of the Heist competition held at Central Rock Climbing Gym in Watertown. 
For those of you that haven't heard about it,
It was an event organized by FEMALES
set by FEMALES

I was the head route setter and going into the event I didn't really know what to expect. I have been the head setter/organizer of small local competitions but nothing of this caliber.  The days leading up to the event I felt pretty organized, focus but anxious. I just wanted Monday to roll around so that we could start setting for the event.  At the end of the week I was very grateful to have Sydney McNair at my side.

I have learned that no big event goes without some small problems here and there. Overall things went according to plans.  We fell a little bit behind Monday with having set only 22 boulders out of the 25 which was our goal. But by Tuesday night we had all 60 boulders set.  Wednesday was spent on forerunnimg and setting up the finals boulders. And the bottom half of the route got set as well.  Thursday we spent forerunning finals and the advance/open problems. We finished the route on Friday along with forerunning it. 

It was a long and tiring week where we'd get to the gym between 10am-11am and not leave till 10pm most nights.  I was especially tired because in the 3 weeks prior to the event I had been in 4 different time zones (one of which was in Europe) and I had been on 11 flights. My body was all sorts of tired!! 

Saturday rolled around suddenly and everyone was coming through the door to check in and getting ready to compete. I got really nervous and for a few hours of qualifiers I found myself sitting in a rocking chair in the hold room, thinking what we should do. You see the problem started that morning, when I felt that all the open problems were maybe too easy for the field of competitiors that showed up. After qualifiers my fear became a reality and the top 8 girls sent the top 5 boulders. Luckily they didn't all flash all 5 boulders.  Going into finals we had two ties to break. Two girls were tied for 1st and two were tied for 3rd. 

Final's boulder #1
This was my master piece.  I had to set with the heart holds from atomic.  It was quite the challenge. It was a vertical, technical rock climb that I was very happy with. All the girls sent the boulder, but that's what we wanted. Luckily the boulder broke one of our ties.  

Final's boulder #2 
Sydney was the mastermind behind this powerful pinch fest! (Holds courtesy of teknik) Our goal was to have one of the girls get to the top. Unforunetly that didn't happened.  We might have tweaked it to make it harder than it should of been. But either way it broke our final tie.  

Final's route #1 
I have never heard or attended an event where finals was a mixture between boulders and routes. I think it gave the event it's own little spin on things.  I don't think the route could of been any better.  We expected two girls to top and they did.  And everyone else fell in a different place on the route.  Sydney gets most of the credit for the route with a few of my ideas mixed into it. 

Sunday was a day for clinics with some of the athletes along with myself.  I taught a setting clinic which I think went really well.  I hope that the people that took my clinic learned some valuable things that they will be able to use in the future. 

There was a good amount of publicity for this event with a few interviews prior to the event featuring Sydney and myself. 

Did I mention that there were 158 competitors?!? All females!!! That's amazing!! 

I can't wait to see what next year brings!! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

More sends for Jimbo!!

V15's for Webb and Woods
posted by dpm on 09/10/2013

At Lincoln Lake, Colorado, Daniel Woods has completed the 2nd ascent of Jimmy Webb's new problem Wheel of Wolvo (V15) and Jimmy has added a harder finish to produce Delirium (V15). The addition of the 10-move V14 intro, leading to a jug rest, seems to have opened up a small world of opportunities for progression. Wheel of Wolvo climbs the V14 to the rest, then finishes out the Overcling Traverse, a V11/12 in its own right. Delirium climbs the initial V14 to the same rest, then finishes out Dismantling the Enemy (V12). Jimmy notes on his 8a scorecard that it's a slightly harder and more direct finish but doesn't change the grade, which makes sense. He also mentions that it's feeling "more and more doable" to finish out We Can Build You, a V14 that starts on the resting hold that marks the end of the initial V14 section of Wheel of Wolvo and Delirium. Confused? To put it simply, a V14 section ends at a good resting hold and there are at least three possible finishes: V11/12 (Wheel of Wolvo), V12 (Delirium), and V14 which has yet to be completed. I'm no mathematician but it seems that if V14 + V12 = V15, then it would be logical to assume that V14 + V14 would equal V16. If that link-up is accomplished, I'm calling it V16. I don't care what Jimmy Webb says. Click the image below to watch some footage of some alpine bouldering around Colorado, including Lincoln Lake. At 9:30, you'll see Jimmy Webb pull onto the start of We Can Build You and if you look closely, you can see the ticked holds of the new V14 entrance beneath his feet.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Gonna have to brag a little... for my boyfriend!



Webb just chilling on the send of <em>The Wheel of Wolvo</em> (V15). Photo courtesy of Dave Graham

Webb just chilling on the send of The Wheel of Wolvo (V15). Photo courtesy of Dave Graham
Southern powerhouse Jimmy Webb has cranked the first ascent of The Wheel of Wolvo (V15) in Mount Evans, Colorado. Webb, who recently moved from his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Boulder, Colorado, has wasted little time establishing one of Colorado's hardest testpieces.
"Comparing The Wheel to my other ascents ... I do see it as a step up," Webb recently told Rock and Ice.
The problem sits high at the Lincoln Lake area and, according to Webb, consists of a 10-move V14 into a 15-move V11/12. "A pumpy one for sure and suited my style/height perfectly," commented Webb on his scorecard. 
Webb has been on a tear recently. While visiting Rocklands, South Africa, this summer, Webb managed to flash three V13's. After returning to the U.S., Webb then took the win at the 2013 Psicobloc Masters Series in Park City, Utah.

First try in Rocklands from Jimmy Webb on Vimeo.

Today, Webb has taken the time to give Rock and Ice readers the low down on his new V15 and more.
R&I: How was The Wheel of Wolvo discovered?

Dave Graham technically found the line a few years back, but I think he didn't quite see the possibility and decided to wait and come back to it. This year he went down for a look and put some work into cleaning the line and getting it all set up. I showed up two days later and helped him clean it some more and we started working out all the moves. 
R&I: How long did it take you to send the problem?
I tried The Wheel for three full days, working on it a lot with Daniel Woods and Dave Graham.

R&I: Is The Wheel of Wolvo an endurance problem or is there a definitive crux? 

Well, it's kind of both actually. The first 10 moves are a very powerful yet technical 8B+ (V14). Linking the bottom boulder is definitely the most difficult part of the bloc, but after you complete this you have to put yourself back together and execute the final 15 move 8A/+ (V11/12) endurance section.

R&I: How did the send feel? In the photo it looks as if you're just chilling! 
Haha! Well I was hanging out in the rest that separates the two boulders so yeah, you definitely gotta chill. The send felt hard, man. It's a battle from beginning to end and there are multiple points on the climb that you can fail. The difficulty of lines like this are just being able to clear your thoughts and execute. A lot of times the hardest part of climbing at your limit is allowing your mind to roam free and just let your body do the work. 

R&I: Is this your hardest first ascent? How does The Wheel compare with your other hard ascents?
I think this is definitely my hardest FA, as I believe it to be the first true 8C (V15) that I have ever climbed. Although it's really hard to say if this is the hardest problem, for me, that I have done. Climbing is so strange, so style specific, and so personal that it's really hard to explain that it is, in fact, the hardest thing I have climbed. I honestly have done some 8A+'s (V11's) that are outside my style that felt harder than some 8b+ (V14) that suited me perfectly. Comparing the Wheel to some of my other ascents, however, I do see it as a step up. This problem is really tough and I feel lucky to have been able to to piece it together. 

R&I: Finally, you just moved from the South to Colorado. Why?
Well first of all I'm a southern boy at heart and that will never change. Chattanooga will always be my true home and I'm positive one day we will return. For now my girlfriend Kasia and I were just looking for a change of pace. We wanted to move here so that we could expand our climbing and experience what CO. has to offer. Which really is a TON of climbing. There are so many things to climb here and so many cool people to climb them with. It's a great place for us now and we're stoked for what the future holds.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Munich World Cup

I came about going to this competition by pure convenience
My friend Meagan informed me about it and it made me start to think what if I competed in it?
It would only bring me more experience, and since I had taken a little break from competing I felt more compelled to do it. 

Since I had planned a trip to Poland to visit my grandma around the same time, I thought what the hell, let's get a flight to Munich for the weekend, it's not far (only an hour and half flight) 
So I did, and i'm really happy with my decision! 

It was a great event and I ran into a bunch of people that I have met over the years climbing at different outdoor areas! It's crazy to think how big the world is, but yet the climbing community is so small!

I've complied a small video of myself climbing on all the qualifying boulders.  I feel as if they were all in my reach and there were a few I should of completed.  But that is the competition setting and it makes everything just a little bit harder.  

It was very impressive to watch all the other competitors, male and female, throughout the weekend and try to learn from them.  After this weekend, I have decided that competition climbing comes down more to your mental head game than it does to power.  And I think I was able to overcome that factor at this event.  I was able to treat each boulder as it's own individual problem.  I was able to forget about the previous climbs and calm myself down in the 5 minutes in between each boulder.  I would concentrate on my breathing and my heart rate which helped me overcome the pump and stress of the whole event.  

Even though I think it is more mental than physical does not mean I do not need to get in shape! Haha
There are many things I need to work on to be able and do better in the future! But for now, I'm on vacation.  So i'm going to enjoy Paris and the rest of my stay in Poland.  

When I get back to the states I will have my hands full for a week with setting for The Heist competition with fellow friend, Sydney McNair, and others.  Hopefully we can get more female competitors to make the trip out to Boston and make this thing better than ever! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Europe, before the World Cup

I have recently moved to Colorado! I still can't believe it!! It took several days to get the place in order but it now feels like home!!


I've only been in Colorado for two weeks and now I am traveling to Europe for the next three weeks.  My first stop was Warsaw where i'm visiting my grandma.  We have already gone to visit a few places.  

Church in Warsaw

But now i'm in Munich, Germany to compete at the Final World Cup event.  I haven't competed in a competition over 9 months.  This will be very exciting but i'm also very nervous! I haven't competed in a World Cup event in many years, so in a way i do not have any expectations because i don't know what to expect.  I just need to keep a good attitude and it will be a great event! Can't wait to compete!! Wish me luck!!

Boarding my flight to Munich! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Been busy...

I have been very busy these last few months... 
Jimmy and I celebrated our five year anniversary on May 1st. I have had an amazing time with him and I can't wait for our ten year anniversary! I feel that we compliment each other well and have  taught each other many important things!

In may I drove out to Richmond, va to help set and forerun for dominion river rocks. It was one of the best competition experiences that I have had in a long time. I was able to hang out with all my friends but also climb all the boulders without the stress. Don't get me wrong there was still some stress because we had to make sure everything was going to work out as planned and with the rain interfering with the event a little we almost were not able to show case all the boulders but luckily there was a break in the weather and all the competitors were able to experience all the rounds and boulders we had set up for them.

Following this event I drove to Fayetteville, NC to participate in a route setting clinic. This was for the level 1 certification and I was really happy to complete it. The best part was that I had to set some routes which I had never set before. It was a great experience and I can't wait to do the level 2 clinic. 

I came back home for a short while because I had plans to take the climbing team to the Red mid June. I was really excited about this trip because the team hasn't gone in two years and we had a couple new members. Overall it was a great trip and all the team members we able to accomplish amazing things. I'm proud to have coached these kids. 

When we got back from the red it was time to get ready to fly out to South Africa and go climbing in the Rocklands! But before we left, we decided to reset the whole gym and have a summer competition! It was awesome with a great turn out! 

Here's a link to my post on the five ten website about the trip to the Rocklands!
All in all it was amazing and I can't wait to get back!!

When we got back from South Africa jimmy flew to salt lake for the trade show where he did amazing at the deep water soloing competition. I stayed home and took care of some minor things because jimmy and I decided to move to Boulder, CO. I had a lock in for the climbing team to wish them farewell but not to worry I will be seeing them in Hueco this winter!!  Everything happened so fast and before I knew it we are at a going away party hosted by the climbing gym. Thanks to everyone that was there, it meant a lot to me! 

And here we are now driving out to Colorado in a Penske truck. It all feels so surreal!! Can't believe it's actually happening. These past two weeks went by so fast that I'm still catching up.