It didn’t help that a large youth team hailing from Gunnison, Colorado, all wearing green team shirts, careened around the gym’s freestanding boulders like electrons around an atomic nucleus, full off youthy vigor. When the timer began, they glommed onto the walls as if attracted by some unseen force. As the night progressed, though, I felt very much at home — the problems were excellent and, as is rarely the case, the point values seemed spot on (no pun). I climbed better than I’d expected and plenty of folks my age materialized. The comp’s 120 competitors urged each other on and shared Beta selflessly. Everywhere, climbers growled or styled their way through problems, pitching off onto the nicely padded floors with abandon or topping out the heady highballs boulders with courage (I’ll admit, I beach-whaled once or twice in desperation).
When the climbing was done, many of the competitors filed upstairs for Avery beer, Chinese food (which was mostly polished off by spectators while we were climbing) and later, pizza. Howlin’ Dan manned the mic from atop the Fontainebleau boulder and whipped the audience into a frenzy with hurled schwag and the raffle call — about $1500 worth of gear from sponsors (bentgate.com, backcountry.com, Flashed, Trango, BC.com, MontBell, Neptune Mountaineering, Verve, Sender Films, Serac Adventure Films, Metolius, and Avery Brewing) was given away. In the crowd below, grown men could be seen diving for chalk and DVDs like greedy children swarming the contents of a split piñata.
The results are slated for posting at thespotgym.com by Wednesday, December 5. The third installment of the Spot Bouldering Series III, will be The Gun Show, on January 19, so bring your guns and check out the afore-mentioned website for more on the rest of the series.