One of our favorite Boulder-based boulderers, the wonderful Miss Angie Payne, has headed off on a major expedition with Keith Ladzinski, Mike Libecki, and Ethan Pringle. Payne has started a blog where she will talk about the expedition (and other climbing-related stuff) and so far it is quite good. See it here - Angie Payne Blog.
What does this have to do with The Spot? While checking out her expedition info I realized that Angie’s athlete page on trip sponsor Mountain Hardware’s site has an interesting section where she talks about a moment that changed her climbing. The moment she is talking about happened at the 2010 Battle In The Bubble.
Angie was a major competitor for many years, though in the mid 2000′s she seemed to retire from comp climbing for a while. Then she got hurt, came back, began competing again, and a few months later became the first woman in the world to climb a confirmed V13 when she did The Automator at Rocky Mountain National Park.
It is cool to read that the Battle In The Bubble competition was so much fun for Angie and that it had such a positive effect on her climbing life.
To see her whole Mountain Hardware athlete profile (which is pretty good reading) click here - Mountain Hardwear | Athlete Angela Payne – Climbing
And the picture she is talking about? Taken by none other than Ben Alexandra. Check it out:
Have fun in Iceland and Greenland Angie!!!
Battle in the Bubble 2011 & Gravity Assassin Productions
There is one more comp to go in SBS Season VI, and after that we’ll be gearing up for the Battle in the Bubble 2011!
Tekkies & L’ouvre Boite
If you look to the left sidebar under “Useful Info” you will see a new link for tekkies. Tekkies is the Teknik handholds setting blog, and one of their setters is Tondé Katiyo, who you may remember from the few problems he set at The Spot a few years ago, or from his part in the crew at the 2009 UBC Summer Tradeshow Comp or the 2010 UBC Nor’easter event. Tondé has written some very interesting (if you’re a setting nerd) and detailed discussions about some recent setting jobs he’s done. I highly recommend checking them out.
Also, you might also want to check out L’ouvre Boite. The site is owned and run by Tondé and 5 other French setters who have teamed up to offer a little more professional, unified setting product. I think it’s an interesting way to approach the idea of professionalizing setting.
Yes, it’s really late. No, it’s not edited any more thoroughly than the women’s video. Includes footage of several different climbers and all 5 problems (not complete for a few of ‘em though) and climaxes with Daniel Woods’ ascent of Semi 5. Enjoy!
Today, Wednesday, June 2, is the grand opening day for the New Wall. What does this mean for you? FREE CLIMBING ALL DAY!!! So bring your friends who aren’t members to check out the gym and talk them into joining! We are also offering $5 daypasses on Thursday and Friday, and a summer membership special of $125 for 3 months of climbing. They’re really good deals, so don’t miss out.
Last week we finished the post-Battle gym reset, and this week we’re adding a bunch of problems to fill the walls in better. Yesterday it was the Font, and today, I’m not really sure, you’ll have to come by and see! Also yesterday, the Austrian team (and one of the Germans) showed up at the Spot to prep for the upcoming World Cup in Vail. It was quite fun to watch them climb on the semifinals and finals from The Battle in The Bubble.
See you at The Spot today!!!
The setters all attended semifinals so we could get a good feel for how the competitors were climbing and make sure we didn’t need to make any tweaks to the difficulty of the finals problems. I brought the little Flip camera my mom gave me for my birthday and shot some video of various people climbing various problems. This video is of the DRCC Women’s Semifinals problems (though the first two are non-DRCC cause we didn’t have enough holds). Most of the women who competed are in it, though I missed Audrey Sniezek and Kristen Felix–sorry girls! The edit is pretty rough cause I didn’t have a ton of time, and I decided that comp background noises would give you a better feel for how things were going than a techno track would, so the original noise is in all the clips. I’ll put a guys one together when I have time. Enjoy!
Obviously, Men’s Final 5 had to be a really hard problem. The bulk of the problem was set by Jonny Hork, who took one look at the big purple Climb-It tufa and set to work screwing it on the steepest part of the roof.
The ladder was sketchy (flimsy aluminum on wet plastic) so Jon decided to help Jonny out a bit. Anyways, with a bit of input from the rest of the team and a lot of his own ideas, Jonny put up what turned out to be a spectacular final problem. One of the most interesting things about it is that, after a few tries, both Daniel and Julian were getting high on the problem, but Daniel was besting Julian by two moves (even before he stuck the final hold in the dramatic finish). Here are some pictures I took of their last tries, cause it’s interesting to see what’s different:
It looked like Julian tried as hard as he could to reach that left hand, and he couldn’t quite get it well enough, so he fell off. That Halo he’s matched in is kinda slopey, and it’s pretty impressive that he did the movement the way he did. Let’s see how Daniel did it differently:
On his first two tries, Daniel did these same moves, but he seemed to be barely hanging on. Before this try he had a 2 minute rest, and it showed. In this sequence he is much stronger, and locked off much higher on his left hand and right heel, so the move to the high right hand isn’t so stretched out this time. Also, his foot cut isn’t quite as dramatic as the one you saw in this post: Battle in The Bubble Goes Off HUGE!!! This go, his last, he easily got his feet back on, hucked sideways for the finish hold, and somehow, magically, stuck it. The crowd went absolutely wild, competitors rushed the mats to hug Daniel, and everybody had huge grins on their faces. It was a fantastic ending to a great event.
Photos, videos, and reviews of The Battle in The Bubble are pouring in. It’s worth noting that there was a mistake on the original finals score posting–Chauncy Cox ended up in 4th and Flannery Shay-Nemirow was in 5th. The mix-up was due to the fact that Flannery’s performance on earlier problems gave her a higher combined score than Chanuncy had, but Chauncy did better on the last problem they climbed on (W2) and since in the elimination format each problem is a blank slate, Chauncy’s performance progressed her to problem 3 and therefore she beat Flan, who suffered on the slab of problem 2. Make sense? I hope? Results for all the events (citizen’s, semis, and finals) are here: Results | The Battle in The Bubble | Boulder, CO
Video #1 is out–a highlight reel from Sender Films. Click here, and if it starts on the wrong video, scroll down on the right side–it’s the bottom one: Battle in the Bubble Highlight Reel on Spot TV
For some pictures by a guy who actually knows what he’s doing, check out these: Battle in the Bubble Finals – Bouldering Comp | Fullerton Images
There are also many pics showing up on Facebook and Keith Ladzinski took a bunch that will be showing up soon. Stay tuned!
After a long hiatus from comp climbing, which included some outdoor climbing and lots of school and work, and then an ankle injury that stopped climbing entirely for a while, Angie Payne burst back on the scene and came a hairs breadth away from WINNING The Battle in The Bubble!
It’s right there! Just grab it!!! After slipping off on her flash, Angie wanted to be certain of grabbing the hold the second time, so she pulled as hard as she could off the little tiny Climb-It crimps…
On her next try Alex Puccio promptly pulled it together and hiked the problem, and Angie, tired from her two laps, succumbed to a foot-slip at mid-height on her final try. Both girls climbed super well and we were proud to have them. Great job Angie and Alex!!!
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: