MetroRock North brings you the 4th annual Blackout Boulder Brawl, the sickest, glowingest, raddest blackout comp in all the land!
We put up crazy boulders, decorate them with neon tape, turn off the lights and flood the gym with blacklight to make a surreal boulderscape of psychedelica. Wear your neon colors and be part of the scenery while you climb.
We are in the middle of competition season and so far it’s been great! We’ve seen the largest number of climbers at a single competition since we starting hosting. We’ve also had the most top climbers in the country coming from near and far to compete. With two more rounds of Dark Horse still yet to come, we can only expect bigger and better.
For many, the idea of a climbing competition is a strange concept. It isn’t a sport where points matter or time is usually a factor. Unlike a head to head or team sport, climbing is mostly a competition against yourself where you pull a little harder, reach a little higher and try just a bit more to get to the top.
When I encourage them to compete, many new or developing climbers shy away. As if they were a weekend warrior entering the Tour de France, they think they won’t have a stake in the prizes. When I tell them we have categories ranging from novice to advanced with prizes awarded at all levels, you can see their minds begin to change. Local open comps like the Dark Horse or the rope comps coming in March aren’t just for the pros, in fact they are mainly for the average climber who wants to see how good they can be. The glory isn’t in all in winning the grand prize but in taking part, doing your best and challenging yourself to climb at your higher level. You’ll be amazed at how hard you can climb in this setting.
We have more than enough competition for the rest of the season. If you’ve never signed up to compete, I encourage you to give it a try. It will help you realize your full potential, teach you a lot about your abilities and you’ll have a great time working hard routes with other climbers.
Here are the remaining comps (open to all climbers) this season:
• December 15th, Dark Horse round 3, Everett
Between now and mid-January, we will host a bouldering competition at one of the two MetroRock gyms every 2-4 weeks, a total of 5 events in 4 months. Unlike a racetrack or an arena, where the playing field need only be maintained, a climbing competition requires a whole new set of challenges each and every time. We set all new problems--everything from the v0s for the novices to the v10+ for the pro finals—for each event. Wiping the slate clean gives each comp gets its own set of routes or “problems” to insure that climbers have something new to work on. If you estimate 10-15 holds per problem and about 75 qualifying problems and 18 finals problems per event, that’s more than a thousand holds which need to be taken down, washed, put back on the walls, tweaked, tested and repositioned before we’re ready for competition.
It may just look like plastic bolted to an angled wall, but putting the right hold in the right place is an artful craft. It is a labor of love brought to you by a team of chalky warriors armed with sick beta, twisted notions and power tools. The work begins the weekend before each event when the boulder areas get stripped and prepped for the new sets.