Freezing temperatures were hardly a warm Southern welcome to climbers as they arrived early morning Saturday December 8, 2009, for registration at Urban Rocks Gym in Chattanooga,TN.
The Triple Crown Bouldering Series, scheduled to be held at Stone Fort, was halted in its tracks as snow and slush threatened prime boulder sending conditions, therefore, it was postponed to Sunday. Climbers who traveled as far as Florida and Vermont resorted to terrorizing downtown and boosting the local economy while passing the time.
But climbers, dirt baggers and sponsors alike have no shame in showing their true priorities, so the walls of Urban Rocks Gym pounded with a party Saturday night; providing fresh cooked BBQ, Crash Pad Stacking Wars, DynoComps, adult beverages of sort and plenty of raffle freebies to lure anyone back from the city.
Sunday offered sunnier, but not warmer, hope to adrenaline halted climbers. Morning announcements were made, crash pads were loaded, demo shoes loaned out, and the 5 deep school bus caravan took off for Stone Fort.
Among the crowd who showed back up on Sunday for the real deal was Jeff Drumm; a previous Signal Mountain resident and current Rock/Creek employee. Drumm dominated the Advanced Men’s category despite the altered schedule and weather conditions. Rock/Creek is proud of one of our own taking a final placement as First Place Advanced Men’s winner with 8212 points!
Here’s a little Q & A I had with Jeff early this week while we multi-tasked at work:
How long have you been climbing?
Well, I’m 29 now and started about age 16……which makes around 13 years of climbing.
Have you competed in a Triple Crown before?
Has it been a goal for a while?
Yeah! I spent the past 5 years living in New Mexico wishing I could compete. I missed the perfect rock of the Southeast and would always tell my NM climbing buddies what a gem Chattanooga is and that it’s the best bouldering in the country. When my wife and I had a child this last year, Chattanooga was the ideal move for us with the low cost of living, trees, grass, water, and tons of boulders!
Did the unusual weather conditions affect you?
Honestly, when it started snowing on Saturday morning I thought the comp would have to be delayed for another weekend. Luckily it was cold enough to where the snow/ice wasn’t melting and most of the top outs were dry. I came out on fire Sunday morning, even though it was in the 20’s, and was amazed by the friction. My skin literally stuck to the rock. I felt like it took a lot less strength than usual to climb my circuit of problems.
What got you started in climbing? / How long have you done it?
I grew up on Signal Mountain and the southeastern sandstone has always been a part of my life, whether hiking, running, climbing or just exploring. My first several years were spent playing on cliffs behind my best friends’ house, rappelling off and then walking 20 minutes to get back up. We finally found out that climbing back up the cliff was much faster and even more fun. I’ve had some years where I didn’t climb very much, mostly due to the availability of descent rock. Almost all my climbing has been outside, because we didn’t have climbing gyms around here when I was growing up.
What is your motivation for climbing?
I climb to master the climb. When I send a boulder problem there is a feeling of perfection to it. It feels like unlocking a magical sequence that allows you to effortlessly flow up the rock. It’s a great way to be in nature and to focus your mind and body on a single purpose.
What other activities do you do?
I’m a certified Qigong instructor, avid soccer player, runner, disc golfer, and will engage in anything that challenges my mind/body connection. I also believe yoga to be the feminine and necessary counterpart to the masculine climbing.
If you made a mega sandwich, what would be on it?
I used to make ‘power’ PB&J sandwiches, which consisted of 8 stacked sandwiches, smashed as small as possible, crusts cut off. One bite equaled a whole sandwich. Now I’m more into organic sprouted bread with avocado, cheese, butter, salami, and sprouts.
Why do you work at Rock/Creek?
R/C is at the forefront of some amazing projects like the Triple Crown, Stump Jump, Cumberland Trail Conference, and more………so I’m psyched to be a part of these. I’m also a techno wizard computer geek, so my position here fulfills that need, but I really enjoy being around like minded people, high quality products, and of course the sweet deals.
Jeff Drumm stated this placement is a huge personal accomplishment and we have no doubt that many other competitors hit their personal goals as well. For Rock/Creek, we are proud to sponsor such an event as the Triple Crown Bouldering Series because it adheres to Rock/Creek’s priority of support individuals who go outside and pursue their passions and personal bests.
It is Rock/Creek’s mission to use retail as a platform to encourage outdoor recreation and we are proud to support local organizations such as the Southeastern Climber’s Coalition, Cumberland Trail Conference & Friends of the Cumberland Trail, and events such as The Triple Crown, to improve public access to backcountry places.
Full Triple Crown Results:
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