2013: The Year of Kyra Condie

This year, we’ve been following the efforts of Kyra Condie, a 17 year old climbing phenom from Minnesota.  Last week, Kyra put on a dominant performance at SCS Youth Nationals held in Atlanta and walked away with another first place finish in a year full of first place finishes.

Let’s look back on the 2013 season…

Dec 2012 ABS Youth Regionals: 1st place

Jan 2013 ABS Youth Divisionals: 1st place

Feb 2013 ABS Open Nationals: 9th place

Mar 2013 ABS Youth Nationals: 1st place

Apr 2013 SCS Open Nationals: 6th place (sport)

Apr 2013 SCS Open Nationals: 1st place (speed)

May 2013 SCS Youth Regionals: 1st place

May 2013 Dominion Riverrock: 6th place (bouldering)

May 2013 Dominion Riverrock: 2nd place (speed bouldering)

May 2013 Ring of Fire: 4th place (sport)

Jun 2013 Vail World Cup: 29th place (bouldering)

Jun 2013 SCS Youth Divisionals: 1st place

Jul 2013 SCS Youth Nationals: 1st place (sport)

Jul 2013 SCS Youth Nationals: 2nd place (speed)

Did we miss any?

Wow.  Not only is that an exhaustive competition schedule, but it is backed by non-stop training.  And, in 2013, it is all paying off.  Kyra has once again been invited to compete in the World Youth Championships for speed and sport climbing as a member of Team USA being held in August in British Columbia.

At what point does talent like this get recognized on a national level?  When will we see Kyra’s face in Climbing Magazine, on ClimbingNarc.com, or in North Face advertisements?  Only time will tell; until such a day, JustClimbMN brings you another chat with our homegrown heroine.

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According to the USA Climbing site, you were in first at the end of qualifiers and semi-finals, before finishing first in finals.  That is a dominant performance.  Did you feel in control for the entire comp?

Well going into semifinals it was a tie for first, and going into finals I was in first by “usable surface” meaning I touched the next hold instead of just moving towards it. So the other top girls and I were super close. So I knew I’d have to give it my best in finals. But in finals I ended up getting past the crux at clip ten (where everyone else fell) and making it to the top which was clip 13!

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Photo: Tom Condie

Tell me about the finals route?  I hear you got the only send on the route.  How hard do you think it was?

I was the only person in my category to send, but two female juniors sent it after I did (I’m female A). I really have no idea how hard it was, competition routes are really hard to grade because they start off easy and get harder as you go up. The beginning was probably mid-5.12 and it had maybe a 13b slab crux with an easy finish.

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Photo: Tom Condie

Last year, you took second in this comp.  How did it feel when you topped out during finals and knew you had the win?

I actually knew I had won once I clipped the 11th clip! The crowd was going pretty crazy. But it was an amazing feeling to know that all my hard training over the last months had paid off.

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Lowering from the win!
Photo: Tom Condie

You have been competing all year long with great success.  How did you prepare for SCS Youth Nationals?

This is my third year doing a pre nationals camp at stone summit that Claudiu (head coach of team USA) runs, and it helps SO much. It’s held at Stone Summit and you get to climb on the walls for the two weeks before nationals. This is also the only time I get to practice speed!

You have now taken first place in ABS and SCS Youth in the same year (not to mention top 10 finishes in the 2013 ABS and SCS Open comps).  Has that ever been done before?

Yeah I think it has been done! I almost got the third 1st place as well, I finished second in speed climbing which finished on Saturday. But I’m really happy with how this year went, and I hope more like it follow!

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Earning 2nd in speed!
Photo: Tom Condie

I know I’ve asked before, but (aside from current sponsor Five Ten) who are your dream sponsors?  Whose door should we be knocking on for you?!?

Well, The North Face is like my ultimate goal as far as sponsorships go! I’m hoping to keep competing and climbing more outdoors and hopefully that happens sometime!

Your performance landed you on Team USA for worlds.  When and where will that be held this year?  How do you plan to train for that?

It’s in Victoria, Canada (on Vancouver Island) and its mid-August, I believe the first day of the comp is the 14th. I’m going to a pre-worlds training camp on August 5th till the start of the comp that is actually held at the world’s venue, it’s a USA team training camp. So I’ll be able to climb on the walls that the comp will be on and also practice on the 15 meter speed wall!

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2012 Team USA
Photo: IFSC FB page

You went to worlds last year, right? How did you place? Where was it? How was your experience? What’s your mind frame going in this year?

Yeah I did! It was in Singapore, 13 hour time difference from here, which in itself was crazy to deal with, along with the 21 hour flight. I place 16th in sport I think and I got 6th in speed! It was a super great experience! Singapore is so foreign yet super modern which was sweet and I also got to climb in sport semifinals. This year I want to have a great time again and hopefully make finals! I’m going to train a ton between now and the comp so hopefully it pays off!

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The 2012 wall in Singapore
Photo: IFSC FB page

When do you ever slow down?

I don’t really… I don’t like to take breaks from climbing at all, and training goes along with climbing! I love it too much, and it’s really all I do.

Congratulations again on such an amazing first half of the year.  I, along with many others, am incredibly impressed with your achievements.  How are you feeling about all this success?

I’m really psyched about it! I’ve definitely learned that hard work pays off. Of course people like my parents, trainer, and training partners (Noah and Kyle) make it possible for me to train like I do so I owe all of them a lot 🙂

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Read past interviews with Kyra here and here.

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