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Psychedelia Blacklight Costumes – What Glows and What Doesn’t? + 2013 Theme: Day of the Dead!

October 11, 2013 6 comments

One of the biggest questions people have about Psychedelia is: “What should I wear?”  With this post we hope to help you figure that out by sharing what we’ve learned over the years about black lights and reactive costumes and accessories. Below are some notes and products that we’ve found that work.

When you are searching, learn to look for popping fluorescent (not just neon) and the “hyper-white” which is the nearly fluorescent looking white color you will see in some clothing, feathers, and other costume parts. This white will often glow like gangbusters, where other whites will look dull or not glow at all. Many products will specify whether or not they are black light appropriate. Key words to look for are fluorescent and/or black light reactive and/or UV reactive.

Successful whites from costume contest winners Matt and Sandy Wilder, Jon Glassberg and Paige Claassen.

Successful whites from costume contest winners Siegfried and Roy and the white tigers, aka Matt and Sandy Wilder, Jon Glassberg and Paige Claassen.

If there is any question for glow, a portable black light flashlight is the safest way to check, or you can bring your item down to The Spot in the weeks before Psychedelia and check it out in our black light boxes. We use REAL black lights at The Spot, not just purple or UV lights, and anything claiming to react to real black light should shine like a champ.

A little black light flashlight can be used for testing. Between $6 and $15 on Amazon or at McGuckins.

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Whites

Whites!

Unfortunately many white fabrics, tapes, plastics, and other items will not glow as much as you might hope. Besides looking for the fluorescent hyper-white, here are some notes:

White clothing can go either way. Anything with a lot of white threads will often glow. Once you learn to see it, you can often tell from looking at the thread whether or not it will pop.

Some good whites here.

Some good whites here.

Screen-printed whites usually WON’T glow.

White embroidery usually WILL glow.

Cottons, especially 100% white or heathered cotton clothing, usually will glow. So will most spandex.

Bleach and bleached items will glow. There are types of laundry detergent that will cause fabric to glow or to glow better.

Glowing white cotton and lacy white shirts.

Other colored fabrics will sometimes glow very well if they have a white cotton thread base.

White thread t-shirt trim will often glow, so even if your shirt doesn’t glow your threads sometimes will.

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Fluorescent Fabric

EZ showing off his black light hairspray, face paint, and tights at Psychedelia 2007

Fluorescent fabric depends on the fabric. Fluorescent yellow is usually the brightest.

Fluorescent spandex will often glow really well.

Yep, from Target. Glow like crazy.

Cheap women’s fluorescent spandex undies from Target or similar stores will often look amazing and can be worn over tights for the short-shorts look.

Nice job girls!

Nice job girls!

Body suits work too.

Fluorescent spandex full-body suits work very well.

Fluorescent netting often looks like it should glow, but plastic-based usually won’t. Fabric/cotton based usually will.

The netting on her skirt and wings glows quite well.

It is extremely hard to tell which fluorescent fabrics will and won’t glow without the black light test.

You can get fluorescent thread to add detail to your costume. Available at Jo Anne’s and online. Glows really well.

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Accessories

Glowing wig, glowing glasses.

Wigs can go either way, depending on the base material.

Many types of white and fluorescent feather and fur will glow well.

Fluorescent poster boards glow very well and offer lots of costume options as they are cheap and easy to draw on and cut and tape together.

Cheap plastic fluorescent or black light reflective items will often glow very well and not break the bank.

We haven’t tried these, but they look like they’d be amazing! Furry black light reactive booties. Come in orange and green. Not good for climbing, but great for costumes!

These are cheap and glowed really well. Seemed to fit adult heads just fine unless you have a head bigger than size 7.5.

Notice the brightly glowing accessories here.

Notice the brightly glowing accessories here.

Creative uses for poster board. The year before these guys won the costume contest as a pair of giant highlighters.

A jet pack. Creative.

A jet pack. Very Creative.

Spray paint and body paint will glow if they say fluorescent. Check out Casey’s radioactive man!

Casey Bates went all-out in 2007 with body paint and hair spray

Fluorescence in paint, tape, clothes, plastic, fabric, make-up, hair gel, hair spray, fake eyelashes, nail polish…pretty much anything with actual fluorescent added to it will look amazing. Use a blacklight to check!

Awesome!

Awesome!

With body paint you can give the impression of floating bones, wings, or whatever else you want to paint on your body.

Highlighters glow and can be used to decorate skin (not sure if it’s recommended, but it works).

Laundry Detergent with any type of bleach or bleach substitute will usually glow and cause things painted or washed in it to glow.

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Light-Creating Accessories

Glow Sticks, Glow Jewelry, El Wire, and Christmas Lights

Glow sticks or jewelry of any type and small lights in reds, blues, greens, purples, pinks, and neon yellows are appropriate for Psychedelia. Clear or white lights are interruptive to your eyes at Psychedelia and so not appropriate. The little packages of glow sticks for $1 at Michael’s Art Stores don’t work very well, so are not recommended.

Glow Stick Costume

Blacklight balloons glow fairly well.

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El Wire

Popular for Burning Man, also awesome for Psychedelia and other black light events, electroluminescent wire is a thin, flexible string that glows like nobody’s business. The power pack is small and light so you can stick it to your body or clothing without too much disruption, then use the wire to make your costume fantastic!

The power pack is pretty small, and the ones they have at McGuckin can run several El Wires off one pack.

Available at McGuckin’s or online in various colors. McGuckin also has some light up flat strips that are pretty cool.

Or: Amazon.com: 9ft Lime Green Neon Glowing Electroluminescent Wire (El Wire) (Also available and fine for Psych in blue, neon orange, neon yellow, neon pink.)

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Glow in the Darks

Glow-in-the-dark items do not usually “pop” so they are not so good for Psychedelia. Known exceptions – glow in the dark spray paint (Krylon), glow in the dark chalk, glow stars and planets.

We used this glow spray paint to paint the knobs in the Dojo and it worked great. Probably not good to put on your skin, but it can be great for making costumes. They have it at McGuckin.

This glow paint also works well (not for your body) and is available at McGuckin.

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Gaffer’s Tape

Gaffer’s tape is a cotton cloth based tape that is normally used in stage and production work. The gaffer is the head of the lighting department on a film crew, and the lighting department uses this kind of tape to hang things and tape wires, cords, and cables. The tape is very strong and removes cleanly, unlike duct tape which often leaves residue. Some gyms use gaffer’s tape all the time, but we prefer regular duct tape for most of the year. For one reason, gaffer’s tape is generally 3-4x more expensive than duct tape per roll. A 2″ wide roll of gaffer’s fluorescent can cost $20 or more.

Fluorescent Gaffer Tape Art

Fluorescent Gaffer Tape Art

Because of the cotton-cloth base, many types of gaffer’s tape may offer some glow, but only the fluorescent colors (orange, pink, green, yellow) offer the real blacklight reactivity and “pop” we are looking for with Psychedelia. White doesn’t work as well as you might expect.

We use over 50 rolls of 1″ gaffer’s tape in these four colors to tag the problems and decorate the gym each year. Some companies will offer these fluorescent bases with additional patterns–camo, triangles, hearts, stars and moons, celtic knots, and more–which give some variety; however, we usually turn each problem into its own work of art, so the specific color/pattern of the base tape is not that important at Psychedelia as long as it glows.

More tape art 2012

More tape art 2012

Also important to note, some rolls of pink/orange and yellow/green will look the same in blacklight, but others will not. This is because sometimes a company will use, for example, orange fluorescence to make the orange rolls and the pink rolls glow. The colors look different in regular light, but in blacklight the color of fluorescence is what you see, so they will look the same. We’ve had the same company send us pinks that looked orange and pinks that looked pink, all in the same batch. You can check this roll by roll with a portable black light flashlight.

Awesome.

Awesome. In the direct center of this picture is a hanging tire covered in fluorescent gaffer’s tape. It really glows!

Gaffer’s tape rips more cleanly, easily, and evenly than duct tape. Because of this, gaffer’s is good to use for decoration as you can rip different widths of tape off the roll. You can also purchase rolls of varying width; local tape company Identi-tape has 1/4″, 1/2″, 1″, and 2″ options and can often do custom batches of bigger or smaller rolls with patterns on them. Perhaps you’ve seen the tape they made for E-Grips, The North Face, The Access Fund, or Atomik Holds. They also provided the 2″ Caution Cable tape we used for finals tape in 2012.

Gaffer’s can make some great costume additions, as you can make things like suspenders and leashes out of it by taping two pieces together, or by taping it around existing fabric, plastic, or whatever else you’ve got going on. It won’t work well when the fabric stretches, as the stretch will break the adhesive and the tape will come off.

Where to buy: you can order gaffer’s tape online from many retailers. We get ours from either Bron or Identi-Tape. You can order online from Identi-tape here:

IDENTI-TAPE – 1-inch Gaffer Tape (different widths available, we usually use 1″ and 1/2″)

IDENTI-TAPE – Camouflage (Camo) Tape

IDENTI-TAPE – Gaffer Symbols Tape (fancy gaffers, with symbols)

Only the fluorescents–pink, yellow, orange, green–will “pop” under the black light.

Identi-tape has other awesome tapes as well for hula-hoop decoration and other uses. Some of the hula-hoop tapes glow but they are not as flexible or sticky as gaffer’s so we can’t use them for wall decoration. They might work well for costumes. Identi-tape has a black light in store so they can check for you, or they can send samples. The ones we tested (all non-gaffers) that worked were:

IDENTI-TAPE – Colorful Holographic Sequin Tape (fluorescent colors)

IDENTI-TAPE – Colored Prismatic Tape (fluorescent green and yellow, don’t know about pink)

IDENTI-TAPE – Decorative Glitter (Sparkle) Tape (fluorescent green and yellow)

“Glow in the Dark” tapes usually aren’t that great for Psychedelia, as they glow dully in the black light.

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Other things to consider

It is fairly dark at Psychedelia and there are many people. Make sure your costume doesn’t drag on the ground and there aren’t lots of protruding parts to snag on holds or poke other people. Also, if you do paint your hands only paint the backs to avoid making the holds dirty or slippery.

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Click here to check out the Psychedelia 2012 Photo Gallery for more inspiration!

So that’s it! Now you know how to make a costume that glows. What will you do? Well, for starters, our 2013 Psychedelia theme is…

The Day of the Dead!

day-of-the-dead-mask-16284-1680x1050

This theme gives you tons of room to be creative, as one of the main parts of the Day of the Dead costume is the white (make sure to get glowing white!) skull mask. Beyond that, anything goes!

DOTD Pirates!

DOTD Pirate!

day-of-the-dead-cat-pristine-cartera-turkus

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So there’s the theme, there are the tips, run with it! We’re excited to see what everyone comes up with!!!

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Hueco Update! + 2013’s lookin’ buff!

December 31, 2012 1 comment
The view from North Mountain at Hueco!

The view from North Mountain at Hueco!

Well, I’m still in Hueco. Namesake of our Hueco boulder. The weather has been pretty good, sometimes sunny, sometimes windy, sometimes overcast, and lately quite cold!

Back in Boulder, Danny, Jonny, Jay Jay, Connor, and sometimes Ian and Jon are still keeping things fresh for everyone at The Spot while I’m gone. In fact, I heard Santa even stopped over on Christmas and set some extra routes!

For those who are interested, here are some pictures of my trip so far:

Sweet hold on South Mountain. Mammoth rubbing???

Sweet hold on South Mountain. Mammoth rubbing???

Trailer lyfe. Not a bad view.

Trailer lyfe. Not a bad view.

Visiting Japanese climber Yuiko sending her first V5 with the classic Dragonfly. She went on the same day to send her first V7, Ides of March, also in a couple of tries, and to nearly flash Mangum (V9). Not a bad day!

Visiting Japanese climber Yuiko sending her first V5 with the classic Dragonfly. She went on the same day to send her first V7, Ides of March, also in a couple of tries, and to nearly flash Mangum (V9). Not a bad day!

Yuiko's husband Yuta flashing Mangum (V9)

Yuiko’s husband Yuta flashing Mangum (V9) via the lock-off-every-move method.

Chris on a last call attempt of the new line The Owl Charmer on East Mountain

Chris on a last call attempt to top out the new line The Owl Charmer on East Mountain. 

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I’ve spent some rest days taking showers, Internet-ting, and generally hanging out with my friends Rocco and Mary at the Hueco Hacienda.

Christmas at The Hacienda

Christmas at The Hacienda

The Hacienda is a sweet old adobe that used to be a religious retreat, meaning it has some amazing wooden front doors and lots of heavy woodwork. Inside it’s fairly well restored and Rocco and Mary are constantly working to make it even awesomer. One of the updates is new headboards for the beds that Rocco built. For the headboards our artist friend Nikias has been woodburning each mountain into an oval, then Rocco stains the outside of the board. Here are a few pictures of the process:

Nikias hard at work.

Nikias hard at work.

Woodburning done.

Woodburning done.

One of the new Hueco Hacienda headboards. Woodburning by Nikias.

Stain part 1. A nearly finished product.

If you are thinking of coming down to Hueco, there are a few steps you’ll need to take. First of all, you should have a place to stay. You can camp at the Hueco Rock Ranch or at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site. You can also stay inside at the Rock Ranch and at The Hacienda. For climbing you’ll need to have North Mountain Reservations or tours scheduled. Learn more at these links:

Hueco Rock Ranch – American Alpine Club (camping, house stays, tours, pads)

Wagon Wheel Coopt – Welcome (request commercial tours)

PARK ACCESS – The Hueco Hacienda (tours, rental pads, chalk, tape, brushes, links, phone numbers, and other info)

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And finally…

Found this on Facebook. Don't forget to train your babies!

Found this on Facebook. The photo looks old, but it’s definitely Baby 2013, clearly he has been in training to be a strong year! Time to crush!

Happy New Years Everyone!

Quick Update + G Strings + Hold Review Update

December 15, 2012 Leave a comment

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Okay, so I am in Hueco, and have been since last week. Danny is steering the boat while I am here. I’ll try to keep setting updates coming though.

I’m also working on a review of the new G-String climbing trainers. These things are a new take on the Rock Ring and so far I think they’re really cool. I brought a set down to Hueco with me and we’re trying them out at The American Alpine Club’s Hueco Rock Ranch. I will report back but so far I think they look good, feel good on the hands and in the grip positions, and would make an excellent holiday gift for the climbers in your life. Check the site here – G Strings Climbing Trainers

Also on the docket, but probably not to be realized until I’m back in Boulder, are the reviews for Prinz and Orogen. We’ve set with both companies’ sets a couple of times now and so far we like most of the shapes. More on that next month.

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Setting Update + Mini-Comp + 2 Years, and what has changed?

December 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Setting Update

As you know, we had the Highballs & Highlines comp last week. That means this week was the first part of the reset. We got problems up on the Dojo, Full Hueco, Full River, and Full Font. Next week, the Beach!

Mini Comp

Things were a little different than normal because we ran a mock-onsight comp for our Comp Team to get them ready for Regionals this weekend in Fort Collins. We closed off the Dojo and Back Hueco and set 4 sets of 3 boulders of ascending difficulty. Each set had the first problem on the Right Dojo or in the cave, the 2nd problem on the Back Hueco Scoop, and the 3rd problem on the Left Dojo Belly.

The format is 4 minutes on, 30 sec transition, 4 minutes rest, 30 sec transition, 4 minutes on, etc…  If you finish the problem you get to rest the remainder of that 4 minute climbing period + your 4 minute rest period before climbing again. Tries count, so you want to onsight. If you’d like to check them out, here are the sets:

Set 1

Female Jr/Male Youth A (16-17) – Purple Tape

Prob 1  Right Dojo arete, compression, 4+

Prob 2  Starts on right side of back scoop on two purple e-grips scoops, moves up and left through scoop, finishes by downclimb. 4+

Prob 3  Starts on left side of Left Dojo Belly, big moves up thin crimps, 5-

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Set 2

Female Youth B (14-15) – Blue tape

Prob 1  Right Dojo by Yosemite Wall 4/-

Prob 2  Back Hueco Scoop, starts on yellow sloper on left side and moves up and right. (This problem was also used for Youth C) 4-

Prob 3  Left Dojo starts on right side, moves left through good holds and straight up. 4

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Set 3

Female Youth C/Male Youth C (12-13) – Orange Tape (and blue for prob 2)

Prob 1  Starts left side of Dojo Cave, climbs straight out. 4

Prob 2  Shared with FYB Prob 2 – Yellow sloper on left side of Back Hueco Scoop, climbs up and right, blue tape. 4-

Prob 3  Starts on large red rail on left side of Left Dojo, climbs up through pinches. Orange 4+

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Set 4

Youth D (11 and under) – White Tape

Prob 1  Starts back right Dojo Cave, climbs straight out to lip. 3+

Prob 2  Starts Left side of Back Hueco Scoop, climbs up and right. 4-

Prob 3  Starts left arete of Left Dojo Belly, climbs out face, then back up and left. 4/+

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2 Years…

At lunch yesterday Jonny, Connor, Jon, and I decided to take a shot like the shot for the Colorado Daily that our friend, photographer Greg Mionske took a few years ago. When I got home I found the old shot and realized they were taken almost exactly two years apart. We are more-or-less the same…Jon looks older and he and I are both wearing updated Sportiva Hoodies from the old ones we were wearing in the original. Connor and Jonny both seem to be wearing the same pants and Jonny perhaps the same jacket as well. Connor’s got a little bit more of a beard. Overall though, as Jon said, “What are we doing with our lives?!”

BenchShotsoldandnew

Highballs & Highlines More Pictures!

December 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Prelim results here: ‎Youth Results  ‎Adult Results

Matty Hong sticking the swing to flash the final.

Matty Hong sticking the swing to flash the final.

Rob D about to hold the swing that would win him the comp.

Rob D about to hold the swing that would win him the comp.

Matty pressing into the corner before the jump to the volume.

Matty pressing into the corner before the jump to the volume.  Photo by Ryan Nadlonek.

Megan Mascarenas almost sticking the long move in the middle of the Women's Final.  Photo by Alton Richardson.

Megan Mascarenas almost sticking the long move in the middle of the Women’s Final. Photo by Ryan Nadlonek

Rob D mid-flash by Alton Richardson.

Rob D mid-flash by Ryan Nadlonek

Matty holding the swing from another angle.  By Ryan Nadlonek.

Matty holding the swing from another angle. By Ryan Nadlonek.

 

Isabelle Goodacre on the Women's final

Isabelle Goodacre staring down the long move on the Women’s final.

Matt Lubar in his second SBS Final!

Matt Lubar in his second SBS Final!

The Spot Gym Highlines Highballs 2012 SBS 8

 

Matty Hong climbing O10

Matty Hong climbing O10

 

Michael O'Rourke on O7

Michael O’Rourke on O7

O1

O1

More photos on The Spot Facebook! (click the link in the right sidebar).

 

Highlines & Highballs Open Final Result – UPDATED

December 1, 2012 1 comment
Rob D flashing the Open Final by Keith North

Rob D flashing the Open Final by Keith North

The top 7 Men and 7 Women from the Adult and Junior sessions of the comp were invited to compete in the Open Finals. The problems were on the Beach, Women’s on the left, Men’s on the right.

Men’s

The Men’s Final was a short powerful climb on the right side of the Beach. The start was a balance move off a sloper, followed by a stand-up/jump to a pinch made of two slopers on a small triangle volume. From there climbers moved out right to their choice of a dream pocket and two huge slopers. There was a foot bicycle to help them wrangle the holds until their left hand was in the dream pocket (Final competitor Rob D’Anastasio actually ended up doing a fantastic rose move into the dream pocket!) Next a big move to a wide sloper pinch, a high foot and flag, and another fatty pinch and flat gaston. From there it was a foot switch and high right foot  and then a press into a sloper in the slight roof. Just around the corner above the lip was another volume with a sloper and a slopey ball on it. Competitors could either jump out of the press or reach around slowly and then jump to establish on the volume. Either way they took a massive nearly-horizonal swing, then had one more relatively easy move to a finish bucket.

The bottom moves gave many of the competitors trouble. Michael O’Rourke flashed through them, but after falling high up he fell several times before sticking the volume pinch again. On his last go he stuck it, then climbed through the problem and nearly finished it, falling on the final volume after swinging way out and coming off. It was a fantastic effort and earned him 3rd place. Matty Hong came out, 2nd place qualifier, and flashed the problem, sticking the horizontal swing as the crowd went absolutely crazy. This put a ton of pressure on 1st place qualifier Rob D’Anastasio, who knew he’d have to flash the problem to win. Rob handled the pressure well though, giving a great effort that involved the rose move at the bottom and sticking the top swing when everyone was sure he was off. I think his body literally went above his hand and somehow he managed not to let go. The crowd went crazy again and Rob maintained his first place.

1. Rob D

2. Matty Hong

3. Michael O’Rourke

4. Ben Hoberg (won our last 2 comps, was just under Michael O’Rourke’s highpoint here)

5. Matt Lubar (got to the press but didn’t get to the volume)

6. Remi Arata (got to hold 7 on his 1st try, then struggled)

7. Greig Seitz (struggled with the bottom, got to hold 7 on his 7th try)

Women’s

The Women’s Final was a long technical climb with some powerful moves in the middle and end. All the competitors struggled with the techy bottom section, then made their way through some thin crimps to a sloping pinch, then fell trying to stick a long move to an e-grips comfy crimp ear. Several competitors nearly stuck the move, but all-in-all it was stopper, and final rankings came down to attempts-to-highpoint. Here are the Women’s final results:

1. Nina Williams  9-  1st go  (2nd place qualifier. Nina got back on the stopper move just after finals and got through it by using a heelhook, then climbed to the top.)

2. Isabelle Goodacre  9- 2nd try (4th place qualifier)

3. Megan Mascarenas  9-   3rd try  (Megan was the closest to sticking the move, but as she did not control the hold she got the same score as the others who also grabbed but did not control it. After the raffle she got back on at the start and easily climbed the problem. Megan was the 1st place qualifier, and climbed O7 and down in the regular comp.)

4. Margo Hayes  9-  4th try (5th place qualifier)

5. Tiffany Hensley  9-  5th try (3rd place qualifier)

6. Laurel Todd  9-  6th try (6th place qualifier. Laurel fell on the opening moves 5 times and it looked like she wouldn’t get through them, but then she magically managed and climbed quite a ways further.)

7. Tika Anderson 3- (7th place qualifier. Tika got pretty stuck on the tricky opening moves, where everyone fell at least once and many several times. She nearly stuck the crimp but her foot kept slipping at the last second.)

Full preliminary results will be up soon at http://www.thespotgym.com. No pictures yet, will post some when we get ’em. Thanks for coming out, and nice job everyone!

Quick Update – Highballs & Highlines Comp This Weekend! + Reset Schedule + Hold Sale Ending Tonight!

November 29, 2012 Leave a comment

2011 – He didn’t land it, but it was a good effort!

If you’ve been in the gym at all you’ll know that we’ve already started setting for the SBS 8 Highballs & Highlines comp. This comp will be Saturday, and so far we’re really excited about the problems. Also, the highline slacklining is really sweet to watch, and as usual we have food, drinks, beer, a DJ, a gigantic sweet raffle, Pro Finals, etc… Hope to see you there!

Pre-register and breeze through on comp day! – SBS 8 Registration

This means that The Spot will be closed tomorrow for setting. Spot members can climb for free at the BRC tomorrow and Saturday (during the comp).

Sunday The Spot is open as usual.

Monday we will begin the reset, but we are resetting differently than usual. We will be running a mini onsight- style comp for our Youth Team and some of Team ABC. This onsight-style comp will help our kids get ready for Regionals the following weekend. We will be setting the mock comp on the Dojo and Back Hueco, meaning there will be new problems there Monday night, but they will be closed off to public climbing until probably 7 or 8pm (after the mini comp is over).

Tuesday and Wednesday we will set as well, and we should have fill on most of the walls by Wednesday 4pm-ish. We will probably do River/Font on Tues and Front Hueco and/or Beach on Wednesday.

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Also, last chance on our used holds sale. We are selling them through 11pm tonight at $1 off current listed price. If they cost $1 they will now cost .50 cents. If you want ’em, come get them before they’re gone!

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