Hey everyone, just wanted to give you a head’s up that we have a comp this Saturday the 12th of March, so there will be a LOT of ropes unavailable through out the week for route-setting, and additionally we have a huge construction project going on this week as well. The gym is still open normal hours, but there will be some messes, and some unavailable climbing. Thanks for bearing with us this week as we work to improve the climbing experience at the gym!
Tag Archives: Climbing holds
By Gavin Heverly
All photos by Stephanie Crumley
For those of you whom have been living under a rock, this past weekend was the Eastern Mountain Sports/NE2C Nor’Easter Fest up at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. The event was a slammer jammer mash-up of music, cyclocross racing, bouldering competition, outdoor climbing clinics, vendor village, and really, really bad food selection. I went up for the main events on Saturday and to support our head route-setter Maxim Zolotukhin in the UBC Pro Tour finals. He placed 16th in qualifiers which didn’t quite get him in to finals. Boston Rock Gym was also the partner gym for the event, and we helped with some logistics, volunteers, as well as climbing holds and crash pads and some other random stuff. The Geekhouse X BRG cyclocross team was also along for the ride as their team captain and Geekhouse owner Marty Walsh was racing!
At any rate, Saturday went down something like this: Woke up super early to get Marty to the race. We arrived at Loon and skipped our way right to staff parking. A nice luxury of being an event partner. Thanks guys! Marty got suited up and we scoped out the cyclocross course. It looked, as Marty put it “like a mountain bike course”, which meant that a lot of the roadies in the race were going to be not psyched, but guys like Marty whom have a mountain bike racing background were stoked!
After the cross race was over, I headed over to the vendor village to chat up some pals I hadn’t seen in a while at the Prana and Evolv tents. Everyone seemed pretty psyched on the cross race seeing as how the entire vendor village was basically in the center of the course. Overall the cyclocross race was pretty awesome. A great course and a welcome addition to the Nor’Easter. It definitely helped make it seem as though there was something HAPPENING since there were bikes whizzing past you all throughout the day. A nice element. There was also some big stage with bands playing. But I didn’t really pay any attention to it, and that seemed to be the general consensus. Although after the UBC comp, some more big name bands like The Gaslight Anthem played, as well as !!! (Chik Chik Chik), and The Walkmen. And while I didn’t stick around, I would guess a great deal more people were interested in that.
SPEAKING OF THE UBC COMP!:
The comp started pretty promptly at 3pm. Lights, camera, ACTION! Jason Danforth took the mic and introduced the day’s finalists:
MENS: 6th place Terry Paholek, 5th Ian Dorey, 4th Brian Kim, 3rd Ethan Pringle, 2nd Vasya Vorotnikov, 1st Daniel Woods.
WOMENS: 6th Melissa Lacasse, 5th Natasha Barnes, 4th Alex Johnson, 3rd Angela Payne, 2nd Sasha Digiulian, 1st Francesca Metcalf.
So with that sort of placing going in to finals, it certainly felt like it was anyone’s game. And man did it turn out to be a surprise ending. The turnout for the comp was a little less than what I expected, although with the weather being about 68 and sunny and breezy, perhaps it was both a blessing and a curse for the event. I quickly snagged a seat front and center to absorb all the action I possible could. it became clear early on that Daniel Woods, the crowd favorite, and shoe-in for the win was NOT having such a hot day of climbing. Problem #1 which was a techinical tension based boulder seemed to work against his style and essentially shut him down. New York’s Brian Kim flashed it. Done and done. “What’s this?”, everyone thought as he easily flew to the top. He cruised to the top on number 2 as well. Where as Daniel and Ian Dorey had some real trouble with the opening dyno. Vasya came about as close as you can on #2 without actually sending. Also quite the upset. In the end, it was clear that the men’s competition was going to be east meets west as Brian Kim and Ethan Pringle duked it out.
On the lady’s side, it was clearly anyone’s game. Although I think most people were assuming Angie or Alex would take it. Francesca Metcalf crushed. Although women’s #3 appeared to be a bit reachy for all the competitors. (Editor’s note: I was told over a cup of tea in my living room the following day by one of the route-setters that all the girls botched the beta on the problem.) Natasha Barnes came out of nowhere to fly up women’s 1 and 2 with ease. In the end, it was hard to even tell who would win.
All in all a good comp.The organization seemed to be much better than at the Salt Lake City comp. the MC-ing was greatly improved upon, although left something to be desired, and the route-setting was a lot better as well. Here were the surprising results of the day:
MENS: 3rd Daniel Woods, 2nd Brian Kim, 1st Ethan Pringle
WOMENS: 3rd Angie Payne, 2nd Francesca Metcalf, 1st Alex Johnson
The Nor’Easter is a massively valiant effort by the dudes at NE2C to bring an exciting and energized outdoor festival to the East Coast. Combining music, climbing, cycling, and more to give the residents of New England an entire weekend of activities and to grow the community that I know for sure Jason and Pete of NE2C care so much about. So while there are a lot of things that I would do differently, my hat is off to them for their passion, organization, energy, and dedication. The climbing world could use a lot more Jason Danforths and Pete Wards. Looking forward to next year. Count me in, and count BRG in.
by Gavin Heverly
Ok. We aren’t delusional. We know our walls are not the tallest in the industry. Or even in the Boston area for that matter. But what we WILL brag about is our route-setting. Maxim Zolotukhin, our head route-setter is probably the most passionately obsessed route-setter in the country. And I am not kidding. Then there’s Donny “Hot Karl” Martin. Who has been setting here at the gym for what seems like forever. He cares so much about the quality of his routes, and how much the customers like them that it’s almost a problem. Myself, I have been route-setting for something like 8 years. And I basically consider it to be one of the most scientifically challenging art forms in existence. Anyhow….Maxim will be talking more about the BRG’s route-setting philosophies in a later post.
For now…let’s talk about the HUGE volume holds we just got this morning. Ranging in size from 12″ to FOUR FEET across, these things will be *sick*. Don’t believe me? Come see the masterpieces Max and the rest of our pro-setting team whip up with them for yourselves.
By Chris Mireault
Back by popular demand, it’s the problem of the week at the Boston Rock Gym.
Here is a popular V3- that seems to be getting a lot of attention lately. Straight forward movement and many choices for beta. An all around fun problem.
By GAVIN HEVERLY
The HEART OF STEEL comp is this Saturday January 30th. Then again, if you are reading this, you probably know that. We have some seriously ridiculous stuff planned. Top Secret things that you will just have to come see for yourself! Here are a few pictures of the prizes and raffle items.
We have some amazing sponsors this year. We want to thank them all. Especially EVOLV for being our title sposnsor! Buy their shoes, they really are the best! Remember, this giant table full of amazing stuff is going out to the recreational, intermediate, and advanced categories. Plus tons of great stuff to raffle off (which means even if you dont place in your division you stand to win!).
We are also premiering Taylor De Lench’s climbing film SICK at the comp, so that’s just one more reason to stop by! Here is the trailer:
See you Saturday! Here is the schedule for the day.
9:00am -10:00am: Registration…getting ADRENALIZED! Free coffee/hot chocolate!
10:00am – 2:00pm Qualifying/Citizens comp…TRY HARD.
2:00pm – 6:00pm Time to unwind…Free food, raffles, video games, sponsor tables, a CAR IN THE GYM, and the world premier of Taylor De Lench’s movie “SICK: Climbing in New England”!!!!
6:00pm – 8:00pm The HEART OF STEEL gauntlet style finals round…The top 3 men and women (that’s right, just 3, no coasting into finals!) will be brought out and a spectacular spectacle will ensue…Two finals problems for the girls, two for the guys; 8 minutes per problem…For each climber, there will be $200 hanging from the wall throughout the problem (10, 20, 20, 50, and $100)…The finalist’s task? to grab as much money as possible in those 8 minutes…after a finalist climbs, the money they don’t collect goes into a pot; then, whatever money they DID grab is replaced before the next finalist climbs…When the dust has settled, whoever has grabbed the most money off the wall through both problems wins the REST OF THE MONEY in the pot that the other finalists didn’t grab. What does this mean? first place could win up to $1200! Where you get on a problem doesn’t really matter, all that matters is HOW MUCH MONEY YOU GRAB! Come witness the insanity!!!!
8:30pm – 9:00pm Awards…who brought their HEART OF STEEL?!?!
10:00pm – Dawn AFTERPARTY…you know what to do
By Amanda Beals
So as you know I have dipped my toes into the heightened world of rock climbing at the Boston Rock Gym. While I have been traveling a bunch this past month, I have had the opportunity to interview a variety of rock climbing industry illuminati. Gavin, the manager of the Boston Rock Gym, suggested I look into So iLL and attempt to snare an interview with this bombastically forward thinking, yet old school, rock climbing holds designers and manufactures.
I took Gavin’s advice and emailed the CEO Daniel Chancellor and he responded enthusiastically to my media request. Now, for those of you who are not familiar with rock climbing holds let me lay it out easily. When you indoor climb, the holds are the myriad protuberant shapes that allow you to ascend. Without holds, there is no indoor rock climbing.
What is unique about So iLL Holds is the retro, futuristic, all bets off shapes of holds. This is augmented profoundly with the high level workmanship and chemists So iLL works with to create a hold that is dynamic and impenetrable.
AB: So, your site is wild and woolly. Is that the spirit that motivates So iLL?
DC: We have always focused on a *Reality Distorted look and feel for So iLL. We geek out on bringing this ideal into both products and marketing for the brand. Currently, we are designing a new website. Its going to get interesting.
AB:I looked for a history on your company and could not find one. Tell me about So iLL came into being?
DC: So iLL started during my first year of college (April 2002). I was working all night and sleeping through my Entrepreneurship courses during the day. The first few years were rough. We didn’t have high speed internet until 2005 and I ran biz phone calls off pre-paid calling cards. I was 18 and living the dream. Shaping, molding and pouring on the back porch of my college house. The dream started there, and has now become a reality.
AB:I know that the Boston Rock Gym heralds your company as changing the course of history for indoor rock gyms. What are your thoughts on that statement?
DC: Interesting. That is a pretty big statement. I feel as though we have always tried our absolute hardest. We put 125% into Everything we do. Whether crazier shapes, wild marketing images, etc, we have always been trying to push indoor climbing into a new direction. A lot of other companies have followed lately. That is ok. We are happy to enlighten and help.
AB: How do you envision indoor rock gyms evolving or devolving over the next 5 years? And, in which ways will So iLL be a part of that?
DC: Indoor climbing is crazy on the up and up. Tons of new gyms are being built every year. Lots of “mega-gyms” are now popping up all over the country. In Europe, the facilities being built are fantastic. Small and Nice satellite gyms. Concrete floors, giant wall features, urban architecture, etc. I feel as though the U.S market has some interesting things to learn from them.
AB:Has social media enhanced your buisiness?
DC: I believe so. Since launching our Tumblr page (soill.tumblr.com) I feel as though a behind the scenes look at the daily grind has been good for climbers. Its the first place I put new products, ideas and traveling images, all updated from my phone almost daily. These are also posted to my personal Facebook page: Daniel Chancellor. Let’s be Friends.
AB: When you first log on in the a.m. do you read ClimbingNarc or 8A?
DC:Though both nice sites, I have not in a while. Pretty busy swimming through 100 emails every morning… Being in contact personally with our gyms and home wall owners is something we strive for. My cell phone is listed on the website and I sort through and respond to each and every email. Big or small, order or question. We are happy to be reachable.
AB: What makes your products stand out?
DC: We are constantly trying to push things further. Most recently, we have been working on a new Giant Fiberglass Volume. These are very popular in Europe, but are just now starting to hit the U.S. The Growth was shaped by Jason and is currently about to start in production. Its a 4 x 4 ft fiberglass volume with a Patent Pending mounting system so screws won’t tear up the wall. We’re excited to launch this massive feature. Multiple T nuts are included for mounting other holds onto it.
Along with this, we have been working on a few other things we will be launching at the January Outdoor Retailer Show. We have been working with a team of Chemists for about a year on a new product and have filed the Patent info on it as well. We are excited about its launch.
For holds, we are currently shaping a ton. Going back to our “roots” so to speak. We are excited to launch an entire new product category in 2010.
AB: For a newbie reading this blog, who has always dreamed of climbing, but is afraid it is too hard, what say you to them?
DC:Go Get Some. Find a local gym and get involved. Its so very accessible now with the gym community in the U.S. There are plenty of people out there looking to help someone new. — A crew is waiting for you. Auto Belays are calling your name. Holds want to be grabbed. You need to sweat. Start twerkin it with a belay device and become educated. What a better way to spend your time than watching Jersey Shore.