Hi again everyone!
What a season it has been so far. I just completed my fifth World Cup of 2018 in Tokyo, Japan. Next weekend (June 8-9) I compete in Vail, Colorado at another World Cup, then I have a 10 week break until the Munich World Cup in August.
Oddly enough, Tokyo has seemed like my shortest trip of the season. After spending two weeks in Switzerland/Russia and two weeks in China…a six day trip to Japan is easy!
We arrived in Japan on Tuesday (May 29) afternoon after a quick two hour flight from Phoenix to San Francisco, then a quick 10 hour flight from San Francisco to Tokyo. I am not even kidding…at this point a 10 hour flight does not seem too bad compared to a 14 hour flight!
After checking into the hotel around 4:00 PM, I took a nap and woke up at midnight. After eating a late, late dinner ordered via room service, I fell back asleep around 2:00 AM and woke again at 5:00 AM. That might sound like a crazy sleep schedule, but ultimately it put me on Japan time very quickly.
That morning we had a Team USA training session at B-Pump Ogikubo. B-Pump is an incredible gym in Tokyo with an amazing competition wall, great hold variety, and awesome setting. I would not say my climbing quite felt 110% that morning…but it was nice to get loose after all of the traveling and sleeping! After the B-Pump session I went back to the hotel, caught a quick nap, and did a strength training workout at the hotel.
On Thursday I went to Disneyland Tokyo! I am a big Disneyland fan and have made it my goal to visit all of the Disney Parks across the globe. So far I have done Anaheim, Orlando, Paris, and now Tokyo! After visiting Disney Tokyo I only need to cross off Disney Shanghai and Disney Hong Kong to have completed my goal!
I was lucky enough to go to Disneyland with my good friend Sean McColl. We had a great day walking around the park and getting on as many rides as possible. We were there for 10.5 hours! It is always difficult to decide which ride is my favorite…but I always love Pirates of the Caribbean. Another one of my favorites, Space Mountain, was closed on the day we went, but I went on so many other fun and new rides (like the Monsters Inc. ride!).
The next day I went to B-Pump in the morning for a light session to loosen up for the competition. After B-Pump I visited the MAMMUT store in Shinjuku, which was amazing! MAMMUT Japan has some really cool clothes/shoes that I was lucky enough to take home with me. Everyone at MAMMUT was so nice and I loved getting to meet everyone. After my visit to MAMMUT I went across the street to buy some souvenirs for my friends, then back to the hotel for an early bedtime since the competition started the next morning.
While the competition was hosted in Hachioji (part of the Tokyo Metropolitan area), I opted to stay centrally in Tokyo and take the one hour long train ride every morning. Isolation was open from 7:00-8:00 AM…meaning I woke up at 4:00 AM every morning to eat breakfast, get ready, and make sure I arrived at isolation on time.
Qualifiers went very well for me in Tokyo. A video and breakdown of the boulders is below.
Boulder 1: A slightly overhanging boulder with crimps on volumes, the top was actually the easiest part with bigger/better holds!
Boulder 2: A definite power boulder, the crux was getting the zone hold (which was a jump to a Flathold pinch where your feet cut). Once you got the zone the rest of the boulder was not too difficult however. I also completed this boulder.
Boulder 3: A vertical boulder where you stand between volumes, I had trouble on this one and did not reach the zone.
Boulder 4: Another power boulder with greasy holds on an overhanging wall, I reached the zone on one of my last attempts and did not finish the boulder.
Boulder 5: A slab/dihedral that involved a lot of standing on small holds or big/sketchy holds, I reached the zone on my first attempt and sent the boulder on my second attempt.
With a score of 3T4Z, 7 12 (3 tops, 4 zones with 7 attempts to top and 12 attempts to zone), I got off the wall in 9th place. It was nerve-racking waiting to see if I would make semi-finals in the top 10…but luckily my 9th place finish held strong! I would be heading to my first semi-finals of the year in the morning.
Below is a breakdown of the boulders in semi-finals and another video.
Boulder 1: A classic slab! I am pretty sure I spent a good two minutes on this boulder.
Boulder 2: Powerful with pinches I did not reach the zone on this hard boulder.
Boulder 3: Another powerful boulder. The first move was a toe catch with the next move being a jump to the zone (which was a small crimp). After the zone you had to climb around a half-sphere volume. I think only two people sent this boulder…it was really hard!
Boulder 4: This boulder was a sure heartbreaker for me. Set in the dihedral, I fell while matching the finishing hold!
My score in semi-finals was 1T3Z, 1 6 (1 top, 3 zones with 1 attempt to top and 6 attempts to zone).
I climbed my way into 10th place, my best World Cup finish to date! I am so proud of my finish in Tokyo. After not making semi-finals in any of the previous World Cups this season, it was very exciting to make semi-finals and place so highly!
Now I am onto my next competition in the circuit, the Vail World Cup!
On to the next adventure…