Photo by Pat Bagley
Dark Horse Series 2012 went out with a bang last weekend as some of the best climbers in the world came to throw down to fight for the prize and glory. The series, which began last November, is our homegrown compeition and we couldn't be happier with the way it has grown. Each passing year and comp, things get bigger and better and we were floored by what we saw last Saturday: hundreds of spectators cheering their lungs out for the pros as they tackled some of the sickest boulder problems we've ever set. It was an amazing show and we can't wait for next year!
We want to thank everyone involved, especially:
- The setters and organizers who worked long and hard to set everything up and put up some amazing climbs. It's not as easy as it looks!
- The staff at MetroRock for their hard work at making everything work so smoothly.
- Our sponsors who made it all possible and provided awesome prizes. We appreciate all your help.
- To the spectators who created all that buzz and excitement. Without you, it would just be a cool boulder session, with you, it was a party!
- Most of all, HUGE thank you to the competitors. From the novice competing for the first time to the pros who do this for a living, you all made it possible by putting your best efforts up to see how hard you can climb. Climbing competitions are about the individual challenging him or herself to push beyond their limits and we can't say enough about the amazing performances we saw during those three days. Congratulations to ALL of you!
For complete wrap-up and information, including results, see the Dark Horse homepage.
For pics and video, see the links below:
Smartphones, whether you like them or not, have made it possible to get instant access to information on just about everything with a few pokes of your finger. Climbing may be a very analog activity but your iphone, android or whatever comes next can still add to the experience. Below is a partial list of apps that will help you get to the crag, find routes, figure out beta, avoid bad weather and learn to be a better informed climber.
NOT the correct way to use your climbing app!
If you need to find your way around a particular climbing area, there are now a few options for smart phone apps instead of the old fashioned guidebook. The apps listed here cover just the US but there are scores of others for climbing overseas.
The Black Out Boulder Brawl was a huge success with over 137 competitors and over a 100 spectators!
Here are the final results.
1 Andy Lamb 25
2 Nicholas Hall 23
3 Bowland Chen 21
4 Shane Messer 17
5 David Berman 17
Andy Lamb WINNER!
1 Melissa Hopkins 31
2 Amelia Metcalf 30
3 Olivia Metcalf 29
4 Katie Lamb 26
5 Megan Gallagher 22
Amelia Metcalf WINNER!
In order for us to try and appease the masses we are constantly coming up with the best ways to bring the joy of climbing to all. We have currently decided in Newburyport that Family Night, a discount for children that are 12 or under, would better serve the public on a different day. As of November 1st, Family Night will officially be on Thursday Nights starting at 3p.
The deal itself is as follows:
Time: 3p - 10p
Location: MetroRock - Newburyport
Deal: All children that are 12 or under pay their age and get free rentals (for example, a 10 year old would pay $10)
*All children need a waiver that is signed by their parent
**Deal does not include any MetroRock Staff as instructors or belayers
For questions please call us at (978) 499-7625
Photo courtesy of Max Shaffer
MetroRock Everett recently began offering Yoga classes in one of the new expansion spaces. We sat down with the instructors to talk about their passions for both yoga and climbing and what students can expect from the “Yoga for Climbers” classes.
Ken Miller is the lead teacher and offers classes on Mondays at 7pm, Thursdays at 6 and 7pm. “I studied Hatha Yoga at the Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica, where I received my 200 hour Yoga Alliance-certified teacher training. My passion for yoga stems from its capacity to foster physical and emotional well-being in a fun and powerful way. Yoga offers wonderful tools for managing anxiety and stress, and for achieving a greater sense of ease, confidence, and self-acceptance. As a rock-climber and runner, I am grateful for the ways in which yoga has increased my strength, flexibility, and focus.”
At nearly every climbing gym in the world you are bound to find some sort of competitive event. Some gyms keep them local, sporatically holding smaller comps that welcome their climbing community through there doors for a day full of fun and healthy competition. Some gyms take it to a global level, opening their doors to climbers from all over the country and the world to come in and test themselves against the best on routes and boulders that baffle the imagination. Bodies fly through the air with the greatest of ease, latching on to a climbing hold placed perfectly on the wall. Everything is designed down to the finest detail to make climbers push their limits to hold on til the very end until a king and queen are announced.
More and more, these competitions are gaining the momentum as a spectator sport, with vendors, lights, music and festivities to draw in a crowd from all over. MetroRock Climbing Centers is no exception. For years we've been perfecting the art of holding world class competitions, from fun comps like the Blackout Boulder Brawl, where climbers enter a different world of climbing under the blacklights with enough neon colors to make the 80's envious, to the Dark Horse Bouldering Series that over the last 2 years has grown into an international sensation. With hundreds of competitors and just as many spectators busting through the seams, we saw a perfect opportunity to give back to the climbing community.
We are proud to announce that at every climbing competition held at MetroRock Climbing Centers, a portion of every entrance fee will go to Urban Peaks, an organization dedicated to bring the sport of climbing to disadvantaged and underrepresented youth.
Here is a list of some upcoming competitions at MetroRock Climbing Centers:
We are very sad to announce that Walter Bonatti, the Italian mountaineer, author and inspiration to a generation of climbers, passed away after a long bout with cancer. His life was filled with daring ascents of some of the world’s most formidable peaks. As an Alpinist and later as a travel journalist, he was an inspiration for a generation of climbers.
His checklist includes first ascents of Gasherbrum IV, solo ascents (during winter) of several peaks in the Alps, exploration of the Andes and his controversial role in the first ascent of K2. After retiring from climbing with the first solo winter trip up the Matterhorn’s north face, Bonatti turned to journalism. For the next several decades, he traveled the world, chronicling his adventures for Italian magazines and writing several books about his exploits. Most notable would be “Mountains of my Life,” which is highly recommended if you’d like to learn more about this man and his remarkable life.
Hang out in the living room of any hardcore climber and amidst the random rope coils, ‘biners and trad gear littering the area you’ll probably find a few climbing video cases lying about. Catch the climber relaxing at home and you may even find him or her kicked back on the couch, beer in hand, empty burrito foil on a plate in front and one of these videos playing on the screen. Climbing “porn” as they are commonly known, are videos featuring climbers around the world performing sick sends, wicked falls, random exploits and general mischief for your entertainment. They are the perfect inactive rest for climbers, a chance to sit on one’s butt and stare at a screen while still engaged in a climbing activity.
These videos range from the roughly edited home version found all over the web to the slickly produced feature length of the sort seen at film festivals like the Reel Rock Tour or the Banff Mountain Film Fest. Whatever the quality and whether you watch it in a theatre or on the couch in your undies, climbers love the way these videos get them stoked for climbing and getting out there in the world to visit new crags, reach new heights and get to know their idols a little better. They serve as travelogues, advertisements for the climbing areas, character studies and pure comedy. Some will appeal only to the grimiest dirtbagger with years of experience while others can keep even your non-climber friends enraptured. No matter the format or topic, climbing videos are a fun way to spend some downtime or just to get your fix when real climbing isn’t an option.
As a climbing center, MetroRock offers a variety of programs designed to teach, train and develop climbers so they can reach their greatest potential and enjoy all the benefits of the sport. Even though we are one of the largest gyms in the area, we hope that you take the sport outside and enjoy the natural beauty that climbing offers in New England and around the world. However, when taking this step, it is important to remember that the impact of human activity on such places can be devastating. Indiscriminate use by climbers can devastate plant and creature habitats if we’re not careful. Even if your primary goal is sending the climb, the basic rules for all who venture out into the great outdoors apply to you as well.
Recently, we were notified that a group of climbers from the Boston area were spotted at Maine’s Shagg Crag behaving badly and ignoring all the local and common sense rules of camping. They built fires in a restricted zone, burned their trash and camped directly at the crag instead of at an appropriate campsite away from common areas. As representatives of the Boston climbing community, we feel it is very important to address the issue and make it clear that we don’t condone such behavior nor is it in line with the spirit of climbing and outdoors adventure that we foster. If you are one of the people involved in this incident, we hope you are properly shamed into changing your ways—your behavior ruined the experience for others and was an insult to the locals who cherish the crag.