October 12, 2013
Dark Horse 1 Results – MetroRock, Everett, MA
Full results are available here and at the Dark Horse website from the first event of the series.
The series has a fun format that offers categories for Youth (12&Under), Junior (13-15), Citizens (16&Over in Rec, Int, Adv) and Pro (16&over) with finals for the Youth, Junior and Pro divisions. What a great way for the kids in our sport to get a chance to experience participating in finals and to showcase up-and-coming talent!
This MetroRock location has been very busy in the past year. It seems as though every time I visit, I see another update/addition/improvement/etc. While these changes are certainly for the overall benefit of the gym and its members, they make for an improved comp experience as well. The increased natural light from the new windows and doors was amazing. It really made it seem less cramped when working problems on that back bouldering spot. The additional wall space upstairs by the treadwall is small, but makes a big difference. Several routes were up there which allowed for the problems downstairs to be more spread out and that reduced congestion.
The problems were thoughtful and varied in style. There were additional problems for the youth and junior climbers. Some of those looked really fun and I was kinda bumming I couldn’t work on them:( But I had plenty to tackle with the problems that were open to me. I felt fairly strong, despite some skin issues, and finished 9th in the Pro division. Look for a future post with details about my performance, my finish and what it meant to me.
One concern I had at this comp came up due to the staggered format (1st 1.5 hours are citizens/youth/junior only, 2nd 1.5 hours are everyone and the 3rd 1.5 hours are pro only). I love the staggered format. It offers everyone a chance to climb together, but also allows you a chance to sit back and watch people climb, which is something we often miss out on in our focus to do as much climbing as we can at a comp! It is also very nice for the pros to have the support of a crowd at the end of quals, when everyone is working hard to make it into finals. Unfortunately, I was seeing a lot of people not respecting this format, especially in the last 1.5 hours. While the pros were focusing on their climbing, I saw kids of all ages (toddler through teen) climbing on the walls, running through the climbing areas, and running under climbers. While this is a distraction to climbers, the main issue is one of safety. No one should be back in a bouldering area unless they are climbing or actively ready and able to spot a climber. I also saw people climbing in the competition area who were not in the pro division. I understand how tempting it is to want to work on or try all the problems, but it is not fair to take up time/space on the wall when people are still working on their official scorecards. I hope in the future MetroRock will minimize these occurrences and still be able to use the staggered format, because it works well and the crowd really pumps up the pros on those last minute sends!
Updates from previous weekends: