UBC in NYC!! OMG!!!

Jul 13, 2011Brooklyn Boulders

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

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