For the past three years around April the climbing gym of Grand Junction decides to throw a competition to help out a climber's coalition for the surrounding areas. In general we call it Desert Ruckus... but for some reason this year the thought of Desert Ruckus did not sit well with me. It lacked (how do you say) flare! Sitting in my thinking spot (an abnormally large couch) I began to ponder names... Then out of the abyss an idea sparked into existence... the perfect themed comp. with the perfect name came to mind. "EUREKA!" I exclaimed in my enthusiasm, "The comp. will be a black light comp. and we shall call it the Rock Out Black Out!"-- (if anyone is like me they like to turn everything in an acronym) and thus the R.O.B.O. comp. born. As if from an ethereal dream I had found a gold mine... however; my enthusiasm was curbed when the owner looked at me and said, "That's retarded... no." Slightly downed; I decided to take a lesson from Roman History and pleaded my case to the people (this basically was me running around the gym shouting, "R.O.B.O. Comp!" like a madman. Much to the dismay of the owner people embraced the idea quite nicely.
ROBO Comps - Benjamin Rueck
After the initial excitement wore off, I realized something... I had just made more work for myself-- not only did I just make it so that the route setters of the gym have yet another comp. to set for; none of us had any clue how to pull off a black-light competition. In a twist of fate I just opened a pandora's box and now faced the consequences. Granted; I thought, "How much work can it be...?" Turns out... a lot.
As the preceding days began to pass we began to slowly research what was needed to crank out a black light comp. (and by we I mean Grand Junction Climbing Center). Pretty soon the climbing community sparked more interest and what was going to be a daunting task of stripping, taping, and painting was taken over by slave labor... I mean volunteers. Holds painted (which I will admit-- some people have a creative side that I never knew before) attitudes psyched we began the endeavor of setting.
The goal was 80 boulder problems ranging from V0 to V12... spread out between 5 or 6 setters this seemed like not too terrible of a plan. What I forgot to remember was that setting requires not only quite a bit of time... but also a lot of stamina-- my personal style is to make sure each move is possible from the preceding move-- then I get sucked into the problem and climb trying to link it... it's dumb I know... but what can you do?
I'm excited to see the turn out, due to the fact that there are 80 new boulder problems... and I have had the fortunate opportunity to run a shoe demo during the competition Ah Yeah! It'll be a rockin' (pun) good time!