Tiffany Hensley: August 2010 blog
"So long SLC & OR, and thanks for all the fish." -my friend Brett on FB, on the way home after the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Show.
Brett (fresh from a three-month biking experience across the US), Anthony (the smart one, with the glasses) and my new friend Drew Dano (not to be confused with professional wrestler Sumo Dan drove from Fremont in Cali to Salt Lake City, stopping only once to eat at McDonalds (of course they like to rub in the fact that I'm vegan). We got in real late, but Mad Rock gave us a place to sleep that night. The next morning we tried to boulder in LCC.
After bouldering at Little Cottonwood early in the morning (personally, morning is always too early) the crew dropped me off at the Front for the UBC qualifiers. In iso Portia Menlove told me she hadn't climbed in THREE MONTHS. I'd been training hard for sport until a week before the comp, and barely managed to squeeze 9th - she placed an easy 13th after THREE MONTHS off.
I also saw AJ and JC, Steven Jeffery, and - WTF - my friend Mau, from Mexico. We'd climbed in Bishop for a straight month together, kid pulled the Buttermilker Traverse and Mandala in the SAME DAY, and nobody knows him because he's so quiet. People like him are why I love climbing.
It was a long day of quails and after it we met up with Rocco and Mary, two of my biggest heroes. They climb hard, work hard, and they opened their house to us even though they'd never met us before. Just Anthony. And we had some interesting experiences there, Drew got to hold a loaded gun, and on one intense night session deep in the Beastment (a room with a 45 degree crimp-intensive wall) Rocco pulled so hard that he broke a crimp into his chest. The next night I climbed in the finals on the roof.
The Unified Bouldering Championship, the 2nd of three of United States’ baddest bouldering competitions (run by NE2C) was across the street from the Salt Palace. Walltopia built a wall right there on top of a giant parking garage. Sanuk sandals, who are great and really chill people, provided music, they flew in Jack Johnson's old friend and soul rock guitarist Donovan Frankenreiter. During the third problem in finals, I heard him speak on the mike with the MC. He sounded like a really chill guy. Kind of like Sanuk. Things have gotten better for NE2C, at least I think so…
NE2C made some improvements to the competition format, appealing both more aesthetically to the spectators and fairly to the climbers. Thank god. The last two years, the finals wall was set at night, then left to heat up in the hot Utah sun for more than five hours before finals...then the female athletes had had to rest in full sun between climbs, then pull on slippery urethane holds. This year, NE2C pulled through and started right at sundown. Cheers, everyone - especially those who like myself are not as socially kosher in a bikini as I am in a Granit tank and my Prana pants. Here is where I placed in the mix.
Final Scores - Women's
1) Alex Puccio
2) Angie Payne
3) Portia Menlove
4) Tiffany Hensley
5) Alex Johnson
6) Francesca Metcalf
Final Scores - Men's
1) Daniel Woods
2) Ian Dory
3) Jon Glassberg
4) Chris Sharma
5) Carlo Traversi
6) Matt Fultz
7) Steven Jeffery
I've never been hit by a heavier concentration of psyched climbers, people holding cups of beer, and "Wait, what just happened?" Somehow luring big-name athletes from their ice caves and summer condos to join the mosh-pit of business reps and moochers, the Summer Show unleashed climbers who have come out stronger than ever: the evolved Mad Rock Team, now led by legendary Obe Carrion; climber come-backs Angie Payne and Matt Fultz; crushing wonder-mother Jacinda Hunter, who recently sent her .14b in American Fork; and lastly, a human being who will never look more like the 22nd letter in the alphabet, 8a incumbent Andy Raether, who told me he's putting up routes in Mt. Charleston. "I wish I understood women like I understand rocks." -AR
(Coincidentally I'm on my way to Boulder, CO now, and I'm stopping there to climb a few days with my friend Mau.)
If you haven't heard of the OR (if you're reading this blog you probably have) the Summer Market is the more ridonkulous of the two O.R. conventions. It takes place in the monstrous Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, where literally thousands of vendors set up a maze of booths, creating a virtual labyrinth bustling with international retailers, pro athletes, and other odd creatures of the corporate deep.
I also met Edelrid, a well-reputed and friendly gear company based out of Germany, after a brief 1m 48s sprint on the treadwall and winning a 60m 10mm rope - we'll see how it holds. (Note: I almost decked my friend Josh Levin on a controlled 35ft whipper using one of Sterling's ultra-dynamic bright neon ropes. Not real psyched on those bungee cords.)
And Steven Jeffery, for the BBQ, and letting us boulder in his unbelievably hold-infested home gym. I am currently sleeping outside of Barstow on my way to Vegas, wish me luck.