Setting For The Best and Climbing With The Best: An Infinitely Complex World Seen From Both Sides of The Wall
Over the past two months, I have had the opportunity to participate as both a route setter and competitor in the Unified Bouldering Championships Pro Tour. This professional climbing series—serving as one of the largest media platforms for competitive climbing and unparalleled production value in North America—has armed me with two powerful tools: perspective and humility.
Each learning experience, one with a wrench at the Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City and the other with my chalk bag and shoes at the Nor’ Easter in New Hampshire, represents a unique angle on this crazy game some of us love to play. For the setter, it’s an educated game of chance based on a vague science that is no more exact than a preconceived gamble. And for the competitor, it’s an opportunity to perform; an unpredictable and constantly evolving stage that can boast your greatest strengths one second while quickly exposing your ugliest weaknesses the next.
At the very least, I have come away with a few conclusions from each competition that may help others in their next event, whether it be setting or competing. And since I have you here for a few more minutes, let me quickly explain that this is not a guide to Internationally Glorified God-Level Wrench Turning Genius or a Super Duper Double Secret Slammer-Jammer Plan structured to beat Daniel Woods at the next comp. Ladies and gents, it’s just a few things I thought were important to walk away with in my back pocket for next time.