|Aaron Eden surveying the wall the first day.|
|The crew doing what we do, not all of it is just throwing up holds|
So I wanna do something a little different this time around. This comp for me was a lot of learning how to do things differently, to see what a different process creates and how to adapt to it, so in the spirit of that, I'm not going to cover all the problems, I won't tell you of all our trials and tribulations, what I will discuss is the things that I found interesting in Tonde's process of running a crew (some of this will include complaining.) So without further preamble by me, I give you, my experience of setting Tour De Bloc Nationals 2013.
Now all year I've been ranting and raving about how amazing the new program I've been using to order all of the scramble format blocs and I know it doesn't apply to an Iso round but I was incredibly impressed by the organization that Tonde used. This is just one of the tools he used, in conjunction with a crazy spread sheet, I'm currently writing this and scouring my emails and computer for a copy of this spreadsheet, to complete organize every step we took as a crew towards getting this comp set.
|Tonde's Excel Sheet|
His spreadsheet worked on the same kind of principle except that it added three more very important qualities to keep track of for each bloc:
Intensity: How physically hard it is. Just get your crush on.
Complexity: How hard is this to figure out, doesn't necessarily need to mean the sequence is difficult to read, could mean very specific, learned movement.
Risk: How committed do you have to be to send this. (ie if you can do some kind of dirty, weird match to get yourself back in sequence would be a 1 or 2 but a full, all points off dyno would be a 5)
Each of these were given a rating out of 5, 1 being the low and 5 being the high. It's a pretty cool way to look at blocs I think and it covers all the necessary qualities you want to look at when comparing blocs in a a circuit round. Specifically I think it allows you prepare a really well balanced round of climbing.
|Men's Finals #4, the all features nightmare on the left, Women's Final #2 on the right.|
Now if you've been following my blog, or even if you haven't, I'll tell you right now, every comp I've set up until this one, with the exception of USASCS Youth Nationals in Atlanta about 4 years ago, I always, always, ALWAYS, set finals first. Gets them out of the way and allows you to basically go into the very casual setting of qualifiers. First day we sat down, all of us on the crew, and Tonde threw it out there, thinking of doing qualies first. My instant thought was "um, I don't do things that way." But out of iut came a lot of interesting things. When I talked to him later about it, Tonde said that he always likes shaking things up from a regular schedule and seeing the effects of that change. If you always do your routine then the products you're putting up will become routine as well. Sometimes shaking it up creates new ideas and interesting results. I won't say I'll be doing this in the very near future but I do think this approach provided a bunch of different results that we may not have come to without setting qualies first.
|My way of ensuring the finals holds don't get lost or stolen|
Now I like talking about boulder problems as much as the next climber. I admit to being completely infatuated and obsessed with certain blocs, specifically some in the world cups. (On a side note has every watch the Milau finals recap? Cuz if you haven't you need to, just to watch Women's Final #2. I don't know how long I've been talkiong about it with fellow Hive Setter Andreas Lerch but that problem is so insanely awesome and dope it makes me want to mail the Chief route setter of that comp the Bloc Of The Year award. Gah! It's so amazing! Anyways.) I enjoy discussing and talking about blocs BUT every night after setting we would discuss every bloc, how the field would receive it, how many people get up it, possible tweaks, things we liked, things we didn't....ugh! The night before finals we spent two hours talking about maybe tweaking finals only to come to the conclusion that we wouldn't. I know this sounds like all part of the process and what not but after nationals I never wanted to talk about a boulder problem ever again. I completely understand that the results and breakdown we got from this comp came from this whole process, and I think it was a very successful com, however this was just one of the things that I didn't see a whole lot of benefit in. I'm much more a judgement call, go with your gut feel, fly by the seat of your pants, shoot from the hip....yea you get the point.
|Matt Johnson flashing Qualifier #2|
All The Forerunning
This was the comp where we foreran the most. By far. I think we ran blocs at least twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. So much climbing. I think we climbed every bloc a billion times. Literally. The thought process behind this was that we would know how each bloc felt so that last minute changes would be easier but seriously Tonde, by Friday he's asking us, "how does that feel" and in my head I'm thinking; "I don't know! could be V0 but I've been climbing straight for days now man!"
|National Champion Miles Adamson (left) and Tour De Bloc overall winner Matt Johnson. Both Hive Team Members|
So that'll be it for me for Nationals. If you want to watch the interview from two years ago with Tonde the link for the video is here. Keep checking in guys, I'm going to have another HUGE post really soon (I'm done giving you guys timelines cuz I never meet them) but I'll give you a little about what it's all about.
On the way back from this comp, Luigi dropped me off at the airport and informed me that I would be on the crew that would be setting the World Cup in Toronto!!! SO STOKED!!! Ok, I'm out, I just got back from Toronto so I'll be posting about the world cup soon, I still need to go back to my gym and make sure my guys and girl didn't burn down the place and catch up to life. Alright guys, stay psyched and thanks all for reading.