Youth Nationals with Katrina Louie

A national youth climbing competition was held in Colorado Springs this past weekend and a number of Touchstone climbers headed out to compete.  Aubrey Lim of Metal Mark, Hannah Claire Le from Ironworks, the Zero Gravity team, and Katrina Louie all went to pull down with the nation’s strongest climbers.  The Touchstone blog met up with Louie to talk about her experience.

Katrina Louie, a 14 year old freshman at Miraonte High School, headed to her first nationals this past weekend.  The Orinda resident started climbing 2 years ago.  Excited about climbing, she took private lessons at Ironworks and then joined the teen team there a year and a half ago.

Louie prepared for the comp by doing 4 x 4s, working on her endurance, practicing onsighting, training her core, and doing pushups after climbing. “ I'm trying to climb routes that are hard for me because of the holds or the moves, as opposed to climbs that are "my style" of climbing. Also, some friends have helped me make a schedule and have given me tips about how to get better, which has helped me train,” said Louie.

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Prior to Nationals, Louie went to three local comps.  Her friend and Ironworks teen team member Elise Buser, joined her at Regionals in Reno, NV and Divisionals in Seattle, WA. Louie placed first at Regionals and 7th in the finals at Divisionals.

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Nationals was a great opportunity for Louie to compete on a bigger scale. “It was exciting and I didn't really get nervous once I started climbing, even though I was beforehand. Once I got out there and started working on the problems it was just really fun. It was my first nationals, and it's my first year competing so I'm glad I got this far.”

Louie took the time to review her performance. “ I could have analyzed the climbs more since it was an onsight competition, but I think what I did well was not giving up on two the climbs, allowing me to finish them with about 30 seconds remaining, and also trying out different beta."

Louie plans on climbing sport routes now that the bouldering competition season is over.  Congratulations to all the competitors!

Past blog entries can be found at



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