Setting for the Battle in The Bubble was a two part gig. The first part was at the Spot, where we set the DRCC semifinals problems on Tuesday and Wednesday (and then put up again Friday night). The second part was at the Boulder Reservoir, where we spent Thursday, Friday, and part of Saturday setting, forerunning, and hoping it wouldn’t rain. Besides weather worries, non-gym setting presents some particular challenges to a setting team, a major one of which is the lack of padding at the base of the wall.
Yeah, those are boards under there, and the boards are sitting on steel framework. Fun times. Good thing Asana brought us some beefy foam!
So Women’s Final 2 was a joint effort between Max Zolotukhin and Kevin Jorgeson. The terrain was challenging–a partial slab/corner with a little kicker roof in it on the left wing of the left wall. Luckily Climb-It gave us some cool slopey holds to use. It was obvious from the start that the problem would climb into the corner and then out of it. Kevin and Max experimented with different versions of a stem sequence, and ended up with a pretty good skeleton of holds on the wall. Then it was time to try the problem. Because of the pad shortage, forerunning had to be a concerted effort where we worked together and were all in the same area at the same time. This was good for Kevin, who couldn’t figure out how to get out of this mess he got himself into:
Actually, he was just trying to figure out what competitors might do besides the intended sequence. A big part of forerunning is trying to figure out ways to cheat the sequence and skip holds/moves/major parts of the problem.
When climbing in a comp, choosing to cheat a sequence (by dynoing, or climbing up naturals or footholds, for example) is a risk you take. If you make it, it pays off big. If you fall off, you’ll often have fewer points than someone you may have touched (but not controlled) a higher hold than if that person climbed on the actual holds. In the picture above, if Kevin dynos and misses, he gets points for the pocket in his left hand, let’s call it 6. Someone else might go right to the jug (7) and then fall off. That person is further in the sequence than Kevin is, and therefore gets more points. However, if Kevin catches the dyno he gets the finish hold points, say 10, so he’d beat the person that fell on 7.
Instead, Kevin will climb the problem in the correct sequence. If you were at the comp or watched it online you’ll know the problem that the girls climbed on looked a little different from this one. That’s the main reason we forerun–to dial in the difficulty and movement of a problem. In this case, it is possible to flip around like Kevin is, but it’s more secure to stay face into the corner and reach with right hand instead of left to the pocket, so that’s what all the girls did. Forerunning helped us recognize the superior sequence and fix the problem to support that sequence (i.e. we added a push hold for the left hand and took off unnecessary holds). We also experimented with different styles of lean-in stemming movement, including a pushing match on a sloping roof hold. Ivo, one of the forerunners who also built the wall, was able to climb the problem no matter what the weird stemming sequence was. He liked the push sequence as much as the lean sequence. In the picture below, Max’s friend Gavin is going to try out the push:
Then an Asana pad showed up, and we were extremely psyched to test it out:
More to come!!!
The Battle in The Bubble was fantastic. I know, it’s immodest to say how amazing it was, but we at the Spot and the Professional Climbers International are so proud of the setting crew, the climbers, the Sender guys, the AV team, the lighting guys, Ian the skydiver, the volunteers, the vendor village participants, the kayak and paddle board demonstrators, the APEX parkour guys, the Vail Valley Association, Red Bull, Wahoos, Avery, Avid 4 Adventure, Mix 1, Gibbon Slacklines, everyone who tried David Garcia’s ATG challenge, and the staff from the Spot for taking many unlikely variables (and lots of doubters) and putting together a spectacular show. Thank you everyone for your hard work to make this the best climbing event Boulder has ever seen.
We’d like to thank all our sponsors, but since this is the setting blog I’m going to focus on the setting-related sponsors here.
Thank you Climb-It, for all the awesome holds in such striking colors!
Thank you ASANA, for all the neck-saving crashpads!
Thank you to Ivo, Travis, and the rest of the crew from Walltopia, for building these spectacular walls. We’re looking forward to getting them up in the Spot!!!
Finally, we’d like to thank all the spectators for showing up, enjoying the festival, and hanging out through the cold (but luckily dry!) weather to watch the climbers battle it out. It was an amazing evening, and it could never have happened without the support and hard work of so many, but if you hadn’t come to watch it would have all been for nought. We hope you all had an excellent time and were psyched out of your minds when Angie and Alex and Daniel and Julian battled it out on the final problems.
There’s so much to write about this comp, and so many pictures to share, so stay tuned for pictures and video in the coming days. I’ll do a full write-up as well. Until then, here are results:
And a few bits from others who came to the event: