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Battle in The Bubble – Climb-It Finals – Setting Women’s 2

Kevin trying out some weird beta for Women's Final 2

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.

A blank slate - Women's Final 2 will go up the left corner

No pads, no holds, but nice 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:

What now Kevin?

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.

Kevin sizing up the dyno potential

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.

The dyno looks impossible, so Kevin turns his attention back to the hold he should be going for--the next in sequence.

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:

Gavin trying the roof push version

Then an Asana pad showed up, and we were extremely psyched to test it out:

Kevin about to jump. The Women's problem on the left is in another middle stage.

More to come!!!

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