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: Competition
Ok people. Here is the deal. If you have been living on Mars for the last three years, you might not know about our yearly Boulder Competition called HEART OV ZTEEL. Well, go check out the HEART OV ZTEEL website and learn all about the madness that is going to ensue on March 26th! Pre-register and get to training! Keep you eyes peeled on the HOZ site for promo videos, updates, and more!
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 Maxim Zolotukhin
This past weekend I made the drive down Alexandria, VA, for ABS nationals. This was my fourth time attending the event in five years, and while it was the first time I found myself watching from the sidelines during finals, I can honestly say this was best run/set climbing competition I’ve been to in 10 years of competitive rock climbing.
The theme of the weekend seemed to be PROGRESSION. This progression manifested itself in every aspect of the competition, from the production, to the atmosphere, to the climbing and the athletes themselves; CHANGE seemed to be afoot.
The first huge leap forward was USAClimbing hiring our good friends at NE2C to produce the event. Putting long time creative differences aside, NE2C and USAC teamed up to put on a spectacular show; professional lighting and sound, combined with Jason Danforth and Scott Mechler’s years of big time MC’ing experience, brought the architecture of ABS nationals to another level. This type of production is imperative to the future success of climbing on a larger commercial-scale. Additionally, local documentarian Pablo Durano was on hand to shoot incredibly tight footage with the help of a giant crane.
Another palpable difference this year over comps in the past was the energy and atmosphere surrounding the competition and the professional athletes taking part. It was hard to put my finger on, but everything just seemed…BIGGER. Daniel Woods signed posters for an hour and a half and didn’t put his pen down the whole time. This to me was pretty incredible. I mean, Daniel’s always been Daniel, but this year, he was DANIEL. For our sport to keep growing, we need our athletes to become larger than life; kids need role models, and companies need athletes that are marketable to hang their hats on. Perhaps we’re starting to get there…
Of course, finals themselves did not disappoint. Big props to Chris Danielson, Jamie Emerson, Kyle McCabe, and the rest of the setting crew for basically a flawless performance. These guys are the best in the business and their team chemistry and vast well of comp knowledge culminated in fantastic finals round that was invariably more challenging to set for climbers like Woods and Alex Puccio who keep breaking ground as far as bouldering standards are concerned. Results broke down perfectly with Daniel finishing the first three problems and falling on the last move of the fourth problem (which he quickly dispatched after the last climber’s time was up) and a last-minute ascent of problem number 4 by Puccio who knew she had to send after failing on problem 3 which runner-up Alex Johnson had done. I hope to be lucky enough to collaborate with this team of setters in the near future.
And let me just say it one more time: DANIEL WOODS. My Boulder friends Paul Robinson and Carlo Traversi were giddy upon entering ISO on friday. “I can’t believe he actually got stronger!” said Paul. “It really is a new level” added Carlo. Apparently this had been Daniel’s week: Monday – long training session at CATS, Tuesday – long training session at the SPOT where he was supposedly flashing V14, Wednesday – first ascent of The Game V16 in Boulder Canyon after 17 days of attempts and breaking a hold that day, Thursday – flies to Virginia, Friday + Saturday – wins ABS nationals in dominating fashion.
Damn. What else can be said? We are witnessing PROGRESSION in every aspect of our sport and I couldn’t be more excited. On the heels of this weekend came the announcement that the IOC will now officially recognize the IFSC, opening the door for climbing to enter the summer Olympics in either 2016 or 2020. Who will represent the US at the Olympics in 2020? My money’s on the progeny of former world cup champions Robyn Erbesfield-Raboutou and Didier Raboutou, who, apart from being the cutest brother-sister team EVER, are also obliterating any rock climbing challenge that comes their way. I hung out with these munchkins in Spain this summer and in Hueco this winter and they are the real deal; Brooke, 8, has lead 5.13 and bouldered V9 on rock, while Shawn, 11, has sent 5.13c, flashed V8, bouldered V10, and reportedly spent multiple days falling off the last move of a 5.14a in France this summer. Sick!!
We here at the BRG have some big plans of our own for the future, so stay tuned.
THE FUTURE IS NOW.
Photos from Caroline Treadway @ carolinetreadway.wordpress.com
By Gavin Heverly
The comp was over weeks ago. Here at the BRG, we are already in the planning stages for HEART OF STEEL 2011. But the national climbing media continues to give us some excellent press for last month’s event. Needless to say, we are very thankful and psyched about it! Urban Climber Magazine got a hold of some amazing panoramic 360 shots that long-time friend and climbing partner William Van Tassell took the day of the event. They came out awesome, and they give you some sort of idea as to how crazy and packed and high energy the comp was.
You can see them by clicking HERE.
By KALEIGH BUSH
Climbing enthusiasts everywhere, mark your calenders: on January 30th, 2010 the Boston Rock Gym and Evolv will host the second annual HEART OF STEEL bouldering competition. Flaunting a $2,400 cash purse in addition to a gorgeous line-up of prizes provided by a flock of industry leading sponsors, the HEART OF STEEL appeal speaks for itself. And, believe it or not, this year’s sequel is guaranteed to upstage last year’s inaugural jaw-dropping throwdown.
“Big cash prizes and good competition mixed with incredible event organization make this one of the most well run and unique climbing competitions going on,” explains one of last year’s HEART OF STEEL finalists Jon Glassberg, “HEART OF STEEL is setting the standard and breaking the mold for competition format and style. Period.” Glassberg’s thrilling performance earned him third place overall in the men’s Open division last year. Glassberg is shifting his focus this year by joining forces with the Boston Rock Gym’s elite team of route setters rather than entering the arena as a competitor.
HEART OF STEEL’s distinction as New England’s premier indoor climbing competition was imminent in its countless hours of preparation the first time around. But within the dawning moments of its preliminary competition, HEART OF STEEL proved itself capable of revolutionizing the face of indoor climbing competitions not only in its district, but nation wide. The triple digit turnout was littered with strong, revered climbers; the routes were as futuristic as the concepts that breathed life into the HEART OF STEEL brainchild; Manowar’s ‘Heart Of Steel’ (the song after which the competition earned its appellation- a reference appreciated by fans of metal music) pumped adrenaline into the iron-clad veins of every participant, climber or otherwise. The tone had been set and a vision had been realized. “I love it when a competition has a style and a theme and becomes something that spectators and non-climbers can latch on to and really associate with,” says Glassberg. And this year, we can only expect a fine-tuned version of something that was nearly perfect to begin with. But overshadowing the many aspects of HEART OF STEEL leading up to its main event is the highly anticipated game show style finals round that really awards this climbing competition its rightful badge of honor.
If for no other reason, you won’t want to miss HEART OF STEEL for its outstanding display of a finals round. The event’s most notable distinction is its groundbreaking strategy for distributing cash prizes to the top female and male athletes of the day. Exponentially increasing denominations of cold hard cash are taped along the course of each finals problem, baiting each competitor to shamelessly duke it out amongst the others in an outrageous episode of sheer plastic-pulling pandemonium. Bathed in spotlight, each competitor is challenged to pull as many bills as possible off of the wall, creating their own personal cash pot. “Instead of being awarded a check for finishing in a top position, you can complete a finals boulder problem and have the cash in your hand as a direct result of climbing well in the moment. A tangible reward that is very motivating to climbers,” Glassberg said.
In addition to the generous cash prizes, there’s a whole slew of killer swag provided by some of the climbing industry’s top sponsors. Just some of the loot up for grabs this year include three crashpads; two Nemo tents; sleeping bags, packs, and softshells from The North Face; Evolv shoes; rope from New England Ropes; Petzl harnesses, and more. Additionally, there will be free coffee and hot chocolate, free food, video games, and sponsor tables to take advantage of during down time.
The HEART OF STEEL competition is quickly becoming a benchmark for innovation in the competitive climbing circuit, and everyone made up of the industrial-strength vital organs to handle it is encouraged to be a part of it. “The Boston Rock Gym knows how to throw a party,” Glassberg assures us.