Five Ten athlete Jon Cardwell and I made a quick trip to an amazing new facility in St. Louis, Missouri a few weeks ago. I had received a phone call from a friend of mine, David Chancellor, about coming out and helping get Climb So Ill up and running. Setting jobs like this are always enjoyable because I get to share and teach my skill to a younger generation of climbers. Jon is one of the best setters in the country in my opinion, and it is always a pleasure to work with someone who shares the same values of hard work and dedication to make something amazing.
Over the course of thee days we set 12 routes and 41 boulders. It was a lot of work but with the gym nearing completion, energy was high. Dave and his wife Jamie were gracious hosts, and in the limited free time we had we took a tour of some of the best sights St. Louis has to offer. Jon and I spent half and hour in the City Museum (which I highly recommend) trying to climb a "V12" out the underside of a whale, and Jon nearly did an incredible FA by mantling one of its flippers. It's easy for me to forget how open, friendly and hospitable the Midwest can be. Even though I left there years ago to pursue climbing in Colorado, it will always remain close to my heart. Coming back brings those feelings back strong.
Only on the last day did we get to climb, and after putting sick new holds on the wall all week, we were ready to throw down. Climb So Ill has an amazing and very simple training wall. It is 16ft by 16ft at 61 degrees. This is an incredible angle for training power and Jon and I and the rest of the crew had a great session on the wall. We put up a number of hard problems, highlighted by a V12 or V13 Jon did off of a horrendous pinch. It was a great way to end the trip and Jon and I hoped we left a very positive impression upon the boys in St. Louis.
There was talk of getting outside, talk of an incredible project in the woods, and talk of returning. A return trip is definite, to sample some of the outside climbing and if the weather is poor, the indoor climbing is just as good.