The Triple Crown Bouldering Series kicked off this weekend at Hound Ears and, as always, it attracted quite a crowd. Tents and cars were already packed into the Grandfather Mountain Campground when we rolled in at 6 p.m. It was drizzling rain and after experiencing some disappointing weather in the past, I was worried. But the sky cleared, the boulders dried, and Saturday was one of the most beautiful days I've seen there.
After the quick morning bus ride, warm-up hike, and a small amount of scheming, 10 boulder problems didn't seem like such a difficult goal. Now, if I could just get warmed up... Warming up in a boulder field with hundreds of other excited competitors is nearly impossible though. Instead, I jumped in line behind Phil Schaal, Dave Wetmore, Jimmy Webb, and Max Zolotukhin on the traditional first problem of the open circuit, Mr. Thick. Then it was on to Pit bull, The Crusher, a project, Stupid Human, Rapid Fire, The Blunted extended start, Pimp Trick Gangsta Click, The Brady Problem, Oral Resume, and The Tourist.
Unexpectedly, I was able to climb a project which starts on The Crusher, a classic v10, and climbs left into Flash or Trash (v5). It took a few efforts and after some deliberation I chose to name it 1/2 Price Pornos. As for the grade, I think it's somewhere in the v11 range.
The rest of the day was smooth sailing and I enjoyed climbing with good friends Jimmy Webb and John Gass. As always though, the best part is the end, sitting with friends, totaling your score, joking, eating.
By the end of it all I found myself in second place, in front of Max Zolotukhin and behind Jimmy Webb. Good job fellas!
Oh, and the after party didn't disappoint either!