Jake and I were lucky enough to get our feet into some new La Sportiva Mix urban approach shoes. The Mix are a mix of a low profile, good-tractioned walking shoe and smooth-toed climbing shoe. The results not only look cool, they’re fantastic for routesetting.
The sole of the Mix is fairly flat, like the soles of the skate shoes most setters I know prefer setting in.
The “climbing zone” is sticky and smooth and works well for all those little forerunning moments in the middle of a setting day. They are really good for smearing and, if sized snugly, do just fine on smaller footholds as well. They aren’t a performance rock climbing shoe, but they beat all the running and skate shoes I’ve ever tried to climb in by miles and miles. Just look at me standing on this foot hold:
The shoe itself has a nice toebox–wide enough so our toes aren’t cramped but snug enough to make climbing feel reasonable. The heel is cut low but fits like a glove on both my foot and Jake’s. They are lightly cushioned–comfortable, but not floaty.
I broke these shoes in by wearing them on an unexpectedly long bouldering approach (2.5 miles each way) followed by three 12 hour days straight setting for Psychedelia. The shoes were amazing–they felt great on and off the wall and ladders, I was able to forerun easier boulders and try harder moves in them, and a bunch of people asked me what my cool shoes were. Jake just got his this week, and they’re already his favorite shoes. I call it a win all around.
The Mix come in several colors of leather or canvas. Jake and I both have leather, though Jake’s (the lighter ones) are a sample only color. Other colors including the darker blue/gray that I got will be available in stores this spring. If you’re a route setter, these are the shoes for you.
Click the link to check out athlete blogs, news, pictures, and other great shoes from: La Sportiva North America.
Hold shaper Chris Neal sent us some new holds to check out from his new company Capital Climbing. Here are some pictures of the holds, and where to find ‘em on the walls to check ‘em out. We’ll report back with a more thorough review (and the names of the sets) in the near future.
The feature is on the River as well, just right of the arete about head-height on the pink problem that also has two of the green edges on it.
First impressions are very positive. The texture of the holds is great, the shapes are comfortable and professional, and they are poured by Element, which we’ve had good luck with so far. The edges are a bit softer than an Aragon hold, but nothing we’re concerned about. All in all an impressive offering from a brand-new company.
Check out the holds and let us know what you think!
More photos and info tomorrow, but here are the top results from the Pro Final:
1. Megan Mascarenas
2. Tiffany Hensley
3. Alex Puccio
1. Matty Hong
2. Nicholas Milburn
3. Garrett Gregor
Psychedelia is coming up this weekend!
Setting & Closure Schedule
We will strip the BEACH and the DOJO on Tuesday night starting at 10pm. They will be closed until the comp.
Wednesday night starting at 10pm we will begin stripping the rest of the gym. You will be able to climb until regular gym closing at 11pm.
The gym is closed THURSDAY and FRIDAY for Psychedelia setting and decoration. Spot members will be able to climb for free at the BRC on these days and on comp day.
10am – registration opens, pre-registrants can check in
11am – Youth C and D climbing begins
Noon – Youth B, A, and Junior and Raffle begin
3:30pm – Youth session over
5pm – registration opens, pre-registrants can check in
6pm – climbing begins
7:30pm – beer and burrito service begins
9pm – climbing ends, raffle/costume contest start
9:30/9:45 – Pro Finals
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week The Spot is running a pre-registration special. Pre-register for your Competitor or Spectator entry and we will donate $5 of every entry for the next three days to the flood relief efforts. There is still much to do to recover from the flood, and The Spot wants to keep helping our community return to normal and get our open spaces and climbing areas reopened. If you are coming to Psychedelia pre-register to help out our community!
Finally, if you are coming to the comp you’ll want to glow. You may even want to win our costume contest. Read this article: Psychedelia Blacklight Costumes – What Glows and What Doesn’t? + 2013 Theme: Day of the Dead! to learn how to make a costume that looks amazing.
See you at Psychedelia!!!
One of the biggest questions people have about Psychedelia is: “What should I wear?” With this post we hope to help you figure that out by sharing what we’ve learned over the years about black lights and reactive costumes and accessories. Below are some notes and products that we’ve found that work.
When you are searching, learn to look for popping fluorescent (not just neon) and the “hyper-white” which is the nearly fluorescent looking white color you will see in some clothing, feathers, and other costume parts. This white will often glow like gangbusters, where other whites will look dull or not glow at all. Many products will specify whether or not they are black light appropriate. Key words to look for are fluorescent and/or black light reactive and/or UV reactive.
If there is any question for glow, a portable black light flashlight is the safest way to check, or you can bring your item down to The Spot in the weeks before Psychedelia and check it out in our black light boxes. We use REAL black lights at The Spot, not just purple or UV lights, and anything claiming to react to real black light should shine like a champ.
Unfortunately many white fabrics, tapes, plastics, and other items will not glow as much as you might hope. Besides looking for the fluorescent hyper-white, here are some notes:
White clothing can go either way. Anything with a lot of white threads will often glow. Once you learn to see it, you can often tell from looking at the thread whether or not it will pop.
Screen-printed whites usually WON’T glow.
White embroidery usually WILL glow.
Cottons, especially 100% white or heathered cotton clothing, usually will glow. So will most spandex.
Bleach and bleached items will glow. There are types of laundry detergent that will cause fabric to glow or to glow better.
Other colored fabrics will sometimes glow very well if they have a white cotton thread base.
White thread t-shirt trim will often glow, so even if your shirt doesn’t glow your threads sometimes will.
Fluorescent fabric depends on the fabric. Fluorescent yellow is usually the brightest.
Fluorescent spandex will often glow really well.
Cheap women’s fluorescent spandex undies from Target or similar stores will often look amazing and can be worn over tights for the short-shorts look.
Body suits work too.
Fluorescent netting often looks like it should glow, but plastic-based usually won’t. Fabric/cotton based usually will.
It is extremely hard to tell which fluorescent fabrics will and won’t glow without the black light test.
Wigs can go either way, depending on the base material.
Many types of white and fluorescent feather and fur will glow well.
Fluorescent poster boards glow very well and offer lots of costume options as they are cheap and easy to draw on and cut and tape together.
Cheap plastic fluorescent or black light reflective items will often glow very well and not break the bank.
Creative uses for poster board. The year before these guys won the costume contest as a pair of giant highlighters.
Spray paint and body paint will glow if they say fluorescent. Check out Casey’s radioactive man!
Fluorescence in paint, tape, clothes, plastic, fabric, make-up, hair gel, hair spray, fake eyelashes, nail polish…pretty much anything with actual fluorescent added to it will look amazing. Use a blacklight to check!
With body paint you can give the impression of floating bones, wings, or whatever else you want to paint on your body.
Highlighters glow and can be used to decorate skin (not sure if it’s recommended, but it works).
Laundry Detergent with any type of bleach or bleach substitute will usually glow and cause things painted or washed in it to glow.
Glow Sticks, Glow Jewelry, El Wire, and Christmas Lights
Glow sticks or jewelry of any type and small lights in reds, blues, greens, purples, pinks, and neon yellows are appropriate for Psychedelia. Clear or white lights are interruptive to your eyes at Psychedelia and so not appropriate. The little packages of glow sticks for $1 at Michael’s Art Stores don’t work very well, so are not recommended.
Blacklight balloons glow fairly well.
Popular for Burning Man, also awesome for Psychedelia and other black light events, electroluminescent wire is a thin, flexible string that glows like nobody’s business. The power pack is small and light so you can stick it to your body or clothing without too much disruption, then use the wire to make your costume fantastic!
Available at McGuckin’s or online in various colors. McGuckin also has some light up flat strips that are pretty cool.
Or: Amazon.com: 9ft Lime Green Neon Glowing Electroluminescent Wire (El Wire) (Also available and fine for Psych in blue, neon orange, neon yellow, neon pink.)
Glow in the Darks
Glow-in-the-dark items do not usually “pop” so they are not so good for Psychedelia. Known exceptions – glow in the dark spray paint (Krylon), glow in the dark chalk, glow stars and planets.
Gaffer’s tape is a cotton cloth based tape that is normally used in stage and production work. The gaffer is the head of the lighting department on a film crew, and the lighting department uses this kind of tape to hang things and tape wires, cords, and cables. The tape is very strong and removes cleanly, unlike duct tape which often leaves residue. Some gyms use gaffer’s tape all the time, but we prefer regular duct tape for most of the year. For one reason, gaffer’s tape is generally 3-4x more expensive than duct tape per roll. A 2″ wide roll of gaffer’s fluorescent can cost $20 or more.
Because of the cotton-cloth base, many types of gaffer’s tape may offer some glow, but only the fluorescent colors (orange, pink, green, yellow) offer the real blacklight reactivity and “pop” we are looking for with Psychedelia. White doesn’t work as well as you might expect.
We use over 50 rolls of 1″ gaffer’s tape in these four colors to tag the problems and decorate the gym each year. Some companies will offer these fluorescent bases with additional patterns–camo, triangles, hearts, stars and moons, celtic knots, and more–which give some variety; however, we usually turn each problem into its own work of art, so the specific color/pattern of the base tape is not that important at Psychedelia as long as it glows.
Also important to note, some rolls of pink/orange and yellow/green will look the same in blacklight, but others will not. This is because sometimes a company will use, for example, orange fluorescence to make the orange rolls and the pink rolls glow. The colors look different in regular light, but in blacklight the color of fluorescence is what you see, so they will look the same. We’ve had the same company send us pinks that looked orange and pinks that looked pink, all in the same batch. You can check this roll by roll with a portable black light flashlight.
Gaffer’s tape rips more cleanly, easily, and evenly than duct tape. Because of this, gaffer’s is good to use for decoration as you can rip different widths of tape off the roll. You can also purchase rolls of varying width; local tape company Identi-tape has 1/4″, 1/2″, 1″, and 2″ options and can often do custom batches of bigger or smaller rolls with patterns on them. Perhaps you’ve seen the tape they made for E-Grips, The North Face, The Access Fund, or Atomik Holds. They also provided the 2″ Caution Cable tape we used for finals tape in 2012.
Gaffer’s can make some great costume additions, as you can make things like suspenders and leashes out of it by taping two pieces together, or by taping it around existing fabric, plastic, or whatever else you’ve got going on. It won’t work well when the fabric stretches, as the stretch will break the adhesive and the tape will come off.
Where to buy: you can order gaffer’s tape online from many retailers. We get ours from either Bron or Identi-Tape. You can order online from Identi-tape here:
IDENTI-TAPE – 1-inch Gaffer Tape (different widths available, we usually use 1″ and 1/2″)
IDENTI-TAPE – Gaffer Symbols Tape (fancy gaffers, with symbols)
Only the fluorescents–pink, yellow, orange, green–will “pop” under the black light.
Identi-tape has other awesome tapes as well for hula-hoop decoration and other uses. Some of the hula-hoop tapes glow but they are not as flexible or sticky as gaffer’s so we can’t use them for wall decoration. They might work well for costumes. Identi-tape has a black light in store so they can check for you, or they can send samples. The ones we tested (all non-gaffers) that worked were:
IDENTI-TAPE – Colorful Holographic Sequin Tape (fluorescent colors)
IDENTI-TAPE – Colored Prismatic Tape (fluorescent green and yellow, don’t know about pink)
IDENTI-TAPE – Decorative Glitter (Sparkle) Tape (fluorescent green and yellow)
“Glow in the Dark” tapes usually aren’t that great for Psychedelia, as they glow dully in the black light.
Other things to consider
It is fairly dark at Psychedelia and there are many people. Make sure your costume doesn’t drag on the ground and there aren’t lots of protruding parts to snag on holds or poke other people. Also, if you do paint your hands only paint the backs to avoid making the holds dirty or slippery.
So that’s it! Now you know how to make a costume that glows. What will you do? Well, for starters, our 2013 Psychedelia theme is…
The Day of the Dead!
This theme gives you tons of room to be creative, as one of the main parts of the Day of the Dead costume is the white (make sure to get glowing white!) skull mask. Beyond that, anything goes!
So there’s the theme, there are the tips, run with it! We’re excited to see what everyone comes up with!!!
In the past two weeks we’ve reset the entire gym, adding over a hundred new problems across all the grades on all boulders. We also left up the dynos from Dynomite because they were so popular. The crew has included me, Connor, Jake, Joel, Jay Jay, Lily, and Ian, plus we got special guest setter help from our friend Cletus. Cletus is only in town for a bit, but we’re taking advantage of his setting skills while he’s here. He has been a climber and routesetter for some 18 years and has tons of experience setting at gyms including the Tennessee Bouldering Authority and Planet Granite. Look for his problems with a CW on all the boulders. His blue 4 spot on the Front Hueco Arete (northwest) is one of the most popular problems in the gym right now and was definitely last week’s problem of the week.
Next week is more fill. Everything will stay up until we strip for Psychedelia (only a few weeks away) so you have time to send your projects. Come on in and check them out!
Thanks to everyone who came out for the first comp of Spot Bouldering Series Season 9! Dyno Mite was a great success with a good turnout of competitors for the youth and adult sessions, a wild dyno comp with awesome jumps from all the competitors, an open final where the top 6 men and women from the main session battled it out on a single finals boulder, and a huge raffle to raise $$ for Boulder Flood Relief efforts.
Open Final Results
1. Alex Johnson 1. Carlo Traversi
2. Margo Hayes 2. Nicholas Milburn
3. Megan Mascarenas 3. Alex Manikowski
4. Nina Williams 4. Matt Lubar
5. Brooke Raboutou 5. Taylor Rose
6. Courtney Sanders 6. Garrett Gregor
See results from the redpoint sessions here: The Spot Bouldering Gym SBS 9
Next up – Psychedelia! Our famous blacklight competition and costume contest will be October 26th this year. Start planning your costume!