"Out in New England this past week, shooting an indoor climbing video with Big Up Productions, at a cool gym called Central Rock. I was the routesetter for the shoot and PRob was a main featured climber, along with a few other young strong athletes from the east coast - Dave Wetmore, Vasya Vorotnikov, Josh Larsen, Francesca Metcalf, Sasha Digiulian, and a young phenom, Ashima Shiraishi.
The idea for me was specifically to highlight the climbers’ particular strengths and be able to demonstrate the creative process of routesetting in that context. I had the opportunity to set with superb holds from e-Grips and Teknik, the two handhold sponsors for the video that are both awesome brands I am proud to work with. It was a unique production, with similar constraints of a major climbing competition, but I also had some freedom to come up with interesting moves without the pressure of having to make them the “perfect” grade or divide competitors by difficulty.
For the crew of climbers I was setting for, it meant putting up a 5.14 and a couple 5.13s in one day and about a boulder in each grade from V3 to V13 in a few hours over the course of the shoot. It was a pleasure to set for these guys and it’s always fun to watch climbers execute your vision.
8 year-old Ashima, is an amazing young talent to watch climb, like a little ninjafly. She’s only about four feet tall, so it takes a lot more smaller holds, closer together, to build a good route for her. Though the moves have to be about 3 times bigger and 3 times more difficult for a climber like Paul than Ashima, setting to onsight limit with Paul in mind is probably a bit easier because he and I climb a lot in CATS and I have a good idea of his power and technical ability.
Maybe the most defining characteristic about Paul’s climbing is his ability not simply to reach far and hold horrible grips, but to keep his feet on when he does, often at full extension, and that requires enormous core tension and incredible timing. “Core precision,” you might call it… I’m always impressed by that.
photo courtesy of Adam Roy
Anyhow, we had a good day doing video stuff with the climbs in the gym and then went out to Lincoln Woods for a couple hours the next day. In a few tries, Paul easily dispatched a boulder made of real rock – the Chelsea Smile – that couldn’t have been set to be more in his style. He may have spent a total of 20 seconds actually on the rock… nice work Paul! It was an incredible New England day to be outside, and I had fun getting on some moderates myself.
The only downside of the trip was a side window of my rental car getting mysteriously shattered while parked in a gym lot, though e-Grips route tape came in very handy to keep the window from completely blowing out when Paul and I headed at high speed to the airport."