I’ve just returned from the Nor’easter event in the picturesque New England town of Lincoln, New Hampshire and am getting ready for a lot of time on the road this fall. The Nor’easter competition was the finale event of the UBC tour and the fourth time in 2010 I’ve traveled with the USA Climbing Comp Wall. >We’re getting better and better at putting this monstrosity up, running a comp, and taking it down and though I can’t really say the process is light and fast, it’s getting there.
There were only two rounds of competition with only 3 finals or each gender, so it wasn’t too challenging with a large crew. I brought a couple hundred of my own competition holds to spice up the routesetting, and I think it helped. We had a well-rounded qualifier with 6 boulders for each gender and a nice result – all 12 problems completed and no ties. Finals also went smoothly, and it was awesome to see Ethan back in form winning for them men, and A.J. on top as well, representing 5.10 in good form! It’s always fun to set for these professional level comps throughout the country because after many years now, I know nearly all of the competitors as friends, and it’s great to see them fight together on the problems we create.
After the Nor’easter, it has been good to get back home for a week, and when I’m not on the road, I’m usually climbing in CATS gym where we obsess about new moves and indulge in ludicrous debates about which climbing holds are suitable for introduction into the infinite world of shapes on the wall. In the gym it feels more accepted that everything we’re doing is just for fun, so passionately debating the “merit” of one climbing move versus another is an amusing alternative to other more typical deliberations about grades or climbing personalities. Of late, the in-fashion move to find in CATS is the “foot hug,” and the new Anasazi Arrowheads I just got have been enjoying it.
I recently received the Arrowhead’s to test out and have been really psyched on the fit and very impressed with the balance of how they grab on the steep walls while having good sensitivity. I have wide feet and typically have trouble finding a snug heel, but these boots are doing really well. Of course, that is no surprise, being that they are 5.10s. They are flexible enough to fit comfortably but grab the heel nicely, and the subtle downturn is an added bonus.
Now I’m off to Canada for a routesetting clinic up in Alberta where I am excited to see many old friends and meet some new ones, and then I’ll be doing a workshop at a very cool event, the Banff Coaches Conference. The focus is on providing professional development for climbing coaches, this year with a theme of Long-Term Athletic Development. This type of event is much needed in the broader climbing universe, as more young climbers get involved in the sport at a high level, and I am really excited to be a part of it and hope to do more things like this in the future. From Banff I head to Seattle for another private routesetting clinic at a great gym in the Northwest, Stone Gardens, and then back home to Boulder.