So it would seem that every start to the last couple of my blog posts have started with an apology. Well if you're expecting it you're going to be sorely disappointed my friends. Things have been busy, change is on the horizon, the craziness has only subsided for the moment, but this moment will pass, so get ready for the madness to come. While we have this moment down, I thought I would share as much as I could while I have the downtime. So in mid February, I know I'm that far behind. I flew out for the Tour De Bloc, to help run, organize and set the first ever Tour De Bloc at the Hive Climbing in Vancouver. If you haven't had a chance to check out this gym yet, and you live in Vancouver, DO IT. Stop reading, turn off your monitor, grab your climbing shoes and chalk and get your butt on the sky train, or in your car, or on your bike or just start walking I don't care, GO.
Ok so I got myself on a plane with all my tools on the Tuesday, with time changes and all, arrived at 9am BC time and went straight to the gym. My psyche was so high for this comp, and all I wanted to do was start throwing up holds.
I hadn't seen any of the photos, any of the holds, nothing. I was going in completely blind and was so uncontrollably psyched/nervous. This was the first comp that I would ever Chief for as a TDB setter outside of Ontario. I knew less than nothing of the crew I'd be working with, I had a good idea of the field but was going to relying heavily on the information and opinions given by the crew I'd be working.
Now I haven't had any horror story crew experiences, but I have heard of them. I've heard of crews fully mutinying against their chief, of crews staying late to tweak blocs and routes back to their original versions, of crews leaving for dinner the night before the comp and just not coming back. Madness. These are, what I would think to be, every Chiefs darkest nightmares. It's always interesting working with new crews, working with different setters and seeing their creativity and ideas. It's more than likely one of my favourite things about setting comps in different gyms.
So I get to the gym and after I got a full tour from the manager Aimee. The walls are beautiful in this gym. The gym is up and running right now and the website is up and has a beautiful gallery of the facility, you need to check it out. Also a couple of weeks ago they had Vancouver breakfast TV come out and check out the facility, take the time to watch it people, Andrew, the owner has done a beautiful job of designing this facility. the website is here the facebook page is here and the video of BT at the hive is here. Now on to the specifics.
Ok, so the gym was built by Eldorado wall company, which means they have that beautiful Eldo texture but more importantly, bomb proof T-nuts. If I have not raved about these t-nuts yet, please bear with me because these things are more than likely one of the things that has made my life so much easier. I don't know if it is simply the 3 screws (yes they are screw in t-nuts and I know it's more time consuming but the t-nuts have such a long life span) but these things are gnarly awesome. They practically re-thread the bolts every time you screw a bolt through them.
So lets talk about the meat of this, and the purpose of this, the comp. I can't begin to tell you how hard it is for me to tell you that it didn't happen. Some very extenuating circumstances but in the end, we couldn't host the comp. It sucked and all of us, Andrew, Luigi and myself were bummed out more than i can really describe to anyone however it did happen. So Andrew and I made the best of it. We hosted a setting clinic.
The clinic was two days long (Friday and Saturday) and we had setters come out from the Hive and Cliff Hanger. 12 route setters, covering everything from being the Head Route Setter of a commercial facility to youth specific comp setting. It was a great experience for all I think. It was my third clinic ever and I really enjoyed passing on all the knowledge that I have learned over these years.
Concurrently, I always learn a lot from other route setters and personally, with my limited clinic experience, I really love the amount I learn from other route setters. Especially when we do this exercise that I experienced and got from my level 2 USAC setting clinic and that I extended just a little bit. The first thing I did was, in a discussion with all the setters as a group, come up with all the possible movements that they and I can come up with. Then I assign them each one movement and give them 30 min to get that concept up. After that they forerune, make tweaks and then we do the same thing again, me assigning movements or sequences to force but adding a trick into it this time. This is the part that I experienced from USAC. I picked the holds for them. Not the whole bloc, but the specific holds that I wanted to see those specific movements forced with. The interesting part of this is that this gives me expectation. When I pick these holds, I have an idea of how I would force the movement with these holds and this is where both the members of the clinic and I learn from this because after they set the bloc, I get to see their version of what I had already had a concept for. This way both I and the other route setter gain from this because we both get to see a different version of a concept that we both had an idea for. I often suggest this for commercial and competitive setting a like since both require a continual amount of creative motivation.
Well that's it for this one lads and lasses, I hope you're still psyched I promise more posts are on the way and I have some very interesting news to share with you all but you'll need to stay connected for that. Stay psyched all and thanks for reading.