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!
It’s been a long period of short updates (besides comp coverage) and so here is a little review of what we’ve been up to lately:
1) Connor rocked a mustache for a few weeks (fig 1). You might call it a bit of a social experiment, as he learned some things. Most women liked it. Most men either thought it was awesome or thought it was creepy. Awesome = comfortable with their manhood, creepy = they were threatened by it. Connor looked pretty amazing, obviously, and when he felt like it could deadpan creep out stare like nobody’s business.
2&3) We got a new setting closet. We moved from behind the River (fig 2) to the room that makes up the front half of the hold washing room. There are some things we will miss about the old room though (fig 3).
4) Ian Dory and I built some shelves in the new closet.
5) Jay Jay started collecting tape for “the world’s biggest tape ball”. She’s convinced she’ll easily beat the current world record. We told her she can but she has to keep the tape ball somewhere else, and it can’t interfere with work.
6) Danny put up the lunch rope and got carried away.
7) The best block ever? Yeah, I did this.
8. We got our new flooring in under The Beach! More new floor, in the whole gym, coming mid-July!
9. Jonny went all yacht club for the day in his Adidas Routesetter shirt, his fancy Verve pants, and his USAC Setter Sweatshirt.
10. The septuplet tape job on the new Dojo.
11) And finally, last week we reset the LEFT DOJO! Tons of new problems on the left bulge and the right side of the mid-Dojo overhanging arete. We’ve set more 2s and 3s than ever before on the left Dojo, so if you’ve never climbed on the Dojo might be a good time to try it. We’ve also got a bunch of everything else, so everyone should find something to send and project.
Sorry it’s taken so long to write up the women’s finals and the rest of the comp, we’ve been really busy resetting. Women’s finals will be up soon–later today or tomorrow night.
If you’ve been in the gym, you’ll see we’ve got new problems up on the Font, River, Dojo, and Back Hueco boulders. More on the Hueco and maybe the Beach tomorrow. Also, Danny will be gone for about a month–he’s headed to France to climb in the World’s Greatest Bouldering Area. Have fun Danny! Today was his last set til he gets back, and he and Connor apparently called each other before work this morning, so Annie took this photo:
More Comp Photos
Several talented photographers were on hand and took some great photos of all rounds at The Gladiator Finals. You can see most of the ones we’ve seen on The Spot Facebook page. You can also link to albums from the photographers. Here are a few shots with links at the bottom in case you haven’t seen ‘em yet.
Stay tuned, more coming soon!!!
There is much to say about the SBS 8 Gladiator Finals! The preliminary round was a nice 3 hour session on boulder problems from 1 Spot to 5++ Spot. This time we had the youth who planned to try and make Open finals compete during the adult session to eliminate the possibility that resting longer after the redpoint session would improve their final results. Here is a rundown of the Men’s Finals Competitors and their prelim performance in order of qualification for finals.
1. Daniel Woods
Daniel came in early and flashed O5 – O10 (only top 5 climbs, so O6, O7, O8, O9, and O10, count for total score), then with a perfect high score of 24,000 he rested up for finals.
2. Matty Hong
Matty went climbing outside all day in Rocky Mountain National Park, then showed up at The Spot just in time to get his 5 climbs and make finals. Matty was the only competitor besides Daniel to log Open 8 in the prelim round. His other climbs were O6, O5, O4, and O3 with 4 total falls for a score of 22,560.
3. Matt Wilder
Matt climbed extremely well, using his mad old-guy skillz to climb O3 – O7 with only 1 fall. Great performance Wilder! We’re always happy to have you. Total prelim score: 22,490.
4. Michael O’Rourke
Young Gun Michael O’Rourke came in next, only 10 pts (1 fall) behind Matt Wilder with the same 5 Open problems and a score of 22,480.
4. Greig Seitz
Tied with O’Rourke was Miramont head setter Greig Seitz with the same problems and falls for the same overall score.
6. Ben Hoberg
One fall behind O’Rourke and Seitz, Ben Hoberg climbed O7-O3 with 3 falls for 22,470.
7. Dave Graham
Legendary climber Dave Graham came in next with the same O7-O3 and 7 falls for 22,430. Dave isn’t much of an indoor climber and rarely competes, so it was a treat to have him show up and have a good time at our event. Thanks for coming Dave!
8. Matt Lubar
Young crusher and multi-time SBS 8 Finalist Matt Lubar was next, just 1 fall behind Dave with 22,420, but he tweaked his back muscle a little in the prelim round and didn’t want to tweak it more before Youth Nationals so he opted out of finals.
9. Remi Arata
This meant our last men’s finalist was 9th ranked Remi Arata. Remi is another up-and-coming young crusher. He was a long-time Team BRC climber who recently switched to ABC. Remi did O6-O2 in the prelim round with 1 fall for 21,990 points.
The Final Problem
The Men’s final problem started on a huge sloper in the middle of the Beach. From there it was power/technique through a few underclings to a standing position on a volume with an overhead press off an e-grips Main Dish and a Teknik Sloper. The idea from this point was to turn and face out, then jump to a very positive undercling in the roof, then a move up to a left pinch, a heel-hook or jump to a right pinch, a powerful cross under to a Teknik fat lip, then a big move out right to another fat lip, then a 1-2 jump to a fat lip near the top of the wall left hand and a juggy fat lip just to the right for the right hand.
Here’s what actually happened:
Remi Arata came out first. First go he fell trying to move his body onto the volume, so 3+ points for holding the Main Dish. Next 2 goes he fell jumping for the undercling, so 5 pts, new highpoint. Next go he stuck the undercling, then did the big move up right to hold 8, then fell. Next go he fell after the undercling.
Score: Hold 8/4th attempt
Dave Graham came out next. He’s self-professed to be bad at competitions, but in this case he put on an amazing performance, sprinting through the start of the problem, sticking the jump to the undercling, doing a mega-huge cross to hold 9 (the first fat lip, and the move he did was huge! Nobody saw it coming, and the crowd went crazy!), sticking hold 10 (the right fat lip), doing the big move to hold 11 (the high fat lip just before the final hold) and then falling trying to stick it. He struggled with the jump to the undercling on his next goes, but his spectacular performance was a real highlight for the crowd and for the setters.
Ben Hoberg has been a strong competitor this season, though he currently has a huge cut on his thumb and hasn’t been climbing a ton. Nevertheless, he put on a good show, falling from the jump 4 times before sticking it the 5th time and continuing to the high right pinch (hold 8) before falling.
Greig Seitz has also been doing well at SBS comps this year, and this final was no exception. After 1 fall on the jump he stuck it 2nd go, went up left to the left pinch (hold 7), then fell trying to stick hold 8. Next go he went straight to hold 8 but fell trying to lower out and establish well enough to move towards hold 9.
Mike O’Rourke was next and he, too, took a few goes to get through the bottom of the problem, falling from the jump twice before sticking it and getting to hold 8. He also fell trying to come out onto the hold and continue.
Matt Wilder had a lot of trouble with the jump, standing in the corner for a while and trying all sorts of different methods to get to the undercling without having to dyno for it. He got into some pretty strange positions but unfortunately none of them worked.
Matty Hong also took 2 goes to get through the jump, and on his 2nd go when he stuck it he moved up to hold 7 (in sequence) but fell going to hold 8. Next go he fell from the jump again. Next go he got to hold 7 again but fell trying to stick hold 8.
Finally Daniel Woods came out.
Sometimes technical sequences cause downfalls, and first go Daniel fell getting into the position on the volume and main dish. Not to be deterred, he approached the problem with a new method.
Daniel is probably the most powerful climber on the planet, and he proved it again by avoiding the jump entirely, instead pressing his way with smear feet up into an undercling position on the main dish. The move he did was seriously, seriously difficult. From there he reached easily to the undercling, demonstrated some more raw power and perfect tension as he moved out right through the fat lips, and prepared for the jump to the top holds. He tried heel-hooking, toeing in, and all sorts of body positions, but he couldn’t seem to find one he was comfortable trying. Finally he went for the heel-hook, but it popped mid move and he was off. Next go he looked seriously pumped but he moved through the undercling press much more easily, then fell from the same top move.
Many of the competitors got back on the top of the problem after the final was over to try the last moves. Daniel ended up doing the jump we intended, a 1-2 left hand-right hand to the top fat lip and the finish jug. Michael O’Rourke went right hand to the top fat lip, then crossed under to the end jug. Spectators stuck around to watch and it was really cool to see the climbers figure out the top.
1. Dave Graham
Dave got highpoint on his first try, and it was matched by Daniel but on Daniel’s 2nd try. Dave won! He said this is the first comp he thinks he’s won since the 90’s!
2. Daniel Woods
3. Michael O’Rourke (tie)
3. Greig Seitz (tie)
On the final Greig went 5+, 7+, 8; Mike went 5, 5, 8, 3. We score highpoint and attempts to highpoint for finals, then for countbacks we drop back to the previous round, which in this case was also a tie, so they tied for 3rd overall.
5. Remi Arata
6. Ben Hoberg
7. Matty Hong
From the way the problem was set, you could go to hold 7 or hold 8 from hold 6. Going directly to hold 8 was supposed to be a dead end, though Daniel Woods went that way and made it work. Dave skipped directly from hold 6 to hold 9 in a display that astounded the setters and the crowd.
8. Matt Wilder
Dave had some big-time fans from Venezuela:
And finally, here’s what happens when you spend the night at a father-daughter dance, then race to the gym to get scoring done:
Stay tuned for the women’s final and more comp photos coming soon!!!
Melinda Rider of tape supplier Identi-tape sent us some photos. Check out a few here, then click the link for the rest in our Facebook gallery. Thanks Melinda!
Ok, so I am back, but Nic is still at his other job. That means that on Tuesday Jon, Jay Jay, Danny, Connor, Dave Wetmore, and I stripped and started resetting Font. On Wednesday Jonny, Danny, Jay Jay, Jon and I finished it. Here are some pictures. No brand-new-for-today holds, but we’ve gotten so many new holds lately that we’ve got a great selection of newer holds to mix with our old favorites, and we are very happy about it. Here are pictures of the boulder. For the sake of loading I will make the pics smaller here, but if you click on them you can see the blown up version if you want to look at specific holds/problems.
Problems Of The Week
As is the new usual, we will have two Problems of the Week. The first is also a problem flagged for the new comment system, as explained below. Here is a picture of both:
New Comment System
The little red Spot disk with the number on it is one of two on the Font boulder. There will be 10 total in the gym, generally 2 per boulder/wall. Jay Jay made them especially for us at her other job.
What are they for? We are experimenting with a new comment system in which we will solicit comments on a small selection of problems from each new set. Special comment cards will be at the desk for a few weeks so you can ask questions of the desk folk if you have any.
After the break-in period we will move the setting comment cards to the glass table next to the general gym comment cards. The goal is to find out how our problems are perceived by our customers by collecting a wide variety of opinions on specific examples of problems. In addition, we want to know how you feel about the setting in general or if you ever have specific commentary on another problem, so please feel free to write about additional problems on the back of the setting comment cards. Cards can be deposited in the Spot Comments box (on the wall between the bathrooms) and we will be answering our comments on the comments board (also between the bathrooms) and also here on the blog.
So that’s it! Sounds pretty simple, no? So try it out!
You may have noticed that there are untaped holds on the tops of the Font and Hueco boulders. We have decided that instead of putting 8 pieces of tape on the same jug, all holds above the lip on the Font and Hueco are officially considered “naturals’ and are on all problems. Let us know how you like this system!
More updates are coming soon on the blog with info on our sweet new hangboards and cool stuff I saw at the trade show. Stay tuned!
This week we reset the Font! Me, Jay Jay, Danny, Jon, and Gabor were here for both days, Nic was here for half of Tuesday, and Jonny was here all day Wednesday. We put up a bunch of problems of all grades including several easier slabs that challenge different techniques than the normal easy slab will. Here are some pictures of the boulder.
Ha Ha Danny
This is why you should wear sunscreen when you go bouldering at The Park!
Problems Of The Week
More Holds For Sale!
We found a few more when we were stripping and resetting this wall, so the table has been refreshed.
There are some real classics here! Some are just not fit for gym use anymore because of broken washers, chips, cracks, or other things that are easy to work with on a home wall but not a commercial facility. Others we have duplicates of, or…well, there are lots of reasons. These are a great deal though and won’t last, so get ‘em before they’re gone!
And finally…New Teknik Holds!
I will be out of town for a few weeks but the boys and Jay Jay will be around and setting great new problems for you every week. Enjoy!
Setting Update & New E-Grips!
Jay Jay, Danny, Jon, Jonny, Nic, Gabor and I filled in a bunch on the Beach today, so you will have plenty of problems to work on and send. In super exciting news, we got not one but TWO new shipments of holds today. First were from The DRCC (see photos here) and second were from e-grips! Here are pics of a few of the e-grips holds we got–the brand new black “big buttons” were even shaped by Spot Setter and longtime hold shaper Ian Powell.
These things are really comfortable and cool to hold. We also got a bunch of these balls things but I only have a photo of one of ‘em:
Here are some photos of the wall:
Problem of the Week
The 4-5 spot problem of the week is the blue 5 spot up the center prow that was set by Danny and Jay Jay. It is Jay Jay’s first 5 spot! She helped Danny so she can learn to set more hard problems as well as expand her style in her normal setting.
The 1-3 spot problem of the week is Danny’s purple 3+ on the far right side of the Beach. This problem is more technical than powerful so check it out and use your balance to succeed.
We are selling some of our older holds. Some are chipped, some are multiples, some just don’t suit our needs. They are priced as marked and are on a table by the front desk. If you are looking for holds come get ‘em before they’re gone! We will use all the proceeds to buy even more cool new holds!
On Tuesday, February 21 Peter Beal, Daniel Woods, and Courtney Sanders held a Breakthrough Bouldering clinic at The Spot. The clinic was free for members and ended up running about twice as long as originally planned because, well, because the ins and outs of climbing are a pretty vast subject.
“Climbing is a marginal sport. The margin for error in every level of difficulty is very very slim. The difference is between making the job reasonable or unreasonable.”
~ Peter Beal
The clinic started off with introductions from Daniel, Courtney, and Peter, followed quickly by names and goals from the 8 participants and 3 Spot staff who attended. It turned out that most of the participants had been climbing anywhere from a few months to a few years, and the Spot staff and clinic instructors Daniel and Peter have all been climbing for between one to three decades. Courtney is the exception, as she’s only been climbing for 3 years but has already progressed to elite status with an entire bouldering World Cup season under her belt as well as several V11 sends.
“Have confidence in yourself. Try hard.”
~ Courtney Sanders
After intros Peter addressed one participant’s concern that she was unable to get out of her 4- spot plateau. He suggested that most climbers don’t think very clearly about what they are doing at any given moment. He said that if you watch most climbers you will see things they could be doing better that would help them get up a problem or route, and that examining all aspects of your own climbing can help you improve your own weaknesses and stack the odds in your favor. The closer you can get to perfect movement, Peter suggests, the easier the job will be.
All the pros mentioned the importance of other factors, like strength, technical ability, and training physical weaknesses as well as mental. Each had different opinions about the most important factors, and it was clear that a balance of all is necessary for optimum performance. Of course, Daniel made a point that is hard to refute:
“The most important thing for climbing hard is hand strength on rock.”
~ Daniel Woods
Considering some of the group’s climbing goals, Peter reminded everyone that factors such as season and weather could affect one’s climbing goals. For example, if a climber’s goal was to be strong enough to climb Gobot at Rocky Mountain National Park by the end of summer, the climber should consider that Gobot has a scary landing that is made safer by a big pile of snow and that a big pile of snow is more likely at the beginning of summer. Therefore, it might be more reasonable to make a goal to be strong enough to climb Gobot by the beginning of summer or by the beginning of next summer, when conditions are better for a safer experience. Courtney pointed out that goals come in many forms.
“Set little goals and long term goals. Even if the little goal is just to do a certain move on a problem with one hand position vs another.”
~ Courtney Sanders
As for competitions, Daniel and Courtney both said the biggest thing is to keep trying. You don’t always win, and sometimes you fail big time, but it is good experience for the future.
And for training? All agreed that different things work for different people, but it is important to work your weaknesses, whether physical or mental, and set goals so you keep progressing. Core was one of the main topics of discussion, with Peter asking the group what the term “core” really refers to, and everyone giving opinions on what core is and how it helps your climbing. Daniel’s perspective in particular was helpful:
“Everyone has to develop a static core and a dynamic core. The static core is when you need to keep tension. The dynamic core is for when you’re swinging around, and cutting your feet. You need both.”
~ Daniel Woods
The evening ended with a discussion about the importance of warming up followed by a comparison of different types of shoes and a walk around the gym to try different techniques for footwork and falling. Lots of valuable info was flying around, and I wasn’t able to record all of it, so make sure you stay tuned for future clinics from the Spot. After all, as Daniel said, everyone can stand to improve their own climbing and no matter how hard you climb you never stop learning.
“Take apart every assumption you have about climbing and examine it.”
~ Peter Beal
About the Instructors:
Peter Beal is the author of the popular Mountains and Water blog and also Bouldering: Movement, Tactics, and Problem Solving which can be purchased from The Spot front desk or online.
Daniel Woods and his wife Courtney Sanders are professional rock climbers.
That’s right. Today! So what are you doing sitting around in front of the computer? Grab your climbing shoes and get on down to the Spot for the most fun you can have on a snowy day in Boulder. If you missed Thursday’s post, here’s a bit more about the comp and the schedule – Gladiator Finals on Saturday!!! The Setting has begun!. Read on for the top 10 reasons you should come to SBS 7’s Gladiator Finals at The Spot!
10. Snow. It snowed two nights ago. It snowed yesterday. It snowed last night. It’s supposed to snow today. It’s supposed to snow Monday. The high for the next 3 days is something like 29 degrees. It is time for indoor entertainment.
9. 42 new boulder problems! Jackie (that’s me), Jonny, Nic, Danny, Carlo, and Jay Jay set 10 problems for each category and two pro finals to boot! We were assisted with setting by Gabor Szekely as well as past Spot head setters (and current BRC setter) Seth Lytton and (current Movement setter) Jamie Emerson.
8. Pro forerunning! In addition to the setters and guest setters, forerunners included Daniel Woods and Paul Robinson! Paul and Daniel are both in town between jet setting around the world to take down and put up the hardest lines on the planet. Along with some friends, Daniel and Paul have recently formed a media company called “Welcome to the Hood“. In case you were wondering, Daniel foreran instead of competing because he had to fly out to Boston where he, alongside our own head setter Carlo, will be competing at the Dark Horse Comp . Paul has a pretty bad fingertip flapper so he’s not competing either. Don’t be dismayed though, when the big boys came to forerun they brought their guns along to make sure that the open problems are high quality and no walk in the park.
7. Free Avery Beer
6. Free Mix 1
5. Improved paddage. The Beach Pads got an overhaul for increased flatness. Yes, they are still uneven foam. Yes, it’s best to fall in a relaxed manner. But check out this smoothness!
4. We got some new holds! Our buddies over at new hold company Urban Plastix hooked it up with some of their new shapes. The urethane is the same high quality that E-grips and Teknik are made of and the shapes we got are a combination of basic goodness (a variety of wide pinches) and Brooklyn style (red brick crimps and the big brick hold featured in the photo below). We’ll write more on ‘em later, but if you want to check them out (and you know you do) get on Advanced 4 in the middle of the River Wall.
3. Did we mention the weather report?
2. Huge Raffle. For the last comp of the season we’re pulling out all the stops and giving away a TON of gear. Competitors and spectators get 1 raffle ticket for free, and additional tickets are only $2 a pop or 3 for $5. Not a bad deal when you could walk away with new climbing shoes, a new crashpad, a new wardrobe from Vertical Girl, or one of our other high value prizes.
1. IT’S A SPOT COMP!
Need we say more?
Doors open for the adult comp at 5. Finals start around 8:30. See you there!