Krankenstein 2005

I thought I wouldn’t compete in another bouldering competition this season but after all the hype about Krankenstein (mostly from Mike since he was the ‘Chief Routesetter’) I decided to sign up nearly at the last minute.  🙂  If I hadn’t signed up I was looking forward to helping out and learning more about competition routesetting from everyone working the comp; but after having competed, I have to say I am really glad I entered! 

First, I have enjoyed competing in Canada (having done this twice, now).  I have a lot of fun and the people are really nice (thanks, Anna, for always making me feel welcome when I visit). There are a lot of strong, talented climbers there!  It was cool to have several other women from the Seattle area up there competing as well: Sydney, Mikalla and Meg (Ellen will remember to register early next time ).  It was definitely a good time.

For qualifiers, the 5 problems were good.  We had 4 minutes per problem and 4 minutes rest in-between problems.  The only real critique I have for that part of the competition was that it wasn’t clear where to go when it was time to climb and I know I wasted some precious seconds trying to find the next problem and the judge for that problem.  I don’t think it hurt my overall performance, but it would have eased my nerves a bit to have smoother transitions.

Finals were run the evening of the same day.  This time we had 4 problems with 5 minutes a problem and 5 minutes rest.  I qualified in 8th position out of 10 qualifying women so that meant for the finals running order I would be climbing in 3rd position. 

The first finals problem was pretty technical and I could hear that the 2 girls before me had both sent the problem early in the 5 minutes so I guessed it to be a very doable route.  Afer sending it first try, I was relieved to know that at least I was keeping up with the previous 2 girls.  Also, I figured everyone after me would flash that problem so I knew I had to try hard on the next 3 problems to separate myself from the pack.

Problem #2 was really fun, but I couldn’t stick the last move.  We were being scored by Zones so it didn’t matter that I tagged the last hold or established on the 2nd to last hold. The best I got for that problem was the Bonus hold mid-section. 😦  After 2 attempts to send the problem, I threw in the towel and took the extra rest and waited for problem #3.

As soon as I saw Problem #3 I knew it would be tricky for me to send.  The move going to the 2nd to the last hold was a bit scary and definitely not a move that is my strength (got to practice that kind of movement more!).  I got to the Bonus hold mid-route pretty easily and set myself up to do the scary move all on my first attempt.  I must have hung up there for several seconds contemplating my courage to attempt and make the move.  Finally, I decided I had to try for it (I had to do something and that did not include not trying the move).  I missed.  😦  I didn’t bother attempting it again. I figured best shot I had to do well now (since I had no idea how the other girls were doing) was to save my energy and focus on the last problem.

When I got to Problem #4, I knew it was tricky but I also thought I could pull it off.  I was tired and I fussed a bit at the start.  When it came to the big move on that route (the move just before the Bonus hold), I just couldn’t stick it.  In hindsight I think I was too tired to think right because when I tried the problem on the first attempt the following day, I made the big move without hesitation.  No Bonus hold for me on this route so I was a bit disappointed and worried how that would affect my overall performance.

When I finished, there were a few girls left to compete, including our two top competitors for the night: Sydney McNair and Vikiki Weldon.  Sydney flashed every problem and Vikki flashed 3 of the 4.  For problem #3, Sydney made that scary move look easy and for problem #4, without hesitation both Sydney and Vikki gave a crowd pleasing send with Vikki ending the night by toping out. 

Open Females Final Results (Full results can be found at

  1. Sydney McNair
  2. Vikki Weldon
  3. Nicolette Honson (Nikki and I tied for 3rd but she beat me in qualifiers, which solidified her 3rd position in the finals)
  4. Audrey Sniezek
  5. Chelsea Raymond
  6. Noella Nykyforuk
  7. Mikalla Leonardi
  8. Meghan Jones
  9. Clarrie Lam
  10. Meg Coyne  ——————————
  11. Jelisa Dunbar
  12. Celeste Wall
  13. Noelle Mayes
  14. Caitlin Pinchin
  15. Nani Woollings

All of the Seattle competitors made top 10: Sydney, Audrey, Mikalla, and Meg.  There is a rumor of photos from the competition being available soon. If I get a copy, I will post a few here to complete this post.  There’s a DVD trailer out on with some teaser footage from the competition.  I think it’s $10 to order the full DVD.

Finally, a huge thanks to everyone who worked Krankenstein!  Setting routes until 3am the night before and running tweaks up to competition time shows the dedication and commitment of the ‘staff’.  I enjoyed the problems and thought finals ran smoother than qualifyiers.  I hope by now everyone has caught up on their much needed sleep 🙂 and I look forward to future opportunities to climb with everyone.


About Audrey Sniezek

Audrey Sniezek is a rock climbing athlete and computer software/technology enthusiast.
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