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Loving the “Spot”

Personally, the Spot is one of the best climbing gyms I have ever climbed in. Five years ago, I moved to Colorado to be closer to the outdoors, climbing specifically. My first week in Boulder, I had to check out the Spot Bouldering Gym. I had heard it was pretty much the best bouldering gym in the U.S. Not being a huge gym junkie, I walked through the doors for the first time and about crapped myself. The climbing gyms in San Diego California were ok, but nothing like the gyms up north in San Francisco or even L.A. Still, “The Spot” is a place where I have met so many insanely strong climbers.
I remember my first session very well, it went like this, I was working on what I thought was something fairly hard, when some older guy came up and asked if he could try. Of course he flashed what I was falling on and said thanks for “letting” him try the problem. Better yet, I some how ended up bouldering with a group of women one night. Not knowing who they were, I thought I would be able to keep up. Wrong, as it turned out, I ended up bouldering with some of the strongest women in the world. On any given day, you can stroll into the Spot and see a list of names that usually are in some climbing publication like Rock and Ice, Climbing Magazine or Urban Climber.
Coming to Boulder Colorado as a mid range climber can be a bit intimidating. Given some time and being pushed to get stronger, climb harder and just plain being motivated by world class climbers has increased my love for the sport and the “Spot”. When I came to Colorado five years ago, I was bouldering V10. Living in an area with so many talented climbers, I never considered myself a great climber. Now, being in my 40’s, I have done multiple V12’s and it is all because I have met and climbed with some of the nicest, most humble and strongest climbers in the world. To top it off, I met all of them at the “Spot”.
When I lived in San Diego, I mostly rope climbed. I used to frequent Joshua tree, Yosemite, and other smaller areas. I put myself through school full time and worked full time. That didn’t leave me much time to stay in shape, so I started bouldering more. Next thing I knew, I was only bouldering. There weren’t that many boulderers that were motivated to get strong at that time in San Diego. The gym I climbed at was mostly a route climbing gym, but they did have a couple of small boulders. The routes on the boulders were awful and I asked if I could set since all I did was boulder. Next thing I knew, I was their only setter for the boulders and I loved it. People enjoyed my problems and I started to get stronger.
A couple years later I moved to Colorado and thought it would be kind of cool to set again at some point. The setting crew at the “Spot” are serious about what they do. The comps that the “Spot” puts on are some of the funnest comps I have ever seen and climbed in. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of getting to know some of the setters and have built great relationships with them. They are all by far some of the nicest, strongest people I have ever met. I had always hoped that one day I could be a part of such a great crew and now I am. I am now setting at the “Spot” a couple days a week and am learning a lot. Some of the setters have been doing it for years and for very large comps like the World Cup. I believe with my 15 years of climbing experience that I will be able to set fun, challenging problems for people like myself who walk into the “Spot” for their first time.

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