Adam Knoff Recaps His Experience at the Teva Mountain Games
February 10th, Vail, Colorado. The day had finally arrived. The Teva Mountain Games were on and I was ready for my first real climbing competition in years which included a wild race format and bar-none the highest caliber field of competitors I have ever faced. The competition was set up so two competing climbers would scale a 55-foot artificial wall plastered with regular plastic climbing holds like those found in the gym and a new experimental high density foam that was made to mimic real ice. The structure hosted two identical routes, a right one and left one that mirrored each other with every hold being exactly the same on each climb. When the bell went off, both climbers had six minutes to reach the top of the climb but with fast competitors taking less than three minutes per route the winner was decided by whomever climbed the top anchor first. Both climbers were then lowered to the ground and a three minute rest was issued. Then a swapping of sides ensued and a second race began. The combined winner of both races moved on to the next heat.
I almost did really well! Winning my first heat, I went into the second feeling unbeatable. All the fear and intimidation I felt by the big guns waiting to eliminate me vanished. I knew for certain I could hang. This all evaporated when on my first climb of the second heat I placed both tools in a foam hold and while trying to remove the upper one, the lower one blew out and I came whipping off the climb with an audible groan from the crowd. I had been leading the race when I fell and on my second climb of that heat posted the fasted time of the day out of any competitor. And so the hope of an unknown underdog sliding in and cleaning up at the first ever Teva Mountain Games was dashed. Not to worry, I will be back.
I owe RMI a huge thanks for supporting my trip to Vail and giving me the chance to represent them. It is gratifying knowing such a worthy company has my back.
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