Meet Kevin!

April 20, 2014 Leave a comment
Kevin Cuckovich (KC)

Kevin Cuckovich (KC)

I just realized I published Kevin climbing Big Worm before I even introduced him. Kevin Cuckovich has been setting with us since this winter when he helped out at a comp and did such a good job that we decided to keep him. Check out his setter bio here:  Kevin Cuckovich.

Categories: 2014, Setters

Kevin Climbs Big Worm!

April 14, 2014 1 comment

Sorry for being the slowest blogger ever. Between Kilter and coaching and setting and trying to climb I’ve been quite busy. In any case, coming soon we’ll post reviews for Escape, ENIX, and PUR holds. Til then, enjoy this recently recovered video of Spot setter Kevin Cuckovich sending Big Worm (V14?) last summer at Mount Evans. Nice one Kevin!

Hold Review – Capital Climbing

March 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Capital Climbing Logo

Up and coming yet accomplished hold shaper Chris Neal has started his own company, Capital Climbing. From all the photos we’ve seen Capital’s initial offerings look pretty awesome, and a few months ago they sent us a few holds to try out. See packaging and initial impressions here:

Capital Climbing Initial Impressions



The holds are poured by Element Climbing. Element has a solid mix with high-quality texture that has been holding up great with all the holds we’ve gotten that were poured by them (Element, Enix, and Capital) so we feel comfortable ordering from them. We haven’t had any polishing issues thus far. Their colors are great and this green in particular is a favorite–it really pops!



You can find these on the River, on a yellow problem mid-right river, a pink 4 by the river arete, and on a dark green 5- that runs across the left river.

Close-up of the Capital Climbing Small Clasts

Comfortable rounded edges.

The Small Clasts are comfortable rounded edges.

The Yay

These little holds are some of my new favorites.

Nice, comfortable, slightly incut rounded edges that make good gastons and side pulls.

Capital Climbing Small Clasts

Side view.

Fun to climb on.

The artistic touches are well done and add visually to the shape.

The Nay

The smallest of the 10 is a little smaller than I’d like it to be in that you load 1-2 fingers instead of three or all four like the rest of the set. This is fine, probably good for creating options, but it just isn’t as comfortable as the others.

The edges of the holds are a tad soft so if you rub them together you can dent the edges a little, so we were worried at first. We got them in the late fall and six months later they are holding up great and we haven’t had any quality or breaking issues.


Font Slopers

Pink Font Slopers. You can find one on the Beach and the other four on a cool outward-facing problem just left of the River arete.

Large Font Slopers.

Fun blob slopers with Fontainebleau-style detailing.

The Yay

Good shapes, useful for pressing problems and good for pulling on as well.

Nice sloper and slopey pinch set.

Pretty to look at.

Capital Climbing Medium Font Sloper

The Nay

Like the Clasts, these Font Slopers have soft edges. Also like the Clasts, it hasn’t been an issue in the 6+ months we’ve had them.

The cuts between the font texture are narrow and deep. I think it’d be nice if they were a bit smoother and shallower, like the actual rock, so the texture was a bit more useful for the climber. The sharp lines don’t affect your climbing experience negatively at all, but a bit smoother in the lines could give you more of the texture he was probably going for here.


Striation Sloper

Another shot of it with a wrench for size.

Side view. Can’t find my “on the wall” shot of this one. Will update when I find it.

One of a set of 3XL features.

The Yay

This thing is awesome.

A big, comfortable, moderate sloper feature with rounded edges.

Fantastic texture.

We love it.

The Nay

We’ve got nothing even slightly negative to say about this hold. It’s amazing. The other two probably are as well. Here’s a picture. Buy them.

Striations Sloper Set

Striations 3XL Sloper Set



A very professional first offering from Capital. The holds are top quality in design, texture, and material, and we can’t wait to order his Barnacles and other sets.

Big Barnacle Feature

Big Barnacle Feature

Chris Neal is constantly shaping, and he clearly is a foam whisperer. We are very excited to see what he will come up with next!


More from Capital


Fracture Feature

Capital Climbing Holds

This is a seconds pile. We don’t have any of these, but they all look great and we’re looking forward to getting some soon. The big Fonts look like he worked out the seams a bit more and they look like they’ll feel amazing. We can’t wait to get the rest of the Clast line! And check out those Barnacles!


Capital is poured at Element, which now owns Cheap Holds as well. See what Capital has to offer on the Cheap Holds website here: Capital Climbing Holds

Email Chris with questions, ideas, orders, etc:

Like Capital Climbing on Facebook to see all their newest shapes!


Click here to read more Spot Test reviews

Ian Dory’s Strong! | New Video Trailer

March 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Mind Frame Cinema has made a beautiful video of Ian, which will be out soon. It shows a little about his lifestyle and the process he went through to send the V15 Paint It Black. Here’s the trailer:

Categories: 2014, Setters Tags:

Joel is Off to Europe!

March 6, 2014 Leave a comment
Joel Zerr (JZ)

Joel Zerr on a fantastic FA in Tahoe

Joel has jetted off to Europe for a three-month first trip there. He’ll be climbing in Switzerland and competing in the first several IFSC Bouldering World Cups of the season. Have fun Joel! We’ll miss you!

Categories: 2013, Setters

Jay Jay Gets a New Job!

March 5, 2014 Leave a comment
Jay Jay!

Jay Jay!

We are happy for Jay Jay that she’s replaced her several jobs with one full time job. Even though we’ll miss her on the setting crew, we’re glad that she’s got a more reasonable schedule now. She may help us out with comps and the like, but she’s no longer on the week-to-week schedule. Thanks for all the boulder problems Jay Jay!

Categories: 2014, Setters

ABS Nationals 2014! Finals Wrap-Up and Results UPDATED

February 23, 2014 2 comments
Michael O'Rourke

Michael O’Rourke on Men’s Semi 3

There is a lot that can be said about this exciting ABS Nationals, but if you have the internet you’ve probably seen or read most of it already. For those who don’t want to do the digging and don’t have time to watch the replays, I’ve offered some thoughts on finals below.

Megan Mascarenas nearly finished Women's Final 4  |  Keith North

Megan Mascarenas nearly finished Women’s Final 4 | Keith North


Women’s Finals

For the viewer (at least at home) the women’s finals were far less exciting than the men’s. One reason might be that the male climber seemed to take precedence on the live feed, so the opinion of those of us watching at home may be biased because of that. I hate to be too critical as I know how hard it is to set for these types of events and also as I usually prefer to set and climb a more technical type boulder (as these were), but the consensus among those I’ve talked with is that the women’s finals just didn’t seem as cool as the men’s. They did succeed in getting the job done though, with a clean separation of the field in final scores.

UPDATE – According to competitors the first two women’s finals were actually super fun to climb on. Apologies for assuming they weren’t as cool when really they just didn’t look as good via feed.

UPDATE for clarification – 7 women went to finals because Jule Wurm is German, not American, and they needed six American females in finals. Jule is a talented World Cup climber that you’ve probably heard of by now if you read our World Cup recaps every season.

Final 1 was a pretty basic sequence that seemed a bit more committing for the shorter competitors and involved a mantle/rock-over and then some crimps/edges up a face. Half the field bungled the mantle and fell at least once, but the top didn’t seem too hard (except when Alex Puccio tried to dyno for the last hold first go and missed). Puccio ended up crimping on the side of the volume when she got out of sequence and using that volume edge crimp to do the last move.

Jule Wurm flashing WF1

Jule Wurm flashing WF1. Alex Puccio crimped the bottom left corner of that high blue triangle.

Women’s Final 2 looked the least pleasant of the bunch, as the holds were uninspiring to look at and none of the competitors seemed to be enjoying the climb. The bottom was tensiony on smaller holds, then there was a scrunchy press left on some sloper things, then a “triple-bump” that knocked Alex Johnson off, that Angie Payne managed, that Alex Puccio housed, and that Jule skipped (by standing tall from the 2nd hold to the top of the finish hold). The taller girls as a whole looked miserable on this problem, and I’m not sure how tall Grace is but she, Jule, Angie, and Puccio did it whereas Megan, Margo, and Alex Johnson did not.

Angie sticking the third bump.

Angie sticking the third bump. WF2.

Women’s Final 3 was far more interesting and involved a mantle onto a big volume, then a jump to a main dish with an overhead press on another main dish to stabilize. The setters added a hold to help with the jump and it probably made it possible but it also left some of the competitors stranded in the splits. Puccio, Angie, and Grace didn’t manage to get out of it, but the rest of the competitors sent. This time it seemed the taller competitors had the advantage.

Alex Puccio kinda stuck.

Alex Puccio kinda stuck.

Jule managed to jump out of the splits and into the overhead press.

Jule managed to jump out of the splits and into the overhead press.

Margo with the old head-press-rest.

Margo with the old head-press-rest.

Alex Johnson flashed.

Alex Johnson flashed.

Women’s Final 4 was the showpiece of the bunch with a dyno out the roof that neither Alex Johnson nor Angie managed to stick, though both were painfully close. Margo and Grace stuck it and got up to the powerful undercling match under the lip of the roof, and Margo got her hands above the roof before falling. Margo did some great route style resting and then used a kneebar/twist to get through the first few roof moves. You can tell the girl has climbed at Hueco. I’m so proud. Anyways, at the lip Megan went up with her wrong hand first, but instead of matching as Margo did (she tried but then abandoned the idea), Megan downclimbed to the undercling match, then went up with her correct (right) hand. Megan then proceeded to do two more unlikely looking moves, only to fall off the last move of the boulder! The endurance and power she showed were impressive to say the least, and it’s clear she could have sent if she hadn’t made an energy-sapping mistake. Jule Wurm also climbed to the top of the problem, only to fall going for the finish. That left Alex Puccio who, true to form, stuck the dyno 2nd (or 3rd?) go, then pretty much hiked her way to the top, doing the powerful last move like it was nothing and showing why she is still the American Champion.

Margo copping a rest.

Margo copping a rest.

Jule mid-problem.

Jule mid-problem.

Megan Mascarenas so very close.

Megan Mascarenas so very close.

Alex Puccio doing the last move on the giant baby heads.

Alex Puccio doing the last move on the giant baby heads.

The way the scores work, tops are given the most weight, then points, then flashes/attempts. Jule Wurm and Alex Puccio both climbed 3 boulders, but on the boulder Jule didn’t send, Final 4, she got to the last move, literally touched the last hold, so she got 16 points. On the problem Alex didn’t do she got stuck in the splits early on and so only got 3 points for it. Therefore, Jule is first in this comp and won but Alex Puccio is still considered the American Bouldering Champion.


Women’s Final Results

1. Jule Wurm

2. Alex Puccio (US National Champion)

3. Megan Mascarenas

4. Margo Hayes

5. Grace McKeehan

6. Alex Johnson

7. Angie Payne


Men’s Finals

The short of it is, Daniel Woods dominated the men’s category with sends of all four boulders, and close on his heels were Vasya Vorotnikov, who made an incredibly exciting send of Men’s Final 2, and a young man named Andy Lamb who came out of nowhere to impress everybody on his way to a third place finish. Michael O’Rourke, climbing in his first ABS Open Nationals final, also gave an impressive showing and though he missed the corner press beta on Men’s Final 1, he was the only competitor besides Daniel to stick a powerful pinch move on Men’s Final 4. Paul Robinson surprised himself by making finals, as he’s been primarily climbing outdoors of late, and he climbed well with a flash of the first problem and a near-send of the third. Finally Jon Cardwell looked strong as always but seemed a bit stymied by reach on all the problems, for example, on Final 1 there was a corner press that he simply couldn’t reach, on Final 2 he was very extended for already extended jumps, on Final 3 he had trouble reaching the final hold with his body in a stable position, and on Final 4 the jump to the pinch was huge, though he nearly made it and had a handful of the hold a couple of times. All in all a good effort from all the men and very exciting viewing.

Paul Robinson styling the corner press on F1.

Paul Robinson styling the corner press on F1.

Jon can't quite reach the good spot. F1.

Jon can’t quite reach the good spot. F1.

Michael O'Rourke eyeing up the bad pinch on Men's Final 2.

Michael O’Rourke eyeing up the bad pinch on Men’s Final 2. He got to the top of the boulder but tried a rose move for the finish and missed the final hold. Below, Vasya shows how it was supposed to be done.

Vasya doing the cross under finish move.

Vasya doing the cross under finish move on F2. Daniel did it this way and sent as well.

The mysterious Andy Lamb atop Men's Final 3.

The mysterious Andy Lamb atop the balancy Men’s Final 3.

Bad shot but it shows how big this move was. Daniel sticking it.

Bad shot but it shows how big this move on F4 was. Daniel sticking it.

Daniel two moves from the top. He did it 2nd go.

Daniel two moves from the top. He fell here first try and finished it 2nd go.

Men’s Final Results

1. Daniel Woods

2. Vasya Vorotnikov

3. Andy Lamb

4. Michael O’Rourke

5. Paul Robinson

6. Jon Cardwell



Jule Wurm (1st) Alex Puccio (2nd) Megan Mascarenas (3rd)

Jule Wurm (1st) Alex Puccio (2nd) Megan Mascarenas (3rd)

Men's Podium ABS 15 Nationals 2014

Men’s Podium ABS 15 Nationals 2014. Daniel Woods (1st) Vasya Vorotnikov (2nd) Andy Lamb (3rd)

Final Results

Final Results


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