Thursday, 20 October 2011

What up! Alright so, here's the skinny. Been really busy lately, setting at the gym, training for the upcoming comp season and coaching. Two weekends ago I hopped on a jet and flew out to Banff, Alberta for the annuall Coaches Conference. This happens every year, a bunch of coaches from Canada, and one coach from the US this year, come together to share, discuss and learn about the trials, tribulations, suffering, agony and yes even shear joy and bliss of coaching climbing. Ah! Wait I forgot, it wasn't as simple as merely hopping on a jet. For those of you who have had the amazing experience of Pearson International Airport's labour dispute, I sympathize with all of you, however if you haven't had the experience yet, and do actually have a flight booked in the next little while, you should cancel it, switch it, move it, sell it. It isn't worth. After standing in line for a good two hours and then suffering through the angony of boarding the plane, only to be deboarded for a second security check, after finally landing in Calgary to find out that my rental had been given away, after all of it, I finally arrived in Banff. The conference was incredibly fascinating. As with all conferences, somethings said were relavent and inspiring, some things were completely out there, and somethings just didn't seem to matter. However, it was an amazing experience and I had the opportunity to discuss and meet many coaches from across the country. One in particular, Andrew Wilson, who is the director of the CEC (Competition Climbing Canada) was incredibly inspiring. I've had the opportunity to set with Andrew at Junior Nationals in 2010 and it was a greta experience. Andrew continually impresses me with his ability to be self critical and his continual drive to learn and improve.
So this past weekend, I headed up to my old stompin ground, in Ottawa, Coyote Rock Gym for the Fall Classic. The Coyote Fall Classic is a friendly format competition, with no finals, and has been a long standing tradition for Ottawa Climbers. Jody Miall, the manager and head route setter, has been setting great comps for more than half of a decade now and continues to amaze and please. The quality of blocs was as per usual at its highest and a 150 competitors showed up to descend upon the 70 blocs that Jody and Kellen Tapely and a handful of other Ottawa setters put up with all the fury and desire of starved teenage boys at an all you can eat buffet. Now the field wasn't as stout as say a Tour De Bloc (although the first stop on Canada's National Bouldering Circuit will be held on Nov. 5th at Joe Rockhead's here in Toronto) but my friend Yves Gravelle, who lives in the Ottawa region, came out to show us all how strong he is, and likewise, I brought up my roomie, Eric Sethna. Joining that field plus myself was another friend and fellow setter who has also inspired me but I would say more, is someone who I would set any comp, anywhere, for any field with, Fred Charron.
The Blocs, again, were top quality, with some of the regular trickery that I would have expect from Jody Miall but one of the things that I would like to comment on is that Coyote Comps always have a perfect breakdown and distribution of zones. What is that you ask, well let me enlighten or review for those of you who all ready know this. Its part of the Chief's job to break the gym and walls into zones, if the boudlering wall is huge, unfortunately due to your position and responsibilities (I'd like to point out that these come with no extra $ signs) you need to break it up into zones where there will be a certain number of blocs and only that number of blocks, no matter how dope one of the other setters "traverse of a thousand moves" is. Ugh. So yea, you break each area and the other areas of the gym into different zones, make sure that there is an even distribution of easy, medium, hard, very hard and "huh really, that goes..." blocs and then you hope every one of your setters was listening at the huddle before you started setting. The more important thing about dividing up zones is you more want to consider it as the designated areas of "fall zones." This means that if two competitors bail off the last move of two different blocs in two different zones, no matter how bad they bail, or how far they superman off the last hold, they should not, ever, collide or land on top of each other. To bring that rant to full conclussion, I've always thought that Jody does a really good job of considering this. Next! Coyote built a new wall!

I know it's not painted or textured but this is the only picture I could find of it. Besides, this is pretty dope no?
Big, steep and top out, this boulder just adds to the obscene amount of bouldering Coyote Rock Gym has. All in all the comp was fun, I'm just getting back into shape after tkaing time off after my World Cup tour in Europe and North America and this was fun to come out and get back into the Canadian Comp Scene. Eric Sethna (True North Team Member) took the win on the Men's side, which made it none too hard to get back to Toronto and on the Women's side Allez Up's Chloe Legault took 1st place. I didn't have a lot of opportunity to take pics but as promised I have dug up that video from Summer Sweat Finals of Kieth on Men's final #4. Check it out. Boy's got fight!!!! Alright all, I'm out, thanks for reading and keep psyched!

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