Actionable Effort for Youth Climbing

•2016/04/07 • 3 Comments

I received an email from our USAClimbing regional coordinator (southwest) requesting input from each coaches’ team regarding what is the shortest athletes’ vertical max reach and wingspan. This is great news for competition fairness going into regionals in May.

After contacting Kip Ashton, he clarified that this is not official policy but his own initiative. It would be great to see other RC’s follow in his footsteps and continue this across the country.


ABS Nationals ’16

•2016/03/19 • Leave a Comment

The scoring for ABS Nationals continues to be a concern. As I see it, the scoring is simply not fair. It creates a climate of abstraction, so to speak, that makes things unclear and equally unfair as to who’s ahead and who appears to win, the primary claim by others. That said, I’d like to focus on what can work for the future and what has worked in the past.

First, I’d like to explain the primary concern for the current scoring system. A simple example between two competitors goes like this:

In this scenario, who's ahead?

In this scenario, who’s ahead?

Continue reading ‘ABS Nationals ’16′

Mantel Madness

•2016/02/08 • 2 Comments

At the last parking space on the left down Lost Horse road is the access point to this posts’ problems. Directly in front of the parking area’s left side is a low angle slab that starts at a lip about 3 feet off the ground. In that previous post, I mention an arete sloper (called The Jacobin) that we did; just to the left is this mantel problem.

There are 2 problems on it that I added the previous weekend. The easier line (Left Wing Traverse, v2) starts at the center of the lip on slight indented slopers and traverses left till it’s easy to mantel out. This left traverse has a dab potential, so I used a thin 1 inch pad over the boulder underneath. The harder line (Left Wing Mantel, v5) goes straight up the center with a mantel. I did it with right leg up, but it can be done, I think, with the left leg leading. My right shoulder is still in rehab, so locking off high enough to begin pressing is a no go… thus I went with the right leg and left shoulder lockoff. Regardless, it’s a technical mantel worth doing if you care to learn how to mantel a sloping ledge.

WR and the Quest for Status

•2016/02/08 • 3 Comments

A friend sent me this link of a boulderer trying to send White Rastafarian (WR). His friends did an admirable job of protecting him, for the most part, but what’s significant is the lack of skill for toping out that the boulderer himself displayed.

Just after this reach, the boulderer drops back to the resting position then continues to release and fall...

Just after this reach, the boulderer drops back to the resting position then continues to release and fall…

Continue reading ‘WR and the Quest for Status’

ABS 16 Youth, A Commentary on Setting

•2016/01/20 • 11 Comments

Update: I wrote this back in April 2015 shortly after the ABS Youth Nationals and am now posting it. I wasn’t completely sure I wanted to do this, but as time goes on, it seems more and more necessary to speak up about these and similar issues.

Disclaimer: I’m a product developer for Evolv, having made several pairs of shoes for Ashima, and Ashima is an Evolv sponsored professional athlete.

Having not been involved in coaching actively at the youth competition scene for a few years now, I recently reviewed (as suggested by a friend) one problem for one age group of youth nationals that occurred a short time ago. I only looked at one of the categories since the competitors are of a world class standard, and I have limited knowledge of one of the climbers. This was Division B Youth Female. The top three competitors were Lauren Bair, Ashima Shiraishi and Brooke Raboutou. Ashima and Brooke climb at an internationally recognized level outside and of Lauren I know little.

Lauren Biss reaching the undercling with her foot on the low sloper. Problem #2 Youth B Nationals.

Lauren Bair reaching the undercling with her foot on the low sloper. Problem #2 Youth B Nationals. More importantly, her wrist is bent (requiring additional reach) to facilitate the weight transfer necessary to do the move.

Continue reading ‘ABS 16 Youth, A Commentary on Setting’

Debunking a Few Myths About Monument Status

•2016/01/20 • Leave a Comment

Here is a nice writeup on what it means to designate a National Monument and the unfortunate reality of congressional action (or inaction in this case) versus the Antiquities Act. It’s at

Slow Progress…

•2016/01/10 • Leave a Comment

Here’s a cool but short line we added just south of Shark Fin Arete on the same side of Geology Tour Road. To the right is the real masterpiece, but that’s going to take some time. The short line is called Echt, maybe v5. I noticed a small bit of rock wear on the low left start foot, but it was higher up the continuous edge, not where it’s obvious to use… so maybe it’s been done already. It is in an obvious spot. Maybe it was done with both hands higher up which would explain why the upper part is the only place wear exists.

The start of Echt.

The start of Echt.

Continue reading ‘Slow Progress…’


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