Final Results

Posted on 14. Feb, 2010 by in News

1. Alex Puccio
2. Alex Johnson
3. Fracesca Metcalf

1. Daniel Woods
2. Matt Bosley
3. Rob D’Anastasio

Well the Twitter experiment almost worked, and unfortunately they shut me out from too many posts. It was an AMAZING comp., highlighted by Alex Johnson’s dramatic send of Women’s 3, Alex Puccio’s last-climber-out send of Women’s 4. On the Men’s side Daniel provided the highlight of the comp by sending Men’s 3 an unbelievably hard power problem on pinches and slopers. He also fell in the comp ripping off the very last move of Men’s 4, only to get back on after the comp and send the wild double dyno. A truly amazing night for all involved. Well Done everyone!!!!!!!!!! Off to the party….

40 Responses to “Final Results”

  1. ginger

    14. Feb, 2010

    Thanks for the update Jamie, was dissapointed when your twittering died out!

  2. […] Paul Robinson an Problem Nr.5:   3 der 6 Qualifikationsboulder von Jimmy Webb:   (via Jamie Emerson) AKPC_IDS += "1315,";Popularity: unranked […]

  3. jghedge

    15. Feb, 2010

    The problem with bouldering comps is that the strongest climber always wins, as opposed to the best climber, which is what a climbing comp should determine. It would be very interesting, not to mention revealing, to have a comp that combined both sport climbing and bouldering, and the winner determined by the overall combined score. It would also be a more accurate reflection of the current state of cutting-edge climbing, which really is a power-endurance, bouldering/route-climbing hybrid ala Sharma and Ondra, who excel at both disciplines.

    As it is, bouldering comps are just boring, one-dimensional strength contests.

  4. B3

    15. Feb, 2010

    I disagree. Daniel, and a lot of other strong competitors fell on M2 Qualifier, which was a V8 stemming problem. Rob D, who ended up third took multiple attempts on MQ1, which revolved around a tricky drop knee. Many of the women fell on WQ5, which was a very technical slab. WFinal 3 was a no hands slab, which we called the “Shadow-walk.” I think as a route setting crew we were successful in setting many different styles of problems and really tested the field. I can’t imagine any one who was in the crowd on Saturday found it boring.

  5. Dan C

    15. Feb, 2010

    Not boring at all. It really was a great comp to watch. Daniel Woods was so obviously on another level from the rest of the field. He floated up the first two finals problems and almost flashed MF#4. But what really was fun to watch was the different approach each climber took at each problem. There was a wild rose/stem/dyno move on MF#4 that I’m not sure more than 2 people did the same way and it really affected the set up to the next few moves as well. As far as endurance goes the last problem on the men’s side had 18ish hand moves which I’m sure felt like 40 after the burlfest of problem 3 and two stout problems before that. The top two guys were ones who quickly flashed the first two problems and had plenty of juice for the last two which takes great skill as well as strength.

  6. Dan C

    15. Feb, 2010

    Even tho this comp was great I do agree it would be great to see a combined comp. Should be really fun to watch.

  7. jghedge

    15. Feb, 2010

    Looks more like campusing than climbing…

    You can go on all you want about “tricky drop knees”, “V8 stemming” and “very technical slabs” but the strongest climber always wins, making the “comp” itself a foregone conclusion.

  8. B3

    15. Feb, 2010

    @jhedge Based on your logic “the strongest climber always wins” or let me rephrase that asclimbers finishing positions directly correlate to their strength, Paul Robinson, who is the second strongest climber should finish second, and perhaps Magnus Mitdboe is the third strongest and he should finish third.
    Your theory in fact failed for the qualifying round, where Paul finished first and Vasya finished second. The competition was not a foregone conclusion as Daniel had to step up in finals to win. Is Daniel Woods not the best boulderer in the world right now? The evidence shows that he is.
    Also since when Is campusing not climbing?

  9. jghedge

    15. Feb, 2010

    “Your theory in fact failed for the qualifying round, where Paul finished first and Vasya finished second.”

    But by your own admission a few posts above, the qualifiers were more technical than powerful (“tricky drop knees”, “V8 stemming” and “very technical slabs”), on which the less powerful boulderers did better, and the finals, based on what I’m seeing in those video links I provided, were much more powerful. Those results back up, not disprove, my theory.

    “Also since when Is campusing not climbing?”

    It is one dimension of climbing. Tennis comps are not won by who has the most powerful serve, golf by the longest drive, etc, but by who has the best overall game.

    “Is Daniel Woods not the best boulderer in the world right now?”

    Strongest? Maybe. Best? No. Adam Ondra, the (gasp!) sport climber, is the best (not the strongest, but the best) boulderer in the world. Look at the results of last year’s MelloBloc comp, in which both he and DW competed, as well as Ondra’s record of bouldering flashes and quick ascents superior to DW’s or anyone else. Not to mention Sharma, who we all know if he were to apply himself to bouldering as he used to, would be untouchable.

    Kobe’s the best BB player in the world, not because he can win the Slam-Dunk contest (the BB version of indoor bouldering comps), but because he can win the game-winning buzzer beating 3, average 30 points etc.

    Like I said, I think it would be cool to have combined comps that are more reflective of where the cutting edge in the sport actually is (power endurance). Routes with v10 cruxes, and boulder problems more in the Wheel of Life, Never Ending Story style. 8 move, 30 second bursts of power are impressive, but superficial, one-dimensional strength contests.

  10. B3

    15. Feb, 2010

    First of all you haven’t addressed your claim that the strongest climber always comes out on top (and the logical conclusion that each subsequent climber would be less strong than the climber above him). Again, the finals results are not an accurate list of who is strongest. I would argue that Matt Bosley and Rob D finished 2 and 3 because of their competition experience on the technical nature of the climbs. in no way was it a foregone conclusion that Daniel would win (he qualified third) or that Matt Bosley (who qualified 15th or so) would jump to second. It makes no sense that as the problems got more powerful (as you argue they did in finals) that Paul should fall 7 places, as he was most likely the second most powerful climber in the comp. Daniel is the most powerful climber, but that doesn’t exclude him from also being the best. Perhaps Adam Ondra would have won, had he been in attendance. We can only speculate, and using outside accomplishments to compare to inside competition results is really comparing apples to oranges. Daniel’s determination to get back on Men’s 4 after falling displayed the kind of grit and composure it takes to win a National event. Men’s Number 4 was not very powerful. The drop down move, which I recall Paul not doing, or at least struggling with, was much more a matter of technique and precision than power, and that would have been clear had you been present at the event.
    You argued that it looked like “campusing more than climbing”, which I think implies that campusing is not climbing, and now you have changed your argument. Daniel chose to do the climb in a more powerful way (campusing) that again would have been evident had you been at the event watching others climb on the problem. You can see in the video he eschews two feet, which made the climb easier.
    Daniel was the best boulderer of those in attendance because over the course of 10 differing and well-set problems, he climbed the best. It’s astounding to me that anyone who follows this blog finds bouldering a “superficial, one-dimensional strength contest” I beg to differ.

  11. G

    15. Feb, 2010

    Campusing?? Look again.

    I saw a total of one movement in the three videos that that was initiated without a foot on a hold. Technique and the ability to read a sequence are as present in bouldering comps as in route comps.

  12. jghedge

    16. Feb, 2010

    “First of all you haven’t addressed your claim that the strongest climber always comes out on top…”

    Because it’s self-evident.

    “…and the logical conclusion that each subsequent climber would be less strong than the climber above him.”

    Because that would be a straw man argument, irrelevant to the point in contention that the strongest, not the best, always wins. Self evident. The strongest female won too, correct?

    “I would argue that Matt Bosley and Rob D finished 2 and 3 because of their competition experience on the technical nature of the climbs.”

    Please don’t try to infer that cutting your feet loose, as you see on almost every move of those finals clips, is “technical” – that is, in fact, the opposite of technical.

    “in no way was it a foregone conclusion that Daniel would win (he qualified third)…”

    Because the qualifiers were more technical (“tricky drop knees”, “V8 stemming” and “very technical slabs”), and the finals were basically campus climbs, the qualifiers results were no predictor of finals results. Why even have technical qualifier problems if they’re not going to be in the finals?

    “…using outside accomplishments to compare to inside competition results is really comparing apples to oranges.”

    As is using technical problems in the qualifiers to determine placement in the power-oriented finals.

    “Daniel chose to do the climb in a more powerful way (campusing)…You can see in the video he eschews two feet, which made the climb easier.”

    You are arguing the exact point I am making.

    “It’s astounding to me that anyone who follows this blog finds bouldering a “superficial, one-dimensional strength contest”.

    Not so – rather that it was presented as such in those finals.

  13. jghedge

    16. Feb, 2010

    “I saw a total of one movement in the three videos that was initiated without a foot on a hold. Technique and the ability to read a sequence are as present in bouldering comps as in route comps.”

    You’re being disingenuous – by “campusing” I mean jumping for holds and cutting your feet loose, which you see more often than not in those clips.

    And how is jumping for holds “reading a sequence”? Wouldn’t that be more like giving up on trying to read the sequence, or at best, there really being no sequence to read?

  14. B3

    16. Feb, 2010

    @jghedge Disingenuous? You’re being inaccurate. Campus means to climb with out feet, not jumping for a hold and having your feet cut loose.
    Jumping to holds reads like this. First of all, the climber reads that the hold is not within reaching distance, and most prepare his feet to put maximum weight over them. Secondly, he must read the correct part of the hold to grab. Thirdly, he me must determine what his body is going to do in the air, or what to do with the momentum once the hold is obtained dynamically. Finally, if he sticks the hold, he must figure out where he is headed to next. That is an example of how i read a dynamic sequence, simplified.

  15. B3

    16. Feb, 2010

    @jdghedge Having forerun all the problems and watched all the climbers climb onthem, something which you did neither of, I can assure you they are most definitely technical enough to determine the best climber, which I would argue they clearly did. Are you suggesting that Daniel isn’t the best American climber that competed in the comp and that he didn’t prove that on Sat?

    There are hundreds of examples of technical dynamic movement, in the gym and outside. As a matter of fact I think the technical aspect of climbing is hugely important, and that every move has an enormous technical aspect. Even on a campus board, movement is technical and a climber can have success or failure from lack of technique.

    I don’t see either round as being oriented one way or the other. We had six problems in qualifiers which gave us more leeway to set a better mixture of styles, and we took advantage of that.
    As a matter of fact, the slab wall, which was featured in both qualifers and finals, was built specifically for this competition, because of our commitment to setting various styles and to help prepare our team for the World Cup.
    It’s difficult to address all of your issues, as your arguments seem to change, not to mention the definitions of the words you are using.

  16. B3

    16. Feb, 2010
    Check out this great post from Caroline Treadway who has been going to comps for at least 10 years.

  17. jghedge

    16. Feb, 2010

    “Are you suggesting that Daniel isn’t the best American climber that competed in the comp and that he didn’t prove that on Sat?”

    No, rather that the course-setting obviously favored strength over technique, and therefore gave a false reading of who was actually “best”. Jumping for holds and cutting your feet loose is not good technique, your strained euphemisms to the contrary notwithstanding. You, of course, are free to heap as much praise on your own course-setting and objectivity, on your own blog, as you see fit. My opinion is that jumping for holds, when you don’t know what’s up there, is the abandonment, not the application, of technique, and that course-setting that incorporates jumping as the only option therefore abandons technique and is by definition not technical.

    “It’s difficult to address all of your issues, as your arguments seem to change, not to mention the definitions of the words you are using.”

    Bullshit. By campusing, I meant jumping for holds and cutting your feet loose, not literally never using your feet. Obviously. Actually I probably would resort to quibbling over semantics at this point if I were you – although really I only take the side of a debate whose merits I have a chance in hell of supporting in the first place.

  18. B3

    16. Feb, 2010

    So proclaiming Daniel Woods as the best boulderer in the comp. gave a false reading of who was the best? I totally disagree, and I am sure that nearly everyone in attendance Sat would disagree as well. Bouldering is more strength based than technique based, but again, we went out of our way to build a slab wall to broaden the skill set required to win.
    Do you acknowledge that your opinions are based on snippets of video that do not tell the complete picture? Do you also acknowledge that you did not climb on any of the problems, and therefore know less about the problems in question?
    Jumping for holds and cutting your feet loose is excellent and efficient technique to move quickly, especially in an onsight competition, when no one knows the holds they are about to grab. Dynamic technique used for onsighting difficult routes, boulders or gym problems has been exhibited by all of the best rock climbers from Daniel Woods, Ben Moon Chris Sharma and Adam Ondra back to John Gill.

    “But I didn’t think of “dynoing” as a sort of bouldering sub-culture. For me, a real boulder problem should involve some dynamics – at that time this would clearly distinguish bouldering from traditional climbing.” -John Gill

    Jumping is not only technical but also at the very foundation of our sport. It wouldn’t be a proper bouldering competition without an element of gymnastic climbing.

    Quibbling over semantics? it is common knowledge that campusing means to climb with out your feet. You altered the definition to fit your argument. Apparently it wasn’t obvious as two people (myself and G) were confused about it. Please refrain from the obscenities.

    if my enthusiasm for the event comes off as boastful I apologize. Spending a week in Virginia working very long days, under stress, for little money because I love coursesetting and climbing competitions and having the competition go as it did is something I take pride in.

  19. Dan C

    16. Feb, 2010

    @jghedge – simmerdownnow. I think Jamie has the right of this here at least on a few points. Dynamic movement is not the same thing as campusing and I personally have climbed many problems both in the gym and outdoors where a jump move that involves my feet cutting as the only logical solution and even the crux move at times. Take “Inspect Her Gadget” in HP40, not cutting your feet would make the problem nigh impossible.

    Also just because DW was the strongest does not mean he was not the best. When he needed technique it was there but when he had no trouble holding on without his feet he may have cut them and it didn’t matter. You’ve never been holding jugs and instead of doing a techy foot match, simply cut and switched?

    Also on the women’s side I would not have said Puccio was clearly stronger than Alex Johnson but on WF#4 her proper reading of the problem and stellar footwork won the comp for her.

    Lastly I’d say you are arguing specifics about a comp at which you did not attend nor witness any significant video. So please slow down in your criticism of Jamie and the setting team until you are more informed on what exactly happened with more of the competitors and have seen more of the routes they set. I understand your point overall and even agree that a combined comp would be very fun and more comprehensive. Maybe one day we’ll see one but don’t forget that even if your comp does come to fruition the bouldering section will be a bouldering comp and bouldering is at heart pulling the hardest moves possible with an emphasis on the POWER in power endurance.

  20. B3

    16. Feb, 2010

    thanks Dan C!

  21. jghedge

    16. Feb, 2010

    “Bouldering is more strength based than technique based…”

    But the strongest (Woods) isn’t the best (Ondra) – rather a glaring contradiction wouldn’t you say?

    “Jumping is not only technical but also at the very foundation of our sport. It wouldn’t be a proper bouldering competition without an element of gymnastic climbing.”

    Your definition of “a proper bouldering competition” is a strength contest done on a climbing wall, representative of your one dimensional concept of what bouldering is – strength based. Gill also said that he didn’t feel like he had mastered a problem until he could do it in perfect control. Wildly dynoing with your feet dog-paddling in the air strikes me as somewhat out of sync with that ethos; I would leave John Gill out of this if I were you…

    Of course, those Bloc World Cups could be just strength contests on climbing walls too, but the fact that sport climbers win those comps just as often, if not more so, than the bouldering specialists, leads me to believe that it ain’t necessarily so.

  22. B3

    16. Feb, 2010

    This conversation is within the context of an ABS Competition that Adam Ondra has nothing to do with. In this competition Daniel was the best. I’m not sure why you keep bringing Adam up.
    Bouldering in competition or outside is not a strength contest. I have repeated time and again that there were a variety of styles in the competition: slab, dihedral, dynos, campusing etc. I have said repeatedly that bouldering has a technical element. Now you are simply putting words in my mouth.
    Gill has everything to do with the introduction of dynamic technique in bouldering. His interest in dynamic technique laid the ground work for today’s gymnastic style, which appropriately (and having come full circle) is amazingly executed in the gym.
    In comparing Daniel and Adam as to who is the best climber? Adam is better at sport climbing, and that seems to be his focus. Daniel is better and climbing harder problems and that is his focus. Having climbed with both, I would say Daniel is much more powerful and Adam is much better technically.
    I am not sure what is motivating your seemingly anti-bouldering stance? This conversation is beginning to stall and unless you have something reasonable to say or want to write your name, it is over on my end.

  23. jghedge

    16. Feb, 2010

    “Adam is better at sport climbing, and that seems to be his focus. Daniel is better and climbing harder problems and that is his focus.”

    The second part of that I don’t buy. Ondra = 1 v15 flash and 2 v14 flash, those last 2 within 15 minutes of each other. Look at DW’s scorecard and you see 1 v11 flash. Game over.

  24. Karma

    16. Feb, 2010


    Your insistence that “Ondra is the best” is pure speculation, considering the multitude of variables that affect one’s climbing day, the number of attempts needed on a given line, and ultimately one’s placing at a given rock climbing competition. Is he one of the best? certainly. Would he have won the ABS nationals? It’s impossible to know. Your continuing argument, which reeks of begging the question, relies on a nebulous and ill-supported hypothesis that the ability to climb longer boulder problems and routes makes one a “better” climber (meaning “superior” to an elite boulderer who only boulders”) and that ample amounts of strength shouldn’t be a requirement to win a bouldering comp. Based on what criteria, I don’t know. Endurance is “better?” one’s feet never leaving both footholds at the same time makes one far superior to one who often jumps and campuses? Yes there is a difference between jumping and campusing, and I do believe you’re mistaken in your interpretation of the two.

    Have you seen videos of many elite sport climbers? They jump, campus, and wildly dog paddle their feet as well. Not all the time, but it happens.

    My interpretation is that you’re either bitter about bouldering being a strength-oriented genre of climbing (it is, point taken) or you’re an English major with a general knowledge of climbing and an extensive vocabulary out for a troll…

    All pointless bickering aside, nice setting Jamie. It looks like the comp went off very well.

  25. B3

    16. Feb, 2010

    @Karma thanks!

  26. chris

    16. Feb, 2010

    As opposed to what the setting is like in a lot of comps in Europe, these problems seemed to be about power…not exclusively but you needed to be strong to do them. I like that a lot. It speaks in favor of a bouldering comp if somebody wins that just crushes problems all over outside. Bouldering is about power. Not about endurance! Great problems btw!

  27. Peter

    16. Feb, 2010

    Admittedly, I wasn’t present at the competition.

    But, as a ten year veteren of climbing competitions, and as a very, very experienced route setter for competitions and otherwise, from what I can tell from the video, the problems were brilliant.

    Jamie brings up an excellent point about the technicality of ‘jump’ (come on, everyone knows that campusing involves no feet) moves.

    But, really, in climbing, how often is the the stronger climber not also the better climber?

    It’s not the route setters’ fault that Daniel happens to be disgustingly strong and can skip feet and power through their problems. If they’d made turned the holds, or made them worse, or placed them further apart, thereby forcing Daniel to use all their feet, would many of the other competitors have gotten off the ground?

    I don’t mean to bash everyone else competing (and, honestly, I know that Paul and many others could keep up with Daniel) but how interesting would the comp have been for the spectators (it is, afterall, a spectacle complete with neon lights) if they’d had to sit and wait for Daniel (okay, fine, the top five competitors) to come out, use all the feet, and send (or at least zone on) the problem? If you think that I am exaggerating, consider Carlo Traversi’s comment the weekend before the comp that “Daniel would have to do something wrong to not win.” Or read James’ comments about Daniel pulling down in CATS. And if Carlo and James don’t know, then consider the climbers’ outdoor track records: Daniel has climbed countless v14’s, multiple v15’s and a possible v16 earlier this week. Who else is even close to that? Paul’s done a couple v15’s. Vasya has done JawsII which is powerful enough to be consider v14/15. Matt Bosley has done a possible v14. Maybe someone else has done a v14 that I’m forgetting, but most of the rest of the finalists have only done a handful of v13’s or, in some cases, never even climbed v11. And not to mention Daniel’s three national championships, multiple world cup podiums (including one on the notoriously technical walls in Italy), all of which, in addition to solidifying his reputation for being unstopable, gave him valuable experience that helps calm nerves and execute under pressure.

    The point that I’m trying to make is that watching video of Daniel Woods climbing a boulder problem is hardly representative of what it’s like for the average national finalist (let alone the average climber) to climb a boulder problem. If there had been mandatory dyno’s to crimps followed by necessary one arm pullups then maybe you’d have a point. But look at the finals footage teaser and the other pictures from the comp. That simply was not the case.

    Also, on the non-present Adam Ondra front: he’s never flashed a v14, let alone multiple v14’s after one another. He has flashed 3 v13s, which is insanely impressive. He also claims to have gotten very lucky. Daniel has flashed four v12s and done multiple v13’s in a matter of tries (perhaps he just hasn’t had that lucky break yet). I wouldn’t say that it’s necessarily “game over” even when only taking flashes into account, but, as jamie points out, he wasn’t even there so there’s no real use in discussing it.

  28. entropy

    16. Feb, 2010

    Jghedge, do you just troll major U.S. bouldering comp posts?
    Seems like the exact same weak arguments towards the end of the comments.

  29. J

    16. Feb, 2010

    Isn’t the whole purpose of a comp to determine who the “best” climber is in that competition at that given time. It varies….nobody’s going to be at the top of their game all the time. That’s why the winners vary from comp to comp.

    Best vs. Strongest….hmm….doesn’t bouldering/climbing require strength and technique? Wouldn’t the “best” climber be the person who obviously demonstrates more of both at the event.
    A “strong” climber could always misread a route and fall.

    Ultimately, what difference does it make? We’re not saving the world or discovering inventions that will change the future of the world. Why take what we do this seriously….the reality is that we all climb rocks for fun!

    If you don’t like comps….then you don’t like comps. If you do, then you do.
    Let’s leave the politics to the poilticians and get back to bouldering and climbing!!!

  30. jghedge

    17. Feb, 2010

    “do you just troll major U.S. bouldering comp posts?
    Seems like the exact same weak arguments towards the end of the comments.”

    It just strikes me that despite the overall climbing gym industry in the US probably generating 8-figure revenues, despite there being tens of thousands of active, hard core gym climbers in a key age-range/marketing demographic, despite indoor bouldering itself being ideally suited to some form of compelling competition format, and despite 10+ years of trying, gym comps themselves generate practically zero interest except among the competitors themselves, and there is really is only one professional US climber, and he doesn’t do comps. Or live in the US.

    Yet instead of trying to broaden the appeal of comps, the trend is to narrow it by adopting a competition format and course-setting style that prioritizes the least skillful, least technical, most superficial aspect of it – strength. Dumbing climbing down by prioritizing basic brute power will never appeal to even the mainstream climbing community, let alone a broader audience.

    The current competition format offers no hope of ever maturing into a viable competitive circuit that offers anything meaningfully renumerative to its competitors. I personally would like to see them, and the gyms also, be more successful, and for there to be more of them, and for them to appeal to a broader spectrum of the population. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get everyone on board with this? And shouldn’t the first step be to ditch what obviously isn’t working? Change it so the strongest person isn’t unfairly advantaged, and doesn’t always win. So it’s not just a strength contest. Or, keep on with this mindset that says the strongest climber is the best climber, and format and course-set the comps to reflect that, and see where that gets you.

  31. Karma

    17. Feb, 2010


    I feel that you actually make some interesting points in the last post, and I wish you had framed your argument the same way as your have in the last post from the very beginning.

    My main response to your argument above is twofold:

    A. the dynamic, showy style of problem that is often set in American bouldering competitions, all the way from the most local of ABS comps to the Nationals, isn’t as straightforward as it may seem (when put up by skilled routesetters), doesn’t completely ensure that the climber with the most brute strength (and, theoretically, lacking any technique) will win on a given day, and is, in fact fun to watch. I personally love it. I could be in the minority but having spoken with a few friends about the above, I don’t believe this to be true.

    However, I feel that we’ve already argued Point A ad nauseam, and that we will have to agree to disagree.

    So on to point B: Would I concede that you’re correct in that American Bouldering Competitions fail, to some degree, to attract a mainstream, non-climber audience? To an extent. But I don’t think it’s the routesetting style. Quite the contrary- I think that the gen. pub. loves seeing young men and young women huck themselves at holds ropeless 15 feet off the ground.

    My personal theory is that sport climbing, to Bob and Betty Smith, has an air of danger that bouldering does not. A world cup wall, 50-70 feet tall (a complete guess at the height, I’ll admit) seems much more imposing than a 15 foot boulder. The climber seems much more brave, and the (completely bombproof and safe) climbing rope seems completely unlikely to hold the 10-15 foot fall each climber takes.

    Think of how much of a draw it is to see Alex Honnold and Kevin Jorgeson climb 30-60 foot highballs ropeless. I think it’s exciting. I feel that sport climbing, to the general public, appears dangerous and generates that kind of excitement.

    But that’s just my $0.02. And I could be wrong.

  32. CT

    17. Feb, 2010

    I spent the last 10 minutes or so reading through these posts, formulating my opinions, and attempted to put together some form of a conclusion that could bring some clarity to this mess

    Here it is:


    I do not know you and thus will not judge you unfairly. However, you apparently have NO idea what you are talking about when it comes to the sport of climbing. You are obviously speaking from very little personal experience with the sport, the industry, the comps, and honestly the whole picture. In fact, I’m not really sure why anyone has answered you with more than “WOW, that guy is just plain crazy!” But just out of interest, I’d like to get some answers from you to a few questions that might clear things up:

    1. Have you been (not just seen some footage) to a major US bouldering comp in the last 3 years? If so, which one/s?

    2. Have you competed in a major US bouldering comp in the last 5 years? If so, which one/s?

    3. Have you ever climbed with Adam Ondra?

    4. Have you ever climbed with Chris Sharma?

    5. Have you ever climbed with Daniel Woods?

    6. Have you ever climbed with a “professional” climber?

    7. Are you basing any of your “theories” off actual statistics (yes, they exist) or are they simply unsupported hypothesis?

    And if you answer these questions how I know you probably will, the only conclusion that I’ve come to is this:

    The comps are not the problem. The climbers are not the problem. It’s our ability to accurately portray the happenings of the climbing world to an increasingly large, and increasingly secluded side of the industry that is the problem. As the sport grows, this is the side that needs to be constantly updated with accurate, informative, and stimulating media. The disconnected need to become connected.

    So, jghedge, If you knew, then you would know, and there would be no debate. But you don’t know, and therein lies our problem.

  33. B3

    17. Feb, 2010

    Carlo, thanks for your response. It was well thought out and I appreciate it.

  34. sidepull

    17. Feb, 2010

    Quote: “I do not know you and thus will not judge you unfairly. However, you apparently have NO idea what you are talking about when it comes to the sport of climbing.”

    Ha ha! Might as well delete the first sentence. However, what follows is important, the idea of accurate portrayal or “translating” climbing to a broader audience is important and generally, competition formats don’t take this into account. I’ll add more in the other thread. Just a few notes specific to this discussion:

    1) If you can’t differentiate a campus move from a deadpoint then you have no business arguing the difference between technique and strength. Notably, Dan Hague, one of the authors of “The Self Coached Climber” argues that this is a false dichtomoy, that climbing is a movement based sport that emphasizes balance, movement initiation, and timing. If you understand climbing this way, even “brutish” moves have some level of sublime technique.
    2) Adam Ondra has lost competitions. It’s true. If that’s the case and, if you’re right and he’s the best climber, then he’s only ever lost when the routesetters did a bad job and created routes that didn’t align with his gifts, right? In other words, Adam has certain talents and Daniel has certain talents. No competition will adequately address all of these talents or tease them out in a compelling, quantitative way to definitively say that one is necessarily better than the other.
    3) A boulder route competition might be cool, but it won’t solve your issues here. Which earns more points? What order do you do it in?

  35. […] discussion about the comp scene in posts on B3Bouldering here and […]

  36. jghedge

    19. Feb, 2010


    “6. Have you ever climbed with a “professional” climber?”

    Kauk, Bachar, Cosgrove, Leavitt, Croft, Schultz, Lynn Hill, Hans Florine, Jason Campbell, Andrada, Toni Arbones, Edlinger, Legrand, Tribout, Raboutou, Glowacz, both LeMenestrels, Cortijo, Ghesquiers, JC Lafaille, Hirayama, Destivelle, Mariacher, Iovane, Moffat, Kurt Albert, …met Sir Edmund Hillary…

    do AMGA guides count as professional climbers? Could throw a dozen or so of those out there as well…

  37. CT

    22. Feb, 2010

    Exactly what I thought. You are arguing about present-day US bouldering comps, and 95% of the “professional” climbers that you claim to have climbed with are from a whole different era. You have no foundation to make such comments as “But the strongest (Woods) isn’t the best (Ondra)”, cause you haven’t climbed with either of them!

  38. Rocco

    15. Mar, 2010

    I’m not taking either side of the arguement here, but it seems to me that what jghedge is actually seeing, and has a distaste for, is the idea that competition setting is done with entertainment value in mind? It’s obvious that this happens in frequently in comps. Down climbing, down campusing, huge moves, one arm swings, etc etc. Basically, things set specifically to be impressive and interesting to watch in an attempt to make climbing appealing to the general public (maybe the Olympic Committee?). As an example: Despite the comp video being a small sample of what went on, it seems like even Daniel had to jump to the finish of every problem(did anyone static the finish move on any of the problems in the video?). This is much more fun to watch for those who don’t intrinsically understand how difficult climbing is, and who would be completely uninterested watching someone static to a slopey finish hold off of that nasty little Egrips crimp that we’ve all tried to hold onto (ala tricky, slow, world cup style setting). So what the argument really comes down to, and what I am percieveing jghedge’s argument to be, is that movement in comps doesn’t correspond very well to the type of movement you generally see on hard boulders outside…..which is a mute argument in Daniel’s case, because he obviously does well on both, but what about many other climbers? JGHedge, I think what you want is a comp with setting that reflects movement found in the outdoors? Unfortunately,it is not, and will never be, the same thing….or even close, for that matter.

  39. Rocco

    15. Mar, 2010

    I apologize for the grammatical errors in that last post, I was busy getting carried away….

  40. mark

    16. Mar, 2010

    The setting was really good imho. I do think the female problems were more technical, less overhanging terrain, the guys had better terrain, at least in finals. The variety of problems on the mens side in qualifiers had different results than the finals problems. Had they switched terrain for finals, it would play into Both Alex’s hands but not Daniels.

    The trade show comp has the same terrain for both male and female which is better. I would agree that a variety of more technical problems might change the outcome of finals for both male and female. However, for the sport to grow, showy, more powerful moves is the direction of the sport to attract a main stream audience.
    For competitions, I would rather be strong than smooth, the way they are set these days. Look at the male or female climbers and tell me who looks the smoothest and most polished, its not the winners of the comp for sure. Strength trumps all, it is just the way it is, and the Alex’s and Daniel are the best in competition.

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