Rob D’Anastasio: Winter Transition

Winter is a time when many climbers shift their focus from the great outdoors and into the gym.  Although the cold season may put a damper on one’s more preferred climbing pursuits, it’s a great time to buckle down indoors and prepare for better temps on the horizon, as well as the lot of competitions that take place this time of year.  So the past few months I’ve stayed busy getting out when I can, training when I can’t, and I also participated in one my favorite events, a Dark Horse competition in Boston, MA.

I travelled to Boston for the first Dark Horse competition of the year feeling confident about my climbing, but still wondering who I would be up against this time.  It turned out I had my hands full with fellow MadRock teammate Peter Dixon, the always stronger-than-the-last-time-we-competed Andy Lamb, and area native Mike Foley, among others.  Long story short, I managed to come away from a very close finals round with a victory and earned a free pass into the finals round of the Dark Horse Championship event coming up at the end of January.

Last Great One

Shortly after the Dark Horse competition I headed west to give thanks to Joe’s Valley, Utah for its amazing bouldering and perfect conditions.  Joe’s Valley is one of my favorite areas, and I’d also like to give thanks to the Access Fund for all the work they do here.  This trip I revisited the Dam Boulders and tried the things I hadn’t gotten around to before. I am happy to say I sent The Last Great One, as well as the amazing Wrecking Ball dyno, which as its names suggests, has the potential to send you rocketing downhill through the pine trees. 

Since Joe’s Valley I spent a couple weekends climbing in more local areas.  I returned to Newlin Creek with a particular problem in mind, a sit start to the area classic Walk Softly.  The line begins with a tough, shouldery sequence and finishes tall on a safe but committing move to the lip.  I could’ve had photos taken but I chose to have a spotter rather than a photographer.

Most recently I ventured into the Satellite Boulders in Boulder, CO to get on a few problems that I have been walking past for the last dozen years. Flesh Fest, although a classic, never looked like so much fun as sharp as it is. Fortunately for my fingers, I flashed it. I also went ahead and ticked Grundle City Boy off the list.

As for now, it’s quite cold where I am here in Boulder.  I’ve put a day of work into the boulder problem Midnight Express in Boulder Canyon and want to get back at it as soon as the weather allows.  In the meantime I’ll be hitting the gym in preparation for the Dark Horse Championship and ABS Nationals, which are only one week apart.  So there’s a lot to look forward to and Spring will be here before I know it, and that’s the motivation I’m harnessing for these cold weather training days.