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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 (davewetmore.lt11.com)

 

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 (davewetmore.lt11.com)

 


Photo Credit: Dave Wetmore (davewetmore.lt11.com)

 

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 davidlepagne.com

 

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 davidlepagne.com
The Grepon. Photo by davidlepagne.com

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.

Mark

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

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