Before leaving Hueco Tanks, Mina Leslie-Wujastyk took part in the annual Rock Rodeo, and managed to take 2nd place in the women's open competition. The Hueco Rock Rodeo is a 3 day event revolving around an 'outdoors' competition and includes slideshows, raffles and drinking.
The Rock Rodeo came at the end of an already succesful trip for Mina, during which she climbed two 8A's and four 7C+'s (UKC News Report).
UKClimbing.com contacted Mina for a quick interview:
What exactly is the Hueco Rock Rodeo? Is there a boulder-shaped bucking bronco or do you have to wrangle unsuspecting boulderers?
Mina: Haha that would be funny! No bucking bronco sadly, it is basically an outdoor competition. Sounds weird but it makes for a really fun day. There is also lots of other stuff going on over the weekend like lectures, slideshows, raffles, stalls, food, beers, partying…
How does the competition work?
Mina: A mountain is chosen for each category; open was on East Spur this year. Then there is a list of problems, approximately eight at each grade level (open was V8 and up) with points allocated to each climb to account for them being high or low in the grade. Then it's a free for all! At the end of the day you submit your six best problems, and how many goes they took.
So you were already in Hueco, had you planned to be there for the Rock Rodeo or was it a spontaneous decision?
Mina: We had planned to stay until just after the Rodeo. We were staying on Melissa and Adam Strong's land during our trip as they are friends of ours and Melissa is the Rodeo organiser. She sounded us out about doing the event and it sounded fun so we planned to stay for it. I also gave a lecture the night before which was fun.
You came 2nd, which is very impressive, how did the competition go for you? Was it a surprise to come 2nd or were you pretty confident once you saw your competitors?
Mina: When the list came out I knew some of the problems as I had done them or tried them before, which of course gave me somewhat of an advantage. Most of the girls had a similar advantage, except the winner! Jule hadn't tried the problems at all but we climbed together and shared beta, it seemed the best thing to do to even the playing field.
We were neck and neck right to the end (we had both done two V10s, three V9s and a V8) then she impressively climbed The Flame, V11, and I couldn't pull it out of the bag! She was definitely the best climber that day and it was great to see her sending! We also climbed a lot with Nina Williams and Courtney Woods which was really fun. It felt more like a girls day out than a competition!
You have just had a really impressive run of form on rock, what's next for you? Will you be capitalising on this and heading on another trip or is it time for a well deserved rest?
Mina: It's time to get better!! Haha! No rest for the wicked, I plan to train now. I am going to try my hand at the World Cups again this year so I will focus on training for the next couple of months. Then hopefully use the gains outside in July when Dave and I will return to S. Africa for a more projecting based trip.
Below is a video of the event:
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