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UBC in NYC!! OMG!!!

In case you’ve been living under a rock and hadn’t heard, the second stop on the Unified Bouldering Championships Pro Tour took place in our lovely metropolis a few weeks ago.  This marked the first professional climbing comp in NYC, with finals happening in Central Park.  Vasya Vorotnikov and Angie Payne came out on top winning a bunch o’ cash and the chance to flex their muscles in front of thousands of screaming people, many of whom were probably climbing virgins.  Great job Angie and Vasya!


For me, this was the biggest event I’ve been able to set at, and it was  a ton of fun working with the setting team.  The crew consisted of myself, Max Zolotukhin, Dave Wetmore, Jeremy Hardin, and Chief Setter Chris Danielson.  Chris and Jeremy have been setting events like this for a while now, and both amazed me with their abilities.  Chris has some ninja-like skills with a wrench and blew me away with his knowledge of the field of competitors, and basically all things setting related.  He and Jeremy have even mastered the one-leg ladder climb.  Yep, Chris managed to match the ninth rung…kinda blew my mind.

Photo Credit: Dave Wetmore (


Our job for the week was to set the qualifiers and semifinals climbs at the Cliffs at Valhalla.  With the help of gym locals Paul Jung and Kary Williams we busted out all the climbs in two days, leaving the third day to set up, forerun, and do some final tweaks.


Photo Credit: Dave Wetmore (


Photo Credit: Dave Wetmore (


After semifinals on Friday we shuffled on down to Central Park to tweak the finals climbs.  Due to the limited time to actually work in the park, the finals climbs were set a few months prior in a warehouse in Colorado.  They were then taken down, the wall was dismantled, everything was shipped to NYC, and finally the walls were put back up and the problems reset (by Mr. Kyle McCabe, bamf and workhorse extraordinaire).  We spent Friday night tweaking the climbs to account for the field of competitors and, more importantly, the hot weather.  We finished up by 3 a.m. and got ready for the big show the next day.




The Eastern Mountain Sports Pro rocks Central Park 2011 from NE2C on Vimeo.



All in all the finals went pretty damn well.  Comp climbing finally got a bigger venue, a bunch of people who knew nothing about climbing got super-psyched watching some mutants pull down, and Vasya got to do a one-arm in front of thousands of people.  My favorite moment of the day was the crowd’s collective gasp when Mauricio Huerta first did the 360 campus move on Men’s #3; it was great to hear all the non-climbers having their minds blown!


For further recap, check out these sick videos put together from our friends over at Louder Than 11



Unified Bouldering Championships EMS PRO Men’s Semi-Finals from Louder Than 11 on Vimeo.




Unified Bouldering Championships EMS PRO Women’s Semi-Finals from Louder Than 11 on Vimeo.



-Jeremy “JB” Bini

France is Haute

Perhaps you’ve seen me climbing around the gym the odd night or two during the week. I’m usually the one keeping to myself quietly and trying to lap as many of the hardest problems during the night. I’m Brian Kim and I am a climber/architecture student. I’ll be running a blog series this summer covering my exploits throughout Europe. Right now I’m in the Haute-Savoie (Southern Alps) region of France for one week with my friend David who has come to visit family in France. This week is all about climbing before I have to head back to London for a summer study program.


We initially had a good plan for the week, but it’s not going as anticipated. We had our hopes set on climbing some beautiful alpine routes in the Chamonix region but it looks like this isn’t going to happen due to poor weather. I flew into Lyon from London on Monday morning and went straight to the crag of Brison-St-Innocent near the town of Aix les Bains (I was pretty eager to get onto some rock after travelling around for 2 days). It was a beautiful location above Lake Bourget and was a great opportunity to stretch out and climb some moderate routes. Unfortunately, I started feeling tired and dehydrated after only 3 routes and felt the onset of jet-lag. Even so, it was still nice to be outside, climbing in the sun, in France!


Classic 6b at Brison-St-Innocent. Photo by


Things took a turn for the worst for me that night when I was treated to a french dinner experience by David’s mom. This included fresh foie gras, meat pies, salad, pudding, wine and champagne. The food was amazing, but I wasn’t used to the richness of it all. Things just didn’t combine well and I spent the night by the toilette in agony.

Foie Gras
Headache, nauseous, weak.

The weather the next day showed itself to be particularly good. Still feeling weak and nauseous from my long night, I really just wanted to sleep, rest and recover but I couldn’t let the day be wasted (especially since the forecast for the rest of the week looked bleak for the area we are in). Next, I somehow ended up in Chamonix on a cable car which flew to the top of the Midi at ~12,500 ft where I really felt like crap. This week was turning out to be awesome!


Climbers nearing the top of the Midi. Photo by
The Grepon. Photo by

I’m feeling better at this point and there’s still a few days I have in the area. Tomorrow we’ll be cragging near Lake Annecy. Weather is poor in this area for the next few days, so we’re going to head down south to the Verdon Gorge. We’ll then come back and do some local cragging again before we drive to Paris for the weekend. Not the best start to a trip, but things can’t get much worse from here right?…





OMG Shralping the Gneiss Gnar!

So on Tuesday March 1st  I come into the gym, and then the dudes (Mark, Jeremy) are all  “Yo’s dude, we think we shralp outside tomorrow, you are coming, so you best be psyched!”  And I’m all thinking, dang this is quite dope, but alas t’is my lovely lady’s birthday, and I am ill prepared for the journey to most delicious gneiss boulders.

After a wonderful dinner and such things, I wake up the following day and rumble off to meet up with Jeremy, Mark, and the illustrious Eric.  Perhaps the most punctual of boulderers,  we all rendezvoused within 2 minutes of each other  at the prescribed time (9:30am in case you had the thoughts of wonder).  Complete aside, but the great hall at Grand Central Terminal is one of my favorite places in Manhattan, and I would encourage you to check it out if you’ve never been there.  I digress.  So the dudes and I are riding up on the train and it is becoming more and more apparent that my footwear is going to be horribly inappropriate for the day, as the snow becomes thicker and thicker the farther north we progress.  Too bad I have 8 years of experience climbing at The Pond and low and behold forgot to mention to everyone how snowy it can be there in March.  Yops.

Anywho, we were greeted by much snow, and only Eric had boots, and Jeremy was using some innovative technology to keep his feet warm and dry (plastic bags he wrapped his feet in).  At the very least the Moby area was dry and we were able to climb around on a few warm ups, and tear it up on Moby Stand, and Assis, V4 and V6 respectively.  Quite a nice boulder problem.  After hucking some number of laps of which I cannot recall on Moby, we walked around the back of the boulder to Catharsis.  Catharsis is an incredibly dope, albeit short problem.  Fantastic rock, holds and movement yield one of the lines that I use as a benchmark for the V9 grade.

Mark and I had done the line previously, but I enjoy it greatly and repeated it a few times.  Eric and Jeremy were very close to sending, and had some excellent goes.  I foresee them crushing it in the future.  Further attempts to boulder were stymied by the volume of snow, and the increasing chill of our feet.  After trundling about for some 20 minutes trying to get to the next boulders, sometimes punching through the snow up to our hip, we decided it was probably best to hike out and shralp another day.  Which we shall do.

~Garrett “Slowchacho” Koeppicus

Eric slip, slap, sloppin up the slopes of Moby.
GK pulling down on his favorite type of hold: Le Pinch.
Jeremy busting out the the opening move of Catharsis, pzzzzzaaaak!

Day 3, Hunger

Thankfully I felt much better waking up this morning and Mrs. Bini’s delicious chocolate pumpkin bread really helped. Jeremy and I, both feeling well rested, arrived at the gym around 10 and got to work. We stripped the rest of the bouldering wall. You should see the gyn now, it’s such a mess.

After making the mess, todays mission for me was to set one of the 12 to 14 boys final problems. I took my time, but i’m really happy with how it turned out and I think the kids will really enjoy it.

We can’t give away the problem so heres a half picture of it and the mess.

So now you’re curious why the post is entitled the hunger, about an hour into setting the boys problem I started to get really hungry and Jeremy refused to get lunch. Fast forward an hour we finally left for the BBQ place next store and it’s closed. In the end we had to order food and wait another 45 mins. I nearly died. However I did have my first real Philly Cheese Steak!

After that epic we had an major fore-running session. We climbed lots of things including the hardest mens problem. Another problem which has to be perfect; after a few tweaks we made it happen.

Jeremy making sugestions.

We still have the BKB holds ready to set finals with, and Jeremy’s getting really excited.

Check back for day 4 tmr.


Second 2011 Attack on Hueco Tanks. BOOM

After my first trip to Hueco Tanks this season, I felt I had some unfinished business.  The second trip was all about non-stop climbing.  Me and my good friend Mike Fienberg only had 4 days to get in our takedown.  So we decided that we would not take a rest day and see what we could do.  On my last trip I tried to do the problem The Full Monty, but was not able to fully figure out the crux move.  The  move involves a very hard left hand through to a  half pad gastone.  I was only able to do the move a couple times on my first 2 sessions working the problem.  After trying the Full Monty my first day of the 4 day siege and feeling pretty horrible on it,  I knew I would only have one more chance.The Full Monty V12 Hueco Tanks Texas

On my last day of the 4 day trip I made it back to the area they call the Gunks in Hueco Tanks State Park, where the Full Monty is located.  I would only have a short period of time to do the climbing seeing as how it is blazing in the sun for most of the day and once the sun is off it there is only an hour or so til the park closes and we would have to hike out.  I had a couple good goes but was not putting it together.  I took a long break and walk to the top of another boulder and laid in the sun.  After my break I got real focused and in was able to bang it out not 10 minutes before we had to hike out.  For me doing this boulder problem was a milestone.  I have dreamed of climbing this hard since I started climbing 7 years ago.  I cannot express in words the level of psych that I felt topping out the boulder.

Once the climb was completed it was celebration time.

I woke up the next morning, went to the airport and upgraded to first class for the trip home.

And as always a special thanks to V-Line Climbing and Evolv for the gear

Day 2, The Sickness

Day 2 at the PRG was a rough one for me. I woke up feeling really sick,  it stayed with me all day. However I did set a few problems and had a short fore-running session.

The highlight of day 2 was setting the hardest finals problem for the 11 and under girls and boys (Ashima status). Setting a problem for a smaller person isn’t necessarily harder, it just takes a little longer. For me I like to make sure all the moves are shorter than me locking off to my mid bicep. Finals problems have to be perfect, the goal is for it to get progressively harder separating the field and creating good results. Unfortunately I can’t show any pictures as they have to stay top secret.

So Ill donated slots

Check Back For day 3


Day 1, Junior Bouldering Invitationals

After a long drive to the PRG in Coatesville, we were ready to set. Jeremy and I met the rest of the crew Dino Norcini and Keith Dickey.

We stripping the remaining walls for for today and rounded up all the dirty holds. At the PRG they don’t wash their holds in a dishwash instead we took them to the car wash, where we pressure washed them clean.

With all our clean holds we got to work and started setting. Jeremy and I set 3 problems each, paying great attention to detail, working hard to make these problems really fun and kid friendly.

After we fore-ran our work and made a few changes.  We spent a few hours working on harder problems for the redpoint part of the comp. I set a red problem in 9 to 11 range the follows the right arete in the picture above, not sure how it came out but i”m happy with. We’ll be climbing those tomorrow.

The comp format. There will be a 4 hour redpoint comp where competitors can climb on 70 problems of all grades then those who qualify will climb 4 finals problems to decide the winner. The Kids are divided up into 3 categories for each sex, 11 and under, 12 to 14 and 15+.

Check back tomorrow for another update.

Mark & Jeremy

Bouldering…on Long Island…on the beach…in February.

I had heard tell of a sick-gnar boulder on the tip of Long Island, and last week’s unusually warm weather gave us the chance to finally check it out.  Arsalon, more commonly referred to as Gnarsalon, invited us out to climb with his friends from Island Rock, Mike and Justin.  Garrett, Mark, and I took the train out to Hicksville then caught a ride with Carsalon to the boulder.  Despite half the boulder being wet, we were psyched to schralp.

"It's a boulder! On the beach!! On Long Island!!!"
"I'm so excited to schralp the gnar!" - GK

After warming up on some easy slab, we hopped on the classic Fisherman’s Friend Stand (V3) and then moved onto the sit, creatively named Fisherman’s Friend Sit (V7).  Garrett, Mark, and I were able to send and we moved on to trying Swans (V8), the direct finish to the line.

Jeremy, Fisherman's Friend Sit (V7)

Swans starts on two perfect crimp jugs.  A move up right to a good gaston, leads to an incredible lock off move to an underclingy, slopey sidepull.  You then slap the most perfect sloper you could ask for, slap again to a left hand sloper, and grab a good right hand sidepull before a few easy finishing moves.  Seriously, this line is incredible.  Mark was able to dispatch it quickly, and after finding a healhook for the last hard move, Garrett and I were able to send as well.

"O.M.G. Sloperzzz!" - Swans (V8)

Next on the agenda was Equinox (V8/9), a cool overhanging bulge with a serious topout.  The climb starts on a perfect “smile” rail.  One move up right takes you to the lip, and then the business begins.  We tried for a while to top it out straight up, but it was friggin’ hard.  Even Mark Heal, master of the mantle and other Yosemite shenanigans couldn’t pull it off.  He did, however, find a crimp out to the right that led to an easier topout, somewhere in the V8 range.  We weren’t sure how the line was originally done, but this seemed like the most obvious way.

"Holy Mantle!" - Garrett, Equinox (V8)
"AHH, I need crimps!" - Mark, Equinox V8

We spent a little more time trying one of the other lines, a V7 on the side opposite Fisherman’s Friend.  The warm weather and sun weren’t enough to dry it out though, and the wet slopey crimps proved to be too much for us.  Garrett was, however, able to blow off one of the crimps and walk away with a sweet war wound.

Garrett's bloody hand

This boulder is pretty incredible and we all had a great day.

Gnarsalon is the man for driving us around and taking all the pictures.


Hueco! Hueco! Hueco!

On friday the 14th I left a snowy NYC, bound for 2 weeks in Hueco Tanks. Ethan Pringle picked me up from the airport in his new Hotelement: a Honda Element with a camper van pop top. We arrived at Hueco Tanks too late to check in for camping and spent the night at the gate.

We started off our climbing adventure with a day on North Mt. I was psyched to hop on Free Willy (V10) after falling off the last move the year prior. I was able to send after a few goes and Ethan and I spent the rest of the day cruising the classics.

The next day our wonderful tour guide Jen Atkin took us around West Mountain. I started out trying the Scream (V11) to no avail, though Ethan was able to send the rarely repeated low start, Ice Cream (V12). Ethan was then able to flash the epically long problem, The Bathtub (V9). My endurance wasn’t up to snuff and after two goes of extreme pumpage I decided it wasn’t for me. We moved up the hill to the crazy cavernous corridors of West Mountain and both did the Wellsite Dyno, a 3 move V10 with and exciting last move.

After a few more days of climbing we picked up Jeremy Bini, who arrived a few days later than intended due to some untimely bronchitis. Psyche was high nonetheless, and we continued to siege to boulders day after day, devouring all problems in our path, like a swarm of locusts descending upon the countryside.

The next few days were spent between North Mt and the East Spur. Jeremy quickly dispatched Shower Cap (V8/9) after ripping a giant undercling off the chossy topout. We quickly learned a helpful rule for topping out in Hueco: Pull Down, Not Out! One of the highlights of the trip was See Spot Run, a classic highball V6, that we were able to send quickly. This is one of the best climbs in the park; a must do if your nerves and fingers can handle it.

Our next day on North, we climbed on Power of Silence, a classic sandbagged V10. Ethan worked on the improbable/impossible sit start, More Silence, a incredible hard “V12” that has only seen two ascents to date. I was able to send Power of Silence on my third try this year, a problem I super excited to be able to climb. Check out the video below of the sendage.

Power Of Silence V10 from BrooklynBoulders on Vimeo.

Jeremy trying hard on Better Eat Your Wheaties

Jeremy on New religion
The First move on Loaded Direct
I ate my Wheaties

A few days later my friends from San Franciscoarrived: Josh Horesly and Bay Area renowned cinematographer Owen Bissell. The five of us raged around North Mt, for Owen and Josh’s first day ever in Hueco. Josh was able to dispatch Fern Roof (V9), Babyface (V7), Daily Dick Dose (V7), and See Spot Run (V6) for an awesome start to his trip. Owen was also able to pull off a send of Babyface, however he spent a lot of time putting his cinematic prowess to use filming Ethan’s send of Sol Adunamentum (V12), the sit start to Fern Roof.

After an incredible rest day featuring beer, burritos, pepper bacon, and lounging in the sun, we were amped to get out climbing again. The next few days were filled with so much climbing that my forearms still hurt, a week later. Jeremy was able to bust out Mr. Serious (V8) and Josh took down The Egg, Trogolodyte, and McBain (all V8s). I finished off my trip with Loaded Direct (V12) and Ethan nabbed the fourth ascent (first with topout) of The Machinist (V13). Owen flashed New Religion (V7), had an exciting send of See Spot Run, and filmed tons of climbing. Stay tuned for an epic video of our trip; here are a few stills to get you psyched.

Hueco 2010

From December 19th-31st me and Brian Kim went down to Hueco.  First arrived at the ranch, really psyched… but too late to climb.  So we got our room set up and all.  The first day of climbing we woke up and ate a good breakfast and headed out to the boulders.  Our tour guide, Rocco, guided us on East Mountain, and we had a blast!!  I got on basically everything I could.  One of my favorite climbs were Snake Charmer, a really cool, high climb.  I did it pretty quick.

Alex on Babyface V7

We had to leave on the 31st, so on the 30th we went to go finish off stuff we were projecting, but there were 70 MPH winds. Brian was giving a few burns on Slashface, and  I was giving a few burns on 10-10. We warmed up and went over to 10-10. I tried it a couple of times and basically got blown off the climb.  So we went over to Slashface and Brian gave a few really good burns, one burn he matched the crux hold and fell going out right.  But unfortunately it was getting too windy and staring to rain.  So we had to say goodbye to Hueco Tanks

Alex on 10-10 V10