The problems were creative and the athletes moved like monkeys at this years American Bouldering Series National Championships on February 13-15, 2009 at The Spot Bouldering Gym in Boulder, Colorado.
In its 10th season, ABS routesetting is definitely world-class. In fact, finalist Max Zolotukhin called the four men's and four women's lines "the best problems in a comp ever." The routesetting team, headed by Kynan Waggoner, added an eight-foot plywood extension to the back wall for some serious highball action. Men's #3 featured some big slopey holds making for a few stylee 360 degree spins and women's #4 started with an exciting dyno to crimps.
The spotlight was on men's #4, which began with a monkey-swing out of a cave and around a corner. From there, an awkward dyno from overhanging side-pulls to symmetrical squeezes weeded out half the field, and the finish separated Daniel Woods from the rest. Three technical face moves caused competitors to scratch for the final hold at the top of this highball, giving the audience a good view of many dramatic bomb-drops.
The athletes provided an exciting and impressive show for this year's packed house and the spectators left inspired and satisfied. The top three male and female winners in this event will represent the United States at this years Bouldering World Cup, hosted by the Teva Mountain Games at Vail, Colorado June 4 to 7.