Saturday, January 29, 2011

Moon Board, Try 2 - Revenge

The School Room, site of the first Moon Board.

No Comp for me this weekend, so I decided to head into Boulderz for a session.

Tonight I was quite sore from last nights session and when I tried to work yesterdays problems I could do nothing, so instead not expecting much, I joined a crew for a Moon session.

I was surprised that it went very well and I sent every all them except one. The one I could not do I got shut down by one impossible feeling move. By the end of the session I was close on even that move.

I really don't get it. Those problems all felt so hard the last session, even though I felt good, this time I felt bad, but it went well. I can only assume I tried harder this time. It can't be that my movement improved in that short a time. Although, that felt like what my problem was in session one. Moon problems are not like normal indoor problems, they are small pinches and edges with thumb catches, very outdoor-like. So, maybe one session was enough to learn the movement, which was very new to me on plastic.

Whatever happened it is a very steep learning curve. It is really great to see progress again and very quickly. Normally improvement has been only coming in tiny increments, but this is really working me in a way I am not used to making progress perceivable.

Now I want to change the setup and try more Moon problems! It seems like they do not have many really hard ones preset for you though according to the website, so I am hoping to find some others online.

Anyone know if there is a forum sharing Moon problems?

Here are the preset problems for anyone wanting a link.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Debate

I am struggling trying to decide whether to fly to Halifax late tomorrow night and fly home 5am Sunday, for the Tour de Bloc on Saturday? I just got back from nfld and am exhausted and Ellen and Liam leave Sunday for home, which means it will be the last chance to see them until I get back from Toronto. I am not even sure how long that will be. I need the points, but health wise and family wise, I think its a bad decision. We will see tomorrow.

I did climb tonight again at Boulderz and was climbing well, which makes the decision harder.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Walnuts Climbing Gym - NFLD


I had to fly to Newfoundland for a quick 36 hr trip. I worked almost the whole time but did manage to get a session in at Walnuts, the local climbing gym in St Johns.

Walnuts is a small gym, but very cool gym with a ton of spirit, which has been around for 15 years or so. There staying power in such a small community proves their success and from what I saw they have developed quite an avid climbing community on "The Rock".

If you are ever in Nfld and need some beta stop by and check it out.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Whats the best wall texture?

I have climbed on a ton of different wall designs and surface finishes. I am convinced that basic lightly textured, plywood walls are the best for versatility, longevity and maximum setting options.

I find the trend towards thicker, more highly featured texture is backwards. Commercially it looks nice and beginners associate the real rock look with outdoor climbing, but any experienced setter will hate them. The unevenness of the texture makes holds sit unevenly, exposing edges and breaking holds and it makes it hard to place large volumes. The built in features are also always there, on every route, on that section of wall, forever.

Also, most textures dry out with time and crumble on the edges and repeated set screws and screw ons lead to missing chunks of texture.

Not all textures are created equal however, and some companies do a better job then others, but overall I think a well constructed plywood wall with perfect joints is the best for getting strong and having the most setting options.

How to Peak?

I had a good session with the Boulderz crew today. I had intended to work on the Moon problems again, but there were a bunch of new projects put up since I was there last there and a couple undone ones from previously; they were too good to pass up.

Tony B in the Boulderz cave.

It turned into a great session and I was able to send all my projects but one. I wish it were a comp day.

Its funny that after all the years I cannot predict exactly when the magic days will occur. Lots of people seem to think they can control when they will peak once or twice a year, but I find I have many really great days throughout the year, I just never can be sure when they occur.

I do find I can control roughly when they absolute best days will be, if I am aiming for only one really great comp, but for a comp climber who needs to do well at many comps, what is the best way to approach training?

Sometimes I think I would rather have many mini peaks then one or two big ones. What I really want is to be able to shorten the cycle between peaks. That is the main challenge.

Are there any suggestions out there?

Friday, January 21, 2011

True North

I climbed at True North today for the first time, the newest addition to the Toronto climbing scene.

A view of the main bouldering section.

A view of one section of rope climbing, note the hanging stalactite. Lots of setting going on for this weekends Youth Comp.

I was impressed with the size of this venue. It is huge, well lit and well ventilated. The new school of gyms is a far cry from the dark, hidden away relics of days gone by. These new gyms attract new climbers and families alike, the atmosphere is more like an amusement park then a hardcore training facility. I mean that in a great way, around each corner there is something new and unique to keep you entertained endlessly.

Now, the question is once the novelty is worn off is there something to keep you motivated in the long run, or is the setup just full of party tricks.

Well, True North has done a good job with route setting. There is no question the terrain is great, but the setting is great also.

The wall does lack really steep bouldering terrain, I suppose to cater to the majority, but there are lots of really hard problems none the less. Again, I was schooled by the sandbagging setting crew hahahahahaaha. I will get my revenge next time in though, which I look forward to!

Moon Board

Rarely do I get completely schooled at the gym, but last night was different. I spent some time on a Moon Board, created by Ben Moon years ago, to pack a huge training punch into a small space.

The English, having even less space then the average Torontonian, are famous for having small "Boards" tucked away in their flats. Hence, the Moon Board was developed to optimize the small space, yet still get really strong. Ben Moon the developer was a leading climber in the 80/90's British climbing scene.

What makes this Board different? Well, Moon sells the exact pattern to the same problems he trained on all those years and you can buy a set of the same holds and place them in the same orientation. That way you can train on the exact same problems, as anyone anywhere in the world. From his website you can buy the holds and the instructions to set up a Moon Board. Anyone with limited space will love this.

I loved the Board, the angle and the holds. I found the problems incredibly stout! Overall I would say the problems are not at all like north American ones. The moon board has mostly small holds, simulating real rock more so than just shapes. The holds are skin friendly, but small.

I looked at the problems and thought yeah, they are incut, but small, I can do this, no sweat. Wow was I wrong, the movement is hard and the flexibility is hard. Four to six moves of raw finger power needed. I am Weak! Oh no!

I hope over the next few weeks I will get a chance to try some more moon problems they are awesome. Check it out at Moon Climbing.

Below is a Moon Board at Boulderz in Toronto. Not all the holds on this Board are Moon products, only the little tiny yellow ones are.

Boulderz Moon Board.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ben Blakney does the seond ascent of V13 in Nova Scotia

Ben Blakney has recently done Gun Control, V13, in the Terrance Bay Woods area near Halifax, Nova Scotia, a 2003 line done first by Nick Sagar.

Check out the coverage in Climberism Magazine here.

Ben on Gun Control

Friday, January 14, 2011

World Cup in Canada, First Time Ever

Canada will be host to their first World Cup Climbing event May 27/28, 2011. Check out the details here.

Site of my first world cup 2006 Grindlewald Switzerland.

My Shoes

They finally came, my new shoes. Madrock Demons 2011.

I have waited for these shoes my whole life, the perfect shoe. Madrock always did have an awesome toe, but the heel used to give me trouble. Not so much the ribs which I liked, more the shape of my foot and the heel cup did not get along.

Well, I am happy to say the new heel design is perfect, it is molded like the La Sportiva Solution but sticks and fits way better.

I was also surprised at the new toe box. For the first time I have ever encountered, in any shoe the center of the sole seems to be cupped, which removes the air gap formed when your toes curl up, in a down turned shoe. To be honest, I never noticed this as an issue, until all of a sudden it is gone. With this new sole there is no air gap in the toe box and it has the effect of sucking the shoe upwards against your foot. This effectively locks your foot in, without the shoes needing to be as tight as they would need to be otherwise. This means you can size them larger, be more comfortable and still have great performance and can now smear with a down turned shoe!

The other feature I love is the sharp edge on the toe. Too many companies are rounding off the edge of their shoes(read Solution). This does not really matter when you are on steep terrain, as the holds tend to be larger, but on slabs or vertical problems it reduces edging ability, which for a comp climber who needs versitility, is horrible. The Demons are sharp as a knife and climb vertical routes like no ones business.

It also appears that there is a new rubber being used, I will have to ask the guys at Madrock about this to be sure, but it worked really well and addressed the issues they had last year with sticky, but too soft rubber, which made edging hard. Whatever it is, it works well for both smearing and edging.

I compared the new Demons with my previous favorite shoe, the old Demons and first night out, they out-performed my old tried and true got-to-shoes in all categories.

I like everything about them, the look, the feel and the performance, for me this is the best shoe ever made. Now I have no more excuses, other then old age?

Cars and Girls

Ultimate climber.

I was at the gym tonight and saw a kid who really had some talent. Every once in a while you see someone who really could be a good climber. Yet, almost always, once they hit there teens and discover cars and girls, all hope vanishes. They take some time off, leave climbing behind, then when they try to get back into it, they are out of shape, have inevitably regressed, have gotten heavier and therefore quit for good, because most talented climbers cannot just climb for joy.

This is why I think older, still skinny, geeks have the most promise. Starting at an older age, once cars hold no novelty and all women their own age have rejected them, they have the best opportunity to get really good and focus completely on climbing. These are the golden years for a climber, when the most progress is made, just before they are old enough that the ladies don't want the cool rebels anymore and geeks become breadwinners, with CS degrees. Then once again, the hooks are planted and climbing goes downhill. I see it happening all around, unfortunate really? :)

So next time you see the climbing geek at your local gym, push him to do one more set of pull ups and get it done while he still can.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tour de Bloc Photos

Here are some photos from the Tour de Bloc at Boulderz, courtesy of Aidas Rygelis.

Aidas is a climber and photography living in Toronto Ontario, although I have heard he has spent some time in the Maritimes?

Check out his work at Ruby Photo Studio.

Finals problem #4.

Finals problem #4.

Qualifiers #46.

Qualifiers #45.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tour de Bloc - Boulderz

I drove to Toronto Friday for a Tour de Bloc at Boulderz. The comp was excellent and ran smoothly. I will post more later, with some images, I am currently on a flight home to NB and will be driving back to Toronto again right away!

There was an interesting dark horse winner for the mens, TJ Quan, he climbed awesome in finals, flashing 3 problems. Hopefully a sign a things to come from TJ!

Here are the results:


1) TJ Quan
2) John Bowles
3) Ayo Sopeju
4) Dustin Curtis
5) Travis van Ryan
6) Max Dugla
7) Remi Crusten
8) Andreas Lerch


1) Eva Pepin-Helie
2) Erin Ford-Zielenski
3) Cloe Legault
4) Lyma Lamarche
5) Pia Graham
6) Hedvig Lokay

Friday, January 7, 2011


Why do I alway get sick before a comp? I was sick at last years Natioanls and now I drove 15hrs to Toronto with another brutal cold. Go figure, need more rest I guess?

Comp Tommorow!

Monday, January 3, 2011


A quick shout out to an awesome gym Boulderz in Toronto, Ontario and the owner Andrew McBurney.

Boulderz panorama!

This gym is awesome and will be hosting a Tour de Bloc Event January 8/11.

I will be there with bells on.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Best Gyms

I want to make a list of all the real climbing gyms in Canada, only climbing gyms for climbers.

I have been to many gyms around the world and I usually try an visit any gym, in any area I am traveling.

After all the gyms I have been to, I have to say I am usually quite happy to come back home to my small little local gym, The UNB Rock and Ice Club. It is small and has bad ventillation, but its still awesome.

The UNB wall, aka THE WALL.

I think per square area, it has more problems and more difficult problems, than nearly any gym I have been to, anywhere in the world. Operationally it is quite independent and is run by real climbers, not business people. The gyms motivation is only to make the gym and climbing community great. Money is not a driving force, not at all (membership is $50/year! for students and $75 for community members).

This gym has turned out a bunch of strong climbers, has great angles and tons of great holds.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Resolution

I will say it hear for all to hold judgement. I will work on my weaknesses this year, by improving my flexibility and cardio. I think this will help my climbing more than any amount of additional climbing I could do. Behold this will be the year I actually do it!

This is what I will be able to do by the end of 2011.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Sore Neck?

Ever get a sore neck belaying your partner? We all know that crippling kink. In a way it is a good thing, as its a built in excuse when its our turn to send.

Kink no more however. Power n' play has solved this problem with the CU Belay glasses.

CU Belay glasses by Power n' Play.

I had heard of these for quite some time ago, but had an opportunity to try them this week. I was very suprised that they actually work and do not require much getting used to. I was able to belay effectivly the first time and never really look up more then horizontal. I was really suprised at that the small lens could cover all the focal area required.

Simon the model.

In fact the small lens footprint meant I could see the climber and the rope and belay device outside the lens field of view. Quite smart really.

Bottom line they do work. That said, I only used them once because I really do not get a kinked neck often. But for those who do this is a solution.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


The last two days I have had the opportunity to climb at Delire in Quebec City. I have said it before, but this is by far the best rope gym in Eastern Canada, if not the country. The blue monster alone is enough wall to get seriously strong on.

The Blue Monster, its steeper then it looks.

Possibly my favorite wall though is the gently overhanging green wall. It is a great warm up wall, but it steep enough to have hard routes and be lead with no fear of hitting anything if you fall.

The Green Wall.

I think the guys at Delire got a few things right with this gym, which make climbing at their all around pleasant.

- the lighting is great, this makes a huge positive difference in atmosphere
- they have an excellent ventilation system, you can actually eat in the gym and leave things out and they won't be full of chaulk
- the colors are tasteful and bright
- the walls are built with quality in mind
- there is lots of space to hang out
- the flooring is ample in most places
- the location in a mall is ideal for food selection
- the washrooms are clean
- the staff is awesome

Really the gym is all around great. I wish more gyms were like Delire.

Its to bad that in Canada gyms have to at least in part be geared towards parties and groups because that is where the money is. This usually means there is far more flat wall and top ropes then steep lead walls. We really cater more to the one timer, then the aspiring. I think this is in part the reason we are behind many countries in the level of our elite athletes. We don't have the support (financial, training, medical etc) or facilities other countries have.

There are certainly good gyms here, but I wish there were more climbers and more elite climbers to justify more varied terrain and setting possibilities. I think this would trickle down and bring every ones level up, think the Canadian hockey system vs performance. I wish there were more people in each region pushing themselves beyond their current level.

I love seeing motivated people, the more falling the harder you are trying.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Quebec for christmas

I am in Quebec for Christmas. I climbed at Roc Gym this morning. I always like that gym because i have fun there. There are lots of better gyms out there, but I always See to have fun there.

I was by myself as usual, but there were 50 new comp problems to try. I had a blast. I sent all of the hardest but one, in my 2hours there. They were all good quality. The setting at Roc gym has been consistently good this year. It's a shame they are not hosting a tour de bloc this year?

I am hoping to get to Allez Up in Montreal this trip as tell a couple Times. For nos eat try to sleep and pend some Time with family.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Split tips

I am narrowly avoiding winter split tips. Its always the same spot every winter, middle finger, last joint. It opens up as deep as the grand canyon and stays all winter to varying degrees.

You all know them, those nasty gashes that ruin your day.

I know I make it worse with my super secret skin toughening regime, but go away split tips, you suck.

I guess for Christmas its another file for John.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Madrock Conflict 2.0

A new future for Madrock - the new heel!

Madrock has redesigned the heel cup in the 2011 Conflict Series. I had a chance to try the Conflict 2.0 this week and am seriously impressed. I went head to head with my old Madrocks and past comp shoe, the LaSportiva Venom, in a heel hooking fest. The winner.....Conflict 2.0.

Madrock has done an awesome job with the new heel. Try it out!

Madrock Conflict 2.0

Monday, December 20, 2010

Achive 2010: Nationals 2010

A photo I did not realize I had.

Problem #5 -Joe Rockheads Nationals 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tour de Bloc Delire

Delire 2010 Photo: Nicholas Charron

The season has began for me. I am in Quebec City for the Delire Tour de Bloc. I feel heavy and injured, but mentally strong. This comp was a necesity for me, as there are hardly any comps in the Atlantic region this year and I already missed a couple in the east due to work.

I did not expect ,as a couple weeks ago I crushed my hand and I think I broke a bone on the backside of my palm. It swelled up double its size when it happend, but has gone down a bit over the past few weeks. To climb is painful, but once warmed up everything seems ok. It is more opening my hand, then closing that hurts. Anyway, I think having an excuse can help performance in some ways, as it removes expectation of results and allows you to just do your best with cirumstances at hand. No expectation, no anticipation, just being in the moment.

I was suprised at the number of climbers there, most of the strong guys showed up, Terry and Simon even came from the west coast, turnout was definity good in the open catagory, 60 I heard.

The comp was well run and well set. The guys at Delire are an excellent crew of people and it is obvious they care about the sport and certainly are doing their part in supporting it. There effort shows in their comps and they get better each year.

I qualified 2nd, but ended 4th. I took a really bad fall on my neck and shoulder on finals #1, which really shook me for the rest of the time. I hurt my shoulder quite bad and am paying for it today. It was the first time I have ever fallen indoors that badly. At the time I really thought I might have broken my shoulder or worse. I am not a worrier about injury, but this actually scared me quite bad. I missed the main matt completly and landed on my neck and shoulder before any other part. It makes me question the safety of comps sometimes. I understand the need to set problems with big falls for the spectators, but this was uneccessarily dangerous, many people fell badly, I was just the one that missed the matts. It was completly avoidable. I think setters really need to look twice at the set up before a comp for safety, its easy to overlook problem areas and this sort of thing happens very easily. Hindsight is 20-20 I guess.

I was quite happy overall. I definity need to work on power endurance, I never fell once because of difficulty only pump.

I guess this was a good gauge of my fitness, now I have to decide to actaully train my weakness not just climb for fun, if I want to improve this season.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


"but every climb is not for every climber; the ultimate climbs are not democratic. The fortunate climbs protect themselves by being unprotectable and remain a challenge that can be solved only by boldness and commitment backed solidly by technique."
Doug Robinson

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thanks Zig!

The last thing of note I did comp wise was Nationals in May. I had a horrible flu, but went anyway and as expected it did not go as planned. I was hoping to be on my game as returning champ, but it was not to be. It is harder to stay on top then get there in the first place...a good lesson. Anyway, I ended 6th in a strong field and it was very close, one hold was the differnece in 3 spots. Pics to come.

Here is an pic of the original orangahang on dover before it was damaged by the hurrican. Photo by Mike Meade.

Ok its been a while for tons of reasons, but I just noticed Zig has been updating his blog again with awesome old pics from Nova Scotia. He gave me my motivation back to post! Thanks Zig, check out his blog here.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Tonight I learned a secret. I was at the gym, alone again doing some circuits. The last problem, my last attempt I think I had a revelation. I learned how to breath properly or at least differently, I feel like I discovered a secret.

It's not that I have not experimented with different on route breathing patterns but tonight magic happened. I went from utterly flaccid and fatigued and floated the route. It was a special moment for me.

I have a secret, I am not telling least until I make sure it works again tommorow?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bolt Chopping

Funny, I did not think anyone would actually do it but, someone actually chopped a recently retro bolted route at our local crag.

There are always justifications on both sides for adding extra non-original bolts. Both sides usually have seemingly good arguments. Typically the bolter hides behind safety issues and the chopper hides behind history.

I personally have a strong belief, but every route and situation has grey areas to make it interesting.

For me I think rebolting routes when the time comes is fine. I do not think adding extra bolts (retrobolting) for any reason without the first ascentionists permission is ok. Even with permission I think adding extra bolts takes away an with opportunity for future generations to experience routes as natural as possible. Inherently adding any bolts takes away opportunity for future generations, so it should never be taken lightly. No one is perfect every situation is worth a review but this I think is what to aspire to for me.

In this particular case the first ascentionist had passed away and bolts were added to make the route safer.

They were added on the 5.8 section of a 10d climb.
The route is an area classic and there is gear available where one of the bolts were added.

I think the bolt removal, while unpopular with some was correct, but would anger less people if it was discussed with the retrobolter just out of community spirit.

Here is my question: assuming what is done is done and now the remaining bolt is out of place with respect to the original route what should be done if there are only 2 choices? There are tons of scenarios but if there are only two options what do you think?

1) Chop it and replace a new bolt by the original location
2) Leave the remaining bolt alone (it is not significantly different)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hampton Marsh

Just got back from Hampton Marsh. It has been a while since I have been there and there have been a bunch of new routes added since. I did not get a chance to climb them all, but I was happy to see the development.

The bolt jobs are pretty bad on a couple of the routes I climbed, I certainly would not want to be near my limit on those routes! Still nice to have them though.

I am actually physced to go back there now and try the rest.

The big news for me was my Mom stopped by and tried climbing for her first time. She did awesome I was so proud of her. She has always been my biggest supporter and now she has had a chance to try it herself! Wicked job mom!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Kingston Lake Road

I visited a newly bolted crag in Kingston today. I checked out this area for potential in 1998ish, right when I first started climbing and lived in the area. At that time I found a single red rap sling indicating someone else had the same idea, although I am not sure who. At the time I dismissed the area cause it was dirty and a lot of work and needed bolts, which at the time was not in my vocabulary.

The area has since been developed as a sport crag with a ton of work! There are quite a few lines up to almost 100ft. I was quite impressed with the cliff but especially the effort to create it.

It is a super convenient area easy approach and great for new climbers. I think the climbing looks ugly but climbs quite well and there is potential with some work for a few harder climbs. We will see what time brings.

The guide is HERE

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Cowboys Life

I have been climbing in the gym quite a bit that last week or so, trying to get my volume up. I can't believe they just announced Continental Championships are in Ecuador this year and gave us only two months notice and are on the same dates as Canadian Nationals.

Considering Canada is one of the 3 key countries for North American Continentals, it seems stupid to conflict with dates set for the last 6 months? Whats a cowboy to do?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tour de Bloc UNB

Qualified first, finals ended up second.

1) Eric Sethna
2) John Bowles
3) Matt Keyes

1) Holly Reid
2) Krissy Lunney
3) Shauna Post

The real story was Matt Keyes, he qualified in the 8th and final place but flipped to 3rd in finals with an awesome performance!

Considering the lack of climbing, traveling and new baby I was relatively happy. A beta mistake is what killed me in finals, so it was not too bad. I will be feeling good just in time for mid summer world cups, which is the current plan, if life does not get in the way. I am motivated!

The problems I think were the best quality qualifier problems of any tour I have been to. Props to Ghislain Losier for setting the great routes!

It is too bad the attendence sucked, I think it was due to the 18 degree sunny weather no locals came at all, but those who came from away were all strong, the field just was not that numerous. A shame really considering the awesome problems.

Edmonton Again

I spent another 12 days in Edmonton working. We did a 48hr straight shift then 12 hr nights plus 1.5hr drive each way the whole time combined with drives to Calgary. It destroyed me.

I did get one perfect day before I left in Lake Louise. I climbed a couple time dead tired in the gym which was great.

All and all i came home 3 times more tired then when I left.

We will see how this weekends comp goes with all that has gone on?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Climbing in the olympics

Here's hoping! 2020 would be the earliest it would make it in likely sport climbing only but that could change. The IFSC will have some serious work by 2013 to make it happen for 2020.

Here is an article I was interviewed for by the Globe and Mail.

William Robert Rankin Bowles

Ellen and I finally had our little boy William Robert Rankin Bowles Feb 12/10 12:54am. 9lb 15ou 23in long a monster! He did his first one arm Feb 14/10, aiming for one finger by March 15/10

Friday, January 29, 2010

Have you ever carved the perfect turn, had you synapses fire in perfect time allowing you to surprise yourself at your own capabilities.

Have you ever just flowed down the hill?

Have you ever lost yourself in thought, driven miles without realizing it, yet arrived ok?

Have you ever sat at the top of a climb looking over a valley and felt part of the environment and completely at peace.

Have you ever had something tell you it is just going to be ok?

The thing that just keeps you coming back every time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


If you understand PERSPECTIVE, command it and control it, then there is truly nothing you cannot do; since what one believes in heart, becomes reality in the space of your mind. It may not be someone else's perceived reality, but if you can convince yourself, then it becomes truth to you.

Insane people have long demonstrated this as delusion, but used correctly it can become a powerful tool. I am not talking about bending reality necessarily, but taking a moment to view everyday life and what is going on around you, in a way you WANT it to be. In bad times it takes more effort then in good, however, in most situations there is hope, motivation, a lesson and some joy.

For myself it provides comfort to pause and take a moment to approach my thoughts from the opposite viewpoint, both positive and negative, the ultimate self-critical devil's advocate. Most decisions become clear with this approach. If you can involve a like minded partner the method can become even more powerful.

For an anal perfectionist looking for truth, constantly flipping 180 degrees in your mind changes perspective quickly.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holly in Finals

I went to the Tour de Bloc Delire comp in Quebec last week. I have said it before and I will say it again, that gym is awesome! The people are great and they care a lot. Their team of organizers is top notch.

The attendance was huge I think they had about 50 juniors alone, probably over 150 total. Good for them.

The comp ran very smooth, but they did not use tape for qualifiers, they used color coded holds. I think this is a huge mistake. Being color blind and knowing 10% of the male population is also, it makes it nearly impossible to compete. I have to memorize the patterns before trying any problem with similar color holds. I watched a lot of people struggle even when they were not color blind. Once chalk gets on the top of a hold and you get above it, any similar color hold looks the same. I just don't get it, it has no benefit and has no place in comps. Its much cleaner for the gym for everyday use, but not comps.

I think they struggled a bit setting for a zone format finals, but overall the comp was really good, they do an awesome job a Delire.

For myself I ended up third. I was really unhappy with my finals performance. Problem 2 killed me. I could not get anywhere, my heel just would not stick. I new if I could get the first heel, I would do the problem, but just couldn't get it.

I had a great time and am physced to go to Delire for regionals.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Vision - Canmore

Climbers all know Canmore. The place is basically ideally located for climbing. while I was out west I stopped by a friends gym - The Vision. I had never been there and really wanted to check it out.

The Vision is a small local wall with some really different angles packed into a tight space. I loved it, you could definitely get strong in there. I didn't have time to climb so I am not sure about the setting although it looked good but the atmosphere, colors lighting and wall were quite unique and looked really fun. Check it out if you are ever there.

The Vision in Canmore