February 15, 2012

Boulder’s Local Bouldering Competition – SBS7 Finals Recap.


Left: Garrett Gregor obtaining the men’s highpoint, controlling holds #7 and #8 first try. Nobody was able to stick this pinch dyno from the heinous slopers.

Right: Megan Mascarenas sticking the mandatory dyno in the finals for the the flash win.


On February 4th, 2012, The Spot Bouldering Gym in Boulder, Colorado hosted the final event of the seventh season of the Spot Bouldering Series (SBS). The goal of the route-setting in these stacked local competitions is to make sure all the strong gym climbers have fun and feel good about their performance, while providing enough challenge to separate the pros from the amateurs. “Most important thing is separation, particularly challenging because the wide range of size and talent in these competitions; there’s so many pro climbers just hanging out around Boulder right now. We particularly wanted to make this one kid-friendly, and we added lots of intermediates and more feet. There’s a lot of short people sending double-digit V-scale problems,” relayed route-setter Johnny Hork.

Left: Finalist Alex Manikowski.

Right: Jon Cardwell handling two of The Spot’s worst slopers in the finals, finishing 2nd.

As for the finals, the men had their work cut out for them. From opposing side-pulls, they had to fire a big dead-point for a “bear claw” with their right hand. The dreaded “bear claw” is a hold with three small pockets for three individual fingers, allowing a one-pad purchase for each finger – no closed-hand crimps here. From that they had a big dyno-swing out left. Once getting their feet back on the wall, three heinous slopers ensued, like the worst slopers The Spot owns. From two horrible holds and a high-foot, the idea was to launch another dyno to a crappy pinch. Yeah right! Nobody could stick it, even after trying the move for a half-hour after regulation time. However, routesetter Johnny Hork said that the fore-runners were able to stick that move after pulling onto the slopers from a ladder. “But it’s much different when you have been climbing for three hours,” he said. It’s also much different when you are forerunners Daniel Woods, Carlo Traversi, and Paul Robinson (none of which showed up at the event…Daniel and Carlo were at the Darkhorse and Paul had a gnarly flapper). Garrett Gregor took first, reaching the men’s high-point on his flash attempt, followed by Jon Cardwell and Matty Hong.



Left: The women’s finals was stacked with four youth-competitors from Team ABC.

Right: Megan Mascarena for the win. In fact, she won all four of The Spot’s competitions this year.

The women’s field was stacked with strong youth. Four of the six finalists were under 18 and climb with Team ABC, a youth-team based out of the Boulder Rock Club. Their problem climbed techy crimp moves out of a cave, culminating at a big and awkward dyno to a side-ways jug. Megan Mascarenas flashed it, winning all four of The Spot’s comps this season. Nina Williams and Chauncenia Cox took second and third respectively.

Whack! Jousting it out Gladiator style… an entertaining interlude before the finals.

The theme of this competition was Gladiator Finals and a jousting match took place during an intermission between prelims and finals. The jousting adds a whole new competitive element into the mix, giving everyone some excitement and good laughs. Two guys almost got in a fight, too! One guy was trying to give his opponent the finger after getting pummelled off the stand, but the bulky fight gloves kept him from expressing the gesture fully. It was looking like it was about to get ugly until the announcer made some funny comments and released the tension.

Barn-door in the joust battle.

Climbing pro, guidebook author, and Boulder local Matt Wilder competed, placing 3rd going into the finals. We got to chat with him after the prelims:

What was your strategy?
“Work the problems quickly and flash as much as possible. I flashed problems 4-8, then took two falls on 9 before sending. I’m a little more tired than I want to be.”

Did you train for this comp?
“Actually, I see this comp as training for the ABS Nationals coming up in a few weeks. But yes, I’ve been climbing harder lately.”

What’s exciting in your climbing world these days?
“I was down in Heuco recently and did a few new problems. Seeing the potential that’s still there is motivating. Plus I’ve been building a woody in my garage.”

DJ Dirt Monkey blasted beats that would make a deaf-man shake his booty.

For Spot locals and members, the comp provided an opportunity to climb their hardest without so many holds and tape on the walls. The lines looked more aesthetic and felt cleaner. Special thanks to the staff for the good vibes, Wahoo Tacos for the post-burn refuel, and Avery Beer for keeping everyone nice and loose.



Left: Cranking out of the Dojo in the prelims.

Right: Matty Hong for 3rd place.


Nina Williams, for 2nd place, the only other finalist to top out the women’s final.

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