Climbing On

Yesterday I mentioned the climbing competition I attended in Coquitlam.

No, I wasn’t climbing. But my cousin was and she was really cool. Let’s call her Lina.

Don’t read on if you don’t want the fangirling. It’s rampant. Sort of.

DOES SHE NOT LOOK SUPER COOL ALREADY.
Photo taken by Andrea Lai, 2013. All rights reserved.

The competition itself was a pretty neat experience. I didn’t actually take too many pictures of the crowds around the walls (because you know, people nowadays hate having their picture taken) but the crowds were really diverse. Climbing is obviously not just for the young and hip; kids half my height (which is saying a lot) climbed like pros alongside of middle-aged men, Asians mixed freely with Caucasians and people would clench their fists in anticipation, shout encouragements or simply look up with held breath as they watched the current climber attempt a route.

Photo taken by Andrea Lai, 2013. All rights reserved.

Photo taken by Andrea Lai, 2013. All rights reserved.

The place itself, Cliffhanger Coquitlam, looked pretty intense all on its own.

Photos taken by Andrea Lai, 2013. All rights reserved.

Photos taken by Andrea Lai, 2013. All rights reserved.

Some hipster dude was tapping out some beats with his Mac. The sad funny thing is that I recognized most of the songs because I’m around Lina so much. She also knew the dude because he helped train her for a while, which was pretty neat.

He has good music, okay? I like his music.

– Lina

Unfortunately Lina expresses such an opinion because she’s a hipster too. And yet I’m still her fan.

Did you notice the photo's hipster filter too?

Did you notice the photo’s hipster filter too?
Photo taken by Andrea Lai, 2013. All rights reserved.

Anyway, the competition was a bouldering competition, so get the idea of ropes and things out of your head. To boulder is to climb freely without harness, often while following a pre-marked route, especially if done indoors. Bouldering involves both brain and body; climbers must figure out how to complete a route and end on a particular hold with both hands touching the hold. Because climbers are without harness, bouldering often does not reach great heights (roughly 10 feet at the most) and can start anywhere from just above one’s head to a few inches off of the ground. In this particular competition, climbers had two-and-a-half hours to complete as many routes as they could. The more difficult a route the higher the point value; multiple attempts on a route would simply decrease the amount of points won from the route. Competitors would submit their top 5 scores and the total would determine the winner.

Some of the people looked pretty cool, managing holds that were pretty insane.

The Other Cousin-001

Photos taken by Andrea Lai, 2013. All rights reserved.

But I thought Lina looked the coolest out of the climbers there (OBVIOUSLY).

French braid and photos by Andrea Lai, 2013. All rights reserved. Except for the braid. That belongs to the French.

French braid and photos by Andrea Lai, 2013. All rights reserved.
Except for the braid. That belongs to the French.

So there you go; today was full of climbing and things with my cousin, where I participated breathlessly (and vicariously). Some climbers were ridiculously brave, going for routes which required lots of dyno (leaping from one handhold to the next) and some jumping even when the route didn’t necessarily require it. Others were very well-built and you could tell they put an immense amount of time into training and prepping for the competition. Some of the youth winners were amazing too; one decked out in an Angry Birds’ Pig toque placed first in his division despite him still being in elementary.

Since I was chief photographer and Lina’s #1 fan there though, I’ll leave you with one last picture (my best one, I think). Happy long weekend to all of you, dear readers (=

IMG_1867

Photo taken by Andrea Lai, 2013. All rights reserved.

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One thought on “Climbing On

  1. Pingback: My Hipster Cousin | alibi: OE

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