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Planet Granite

Nov 022014
 
Gear Guide by PG San Francisco Instructor Cody Blank

So you’re interested in buying either your first rope or maybe working on expanding your rope quiver!

I’ll go through the 5 most common rope buying experiences we get here in at Planet Granite.

Then I’ll list the ropes we sell that are fit for each situation and my personal favorites. There is a lot of other things to know about ropes and specialized situations so this is not a comprehensive guide by any means!

*And for those of you that don’t want to sweat the details, I’ve included a short ‘TL,DL’ guide at the end of the post. (too long, didn’t read)

1. Your first rope
2. Your second rope
3. Gym lead rope
4. Dedicated “sending” rope
5. A bigwall/aid rope


1. YOUR FIRST ROPE
Features to look for: Durability, Low Cost
Common Diameters 9.9mm-10.5mm

Your first rope just like your first set of climbing shoes should not be too specialized and should be durable.

You’re more than likely going to be doing a lot of top roping on it and when you get into leading it will take plenty of abuse doing that as well. Also don’t worry about advance features like dry treatment, bi-color or bi-weaves which I’ll explain later. I’d recommend something between 10mm to 10.2mm for the diameter as your first rope and at a length of 60m.

  • RECOMMENDATIONS:
  • Mammut: Galaxy Classic (10mm) *personal favorite*
  • Bluewater: Eliminator (10.2mm) or Pulse (9.9mm)
  • Sterling: Marathon Pro (10.1mm)
  • Maxim: Equinox (10.2mm)
  • Petzl: Mambo (10.1mm)

photo 5 (1)

2. YOUR SECOND ROPE
Features to look for: Lightweight, Durability, Length
Common Diameters 9.4mm-9.8mm

You’ve probably been climbing for a little while and now are starting to lead climb, now you can start building your quiver of ropes. Since you already have durable 60m rope that you can use for top roping or easy cragging its time to look for a more specialized rope. A lighter rope can help you make the most of your developing climbing career.

Also this is the time when getting some extra features might be helpful. A 70m length might be something you want if you are climbing longer pitches that require one. Dry treatment/ dry coating will protect a rope from weakening when wet but for most people not on alpine or ice climbs it lets the rope feed nicer through a belay device and carabiners.

Another feature is bicolor and biweave which makes it much easier to find the middle of a rope when setting up a rappel. The difference between the two is that in bicolor one or more the yarns of the rope change color halfway. But in a biweave there is only a change the order of the yarns as to create a different pattern halfway.

photo 1 (3)

*This picture shows the difference between the two, on the left is a bicolor and the right is a biweave.

  • RECOMMENDATIONS:
  • Mammut: Infinity (9.5mm) *personal favorite* or Tusk/Transformer (9.8mm)
  • Bluewater: Lightning Pro (9.7mm) or Wave (9.3mm)
  • Sterling: Velocity (9.8mm) or Fusion Ion (9.4mm)
  • Maxim: Glider (9.9mm) or Pinnacle (9.5mm)
  • Petzl: Contact (9.8mm) or Arial (9.5mm)

*Some of the thicker ropes on the list:
photo 3 (1)
*And some of the thinner recommendations:
photo 2 (3)

3. YOUR GYM LEAD ROPE
Features to look for: 35m Length, Durability
Common Diameters: 9.5mm-10.5mm

If you do a lot of lead climbing in the gym you might want to grab a dedicated rope for all that training.

This is because you’re going to be putting much more mileage, and probably falls, when you are leading in the gym. So that makes durability an essential feature to have in this rope, but honestly any rope will do.

If you are buying new look for ropes that are already cut into 35m or more. By having a gym rope in your quiver you will dramatically increase the life of your other ropes.

***IMPORTANT NOTE***
Don’t assume that an old 30m rope, cut from half of a 60m, is going to be enough for some of Planet Granite’s taller routes. Ropes do get shorter over time! If you are not 100% CERTAIN that your rope will reach check first by mock leading with it.

  • RECOMMENDATIONS:
  • Bluewater: 37M Gym (10.1mm)
  • Maxim: 35M Equinox (9.9mm) *personal favorite*

4. YOUR ‘SENDING’ ROPE
Features to look for: Lightweight, Impact force, Lightweight (yes a second time)
Common Diameters 8.9mm-9.3mm

Now you’re getting on serious projects or are looking at longer climbs where those grams counts.

A nice light thin rope might be the slight advantage that can help you send. 70m or even 80m ropes in this category are especially popular and handy for long single pitch climbs or linking multiple pitches together. Also the dry coating on lots of the ropes will allow a smoother belay, or if you are going to use it for long trad/ alpine routes were a storm might roll through it’s nice piece of mind.

  • RECOMMENDATIONS:
  • Mammut: Norwand (9.3mm) or Revelation (9.2mm)
  • Bluewater: Wave (9.3mm) or Icon (9.1mm)
  • Sterling: Nano (9.2mm) *personal favorite*
  • Maxim: Airliner (9.1mm)
  • Petzl: Volta (9.2mm)

SendingRopes

5. YOUR BIGWALL/AID ROPE
Features to look for: Durability
Common Diameters 10mm-11mm

Most of the things that make a good first rope make a good bigwall rope. There isn’t too many other things that put more wear and tear into your gear like bigwall climbing can do, so don’t worry about getting a expensive one either.

But one of the differences is that you might want to look at getting a 70m length for linking up shorter pitches.

  • RECOMMENDATIONS:
  • Mammut: Supersafe (10.2mm) or Sensor (10mm)
  • Bluewater: Eliminator (10.2mm) *personal favorite*
  • Sterling: Marathon Ultra (10.1mm)
  • Maxim: Equinox (10.2mm)
  • Petzl: Mambo (10.1mm)

*TOO LONG, DIDN’T READ VERSION*

10mm and up for your first rope or a rope for big wall climbing

9.4-9.8mm for an all around lead rope

9.4mm and under for a ‘trying hard to send’ rope

Anything 35m long and above 9.5mm is a good gym rope


EXTRA COOL STUFF!
Mammut has been doing some interesting things with rope manufacturing technology recently and I’ll touch on two of the ropes that are notable.
photo 5 (4)
Sensor (10mm)
This is an interesting concept where you can not only tell where the middle and ends of the rope are by sight, but also by touch. The sight bit comes from a standard bicolor weave, but the touch aspect comes from changing the yarns to be thicker at the middle and ends of your rope. This can definitely be handy for those long days and when they turn into long nights where your brain not might be %100.

Transformer (9.8mm)
Mammut in an effort to be green is starting to take their off color yarns and odd length fibers and making ropes sheaths and slings with them. What you get is a one of a kind color pattern kind of like heathering but with the bonus eco points. If you’re worried about potential performance issues don’t fret, the rope performs almost identical to one of their bestsellers, the Tusk.


yosemite
ABOUT CODY: Cody is Bay Area native and loves all of California. The way trad climbing allows him a unique perspective of the most beautiful places in the state draws him to getting scared on gear. Even though he loves climbing in all it’s forms he can never decide on one perspective of California so he also kiteboards, surfs, mountain bikes, and skis.

To learn more from Cody, enroll in the Crack Clinics or the Beginner Rock Climbing Course at PG San Francisco. 

Oct 302014
 

As an Event Staffer, then as a climbing coach, and now as the Youth Programs Coordinator at PG Belmont I have met so many inspiring young climbers during our youth programs!

These young climbers constantly remind me to live in the present, and they inspire me to climb better. Now, the most appropriate thank-you I can imagine is to hand them microphones so we can all hear what they have to say.

Please contact me with any questions, comments, submissions, or sponsor inquiries.

Good luck, and Climb On!

~Jesse Schouboe –  YouthBL@planetgranite.com


WANTED: YOUNG AUTHORS

REWARDS: PRIZES AND GLORY 

Planet Granite’s First Ever…

Essay, Short Story, and Poetry Contest

For young rock climbers

to share their stories

 —–

I am excited to announce the launch of Planet Granite’s first ever Youth Writing Contest!

*This contest is open to anyone ages 6-18 who has climbed at Planet Granite, regardless of experience or ability level.*
Writing Contest Blog Picture
Each month Planet Granite climbing teams, after-school programs, birthday parties, and other events attract hundreds of young climbers to our walls. Some of these young people are first-time climbers and some are nationally ranked in their age divisions.

If you or someone you know is between the ages of 6 and 18, has climbed at Planet Granite, and has a story to tell, then WE WANT TO HEAR IT!

You can write about a climbing challenge you have faced, a goal you have reached, friends you have made, or you can even create a fictional story about climbing.

Submit your story to me via email BEFORE NOVEMBER 24TH, and in December we will post all entries anonymously so PG members can vote for their favorites!

All entries are welcome, and winners from each age category will receive PRIZES!

Sponsors of Youth Contest

Get psyched for awesome PRIZES from these generous sponsors!

So, download the CONTEST RULES, find an inspiring topic, and start writing!

Jesse Bio Pic
ABOUT JESSE: Jesse has a passion for education, climbing, and being outdoors with friends. Now back in the Bay Area after several years of traveling, he can often be found talking with friends and drinking tea in the gym between climbs. He loves the PG community, and is psyched to take both his training plans and the PG Belmont youth programs and community events to the next level. 

Oct 272014
 

“How can I properly train for climbing?”

That’s usually the hot question for most climbers. And then even finding the right training program for your body (and your lifestyle) can be really challenging!

This was the same question on Colorado climbers Neely Quinn and her husband Seth Lytton minds’ when they created TrainingBeta.com

Their site has a TON of beta from an assortment of climbers, nutritionists, coaches and trainers – from our friend Kris Peters from Team of 2, Angie Payne, Jonathan Siegrist and many more.

They recently released a brand NEW bouldering training program and as a way to introduce themselves to Planet Granite, they’re offering us ALL a 25% OFF discount for the next 4 weeks!

Read on to hear their story, score yourself TWO FREE sample workouts AND get that PG discount code. Enjoy!


This post is the 1st of 3 articles written especially for Planet Granite by Neely Quinn, a climber, nutritionist, and owner of TrainingBeta.com.

bouldering strength and power program

Who we are at TrainingBeta

As climbers, our main objectives are to have fun and to be as awesome at our sport as we possibly can be. Simple enough right? Nope, not even close!

Last February, I was struggling with my climbing, trying to figure out how to overcome a plateau I was at. I was searching online for training information and coming up short.

No offense to the people out there with training info, but I wanted a PLAN, and one that I didn’t have to spend 6 hours deciphering and figuring out for myself.

I also didn’t want to pay a ton of money to get personal training. And I also wanted a variety of really easy-to-follow advice from all kinds of strong climbers and good trainers – not just one person.

So my husband Seth and I created TrainingBeta.com, where we collect as much training information from as many strong climbers and trainers in one place as we can!

We have a blog with tons of training articles by trainers, climbers, and us.

We have a podcast where I interview trainers and climbers, and there are training videos and training programs for all kinds of climbers of ALL abilities!

2 Sample Workouts –
Just for Planet Granite 

Here’s 2 workouts taken directly from the new bouldering program, so you can get a taste of what’s in there! And so you also have two awesome new drills to do like NOW. So get started this week!

finger strength workout
dashboard-large

Want more?

This new Bouldering Strength and Power Program was created by Kris Peters, (the trainer from Team of 2), and it’s a subscription plan, so you can train with Kris’s guidance for as long or as short of a time as you want to.

You get 3 workouts every week that train the following:
  • Power Endurance (climbing and weight room)
  • Power (campusing and weight room)
  • Finger Strength (fingerboarding)
  • Overall Strength (weight room, circuit training, climbing)
  • Fitness (cardio* and circuit training)
  • Injury Prevention (opposition and strengthening exercises)
  • Projecting (on a bouldering wall)

* We know a lot of people hate cardio, so we explain who should be doing it and why in the program.

It’s a cyclical program, so every 6 weeks you’ll be training something specifically, whether it’s power, strength, or power endurance.

dashboard-front-page

*Special Discount for ALL Planet Granite Climbers!*

From TODAY until SUNDAY 11/30, ALL climbers at Planet Granite can get 25% OFF ANY of the subscription programs on TrainingBeta.com!  

Because we heard you guys at PG are SO psyched on training (or so we’ve been told by Kris Peters from Team of 2!) we’re really excited to share our programs with ya.

You just need to use the coupon code “PlanetGraniteat checkout to get the discount!

——

  • So you might be thinking  – “Why Train and Not Just Climb More?”

We tried to think of everything a boulderer would need in order to send harder, since we know first hand how important climbing can be!

For a lot of years I just figured that climbing was enough to train for climbing. The more I climbed, the harder I should be able to climb, right? Well, not so much because I hit that plateau.

As soon as I started training with weights, the finger board, campus board, and getting a little fitter, I noticed measurable improvements in my climbing. It’s unbelievable how simple it is, and yet how overlooked “training” is for most climbers!

  • Ok you’re psyched to train but your schedule is ‘hella’ busy. We hear ya!

Research has shown that MORE training is NOT necessarily better… or smarter in fact!

Often, shorter, concise training sessions are more than enough to produce fast results in your climbing! We had that in mind when we created these workouts, as well as the fact that not everyone can train for 6 hours 6 days a week like some of the pros do.

So there are 3 workouts a week – 2 climbing and 1 either fingerboarding or campusing (or alternate workouts for super beginners) – and almost all of them are between 1.5 and 2.5 hours, including your warm-up!

You can fit these workouts in over the week if you’re going climbing on the weekend, and you can always adjust how many of the workouts you do, depending on whether it’s sending season or training season.


We love to chat!

We’d love to have your feedback if you do try it out, and if you ever have any questions about anything training or TrainingBeta, just email us at info@trainingbeta.com.

Whether you train with our programs, with a personal trainer, or on your own, we wish you the best with your climbing!

 

Retina-Web-Logo

 

Oct 242014
 

*Event recap brought to you today by PG Setter Shannon EK Joslin.


BLOC PARTY SERIES 2014 concluded at PG San Francisco on Friday, 11/17.

It’s a week past the conclusion of BLOC PARTY 2014 and the excitement is STILL booming up in San Francisco.

Competitions seem to bring out the BEST in Planet Granite’s community and I’m always inspired to see so many people cheer on and encourage others in a friendly competition!

A BIG congratulations to everyone who competed and a BIG thank you to everyone who came out just to cheer their peers on!

We’ll start at the beginning: REGISTRATION.

registration

PG Managers Kalie and Carolyn checking climbers in before the climbers check the problems out.

And then we’ll skip over the logistics (I just wanted to put in a photo of the shining, smiling faces of PG staff!) and let’s get to the meat of the matter:

THE CLIMBING.
Climbing 1

Everyone was super psyched on the climbs.

The walls this year were chock full of fresh grips from Rock Candy, Kilter Grips and Urban Plastix.

As the chalk will show all of the problems got A LOT OF LOVE but perhaps the boulder that really stole the reappoint show was number 32, a green compression pinch rig set by PG’s one and only Walker Emerson, ‘SMASH‘.

Walker's green one

The infamous #32. SO SO good!

The problem has it all– it looked cool, it climbed well, people looked psyched to top it out and falling on it was even okay because it meant you could climb on it again.

When Walker was asked what inspired the route he declined to state but when crusher Kearney Coghlan, the Women’s 3rd place Winner, was asked about the boulder she said she wished it would have gone on for 3,000 feet like El Cap. We think Walker would approve!

The event was visited by a smattering of local vendors including Sports Basement and Three Twins ice cream.

And there was also a smattering of prizes to be won by climbers and spectators alike through the raffle. And even more pizza to be won just outside!

Pizza and ice cream

Ice cream + Pizza = happy PG climbers!

After an evening of fantastic climbing the heat was turned up while the weather cooled down for our Onsight Finals.

*For those of you who don’t know what an Onsight final is, don’t worry! It is quite simple:

Five top-scoring finalists of each sex go into isolation. While in isolation three finals problems for both Men’s and Women’s are put up by PG’s quick trigger pit crew, I mean setters.

The finalist are then taken downstairs and each person has 4 minutes to look at the boulder and determine the intended sequence of these new climbs on the spot.

Onsighting tests a climber’s personal proficiency at reading a boulder and efficiently carrying out the moves.

The showy problems made for great entertainment and stupendous climbing!

The Men’s finalists were Giovani Traversi, Jeremy Ho, Andy Lamb, Ryan Olson and Eric Sanchez.

The Women’s finalists were Hannah Donnelly, Kearney Coghlan, Amanda Anderson, and Jenna Keller.

Winners

The Men’s and Women’s podiums. Well done climbers!

WINNERS   +  ALL SCORES  +  PHOTOS

Everyone did a fantastic job in finals and the crowd was psyched!

Congratulations to Hannah Donnelly and Andy Lamb for their crushing wins and crushing grips!

Now get outside and rock climb!

*As always we want to say a BIG thanks to all our sponsors!*


Shannon bioBorn under a smoldering Mars, it is rumored that Shannon began setting routes as a young girl in the gaudy playpens at the Sultan’s palace in Delhi on walls of pure velvet and pinches of wrought gold. As word of her startling talent spread she was adopted by a traveling English sugar baron and quickly inducted into the glittering halls and silk petticoats of London’s new rich, where she lived for a time before stowing away on the four-master Santa Guadalupe, bound for the Americas. What transpired aboard the vessel can only be guessed at by a tremor in her root-like thumbs—though many have of course cited the numerous horrific diaries discovered among the wreckages of two Japanese whalers. How she at last came to Planet Granite remains unknown…

*What is known* about Shannon is that she is an ambassador of La Sportiva, Organic Bouldering Mats, Joshua Tree Skin Care, Flux Coffee, and Solo Eyewear. She chooses to wake up in the morning with a Flux and a snuggle with her dog/black bear, Philia. She is a wealth of information about climbing products, training for climbing, climbing holds and outdoor climbing and eagerly invites you to seek out or rival her Valerian steel sharpened advice. She’ll likely have a smile and snacks for you too!

 

*Follow Shannon’s adventures on her personal BLOG and Facebook athlete PAGE.*

Oct 212014
 
Squeezing in Another Classic
A Route Description of the Steck Salathe
by Walker Emerson

 —

(A WORD OF CAUTION: Before you embark on this adventure, please do your research! Review both online sources and printed guidebooks. This route is notoriously challenging and should not be taken lightly. Be both confident and comfortable climbing 5.10 cracks in the Yosemite Valley, using the appropriate technique for wide crack climbing and also familiar with (& fit enough!) for long days of 10-15+ pitches. While we’re psyched to share Walker’s beta, consult a professional mountain guide for more information. Climbing is an inherently dangerous activity. Choosing to climb routes described is done at your own risk. We strongly recommend that you consult a professional guide and a qualified medical practitioner before attempting these routes. 


Walker 1

(The Sentinel amongst the trees, in the early morning light. Photo by Walker Emerson.)

Everything you’ve heard about the Steck Salathe is true.

It’s wide, it’s hard, it’s good.

The route is a testament to the early ages of Yosemite Climbing. In 1950 on a hot summer day Allen Steck and John Salathe, eyed a line of weakness up the fifteen hundred foot Sentinel Rock. Due to its northern aspect, the climb would provide an escape from the sweltering valley floor. They set off with their gear, pitons, nuts, hexes and stiff rubber boots.

APPROACH

Park at the Four Mile Trail head, on Southside Dr, follow the trail past the boulders and up the gentle switchbacks, to the base of the Sentinel (See Overview Map). Locate a large sloping ramp to your right, continue up around to the base of the climb.

Steck 1

(LEFT: Locate this large ramp. Photo from MountainProject.com.  |   RIGHT: It’s wide from the start! Looking up the 1st pitch. Photo by Walker.)

Be prepared for exposed fourth class terrain; skirt the Northeast corner of the wall, between a larger tree and the wall, and up a sandy hill to the base of the Steck Salathe. Begin the route on mound of sand, hidden by trees.

ROUTE

Pitch 1-3

Begin in a large left facing corner, through a difficult 5.8 offwidth. Continue up easy terrain past hand cracks, a 5.7 finger crack, past a few trees and an easy loose section. Belay from a ledge above the loose section. The Wilson Overhang, pitch 4, will be visible. Route finding is slightly difficult. Some simul climbing will be necessary to link.

Pitch 4

The Wilson Overhang.

Climb an easy offwidth to the base of the overhang. The crux is easier than it looks. Gain the flake jug and pull over the bulge past a pin. Continue up sustained climbing to the belay.

Pitch 5-6

The hardest pitch for me, was not one of the dubiously named cruxes, but this short 5.9 squeeze. In order to make this pitch less awkward, leave everything at the belay except, the #4 and #2. In your best Yosemite style, suck in your gut and battle the sandbagged pitch, right side in. Once safely past the crux lower a loop of rope and tag up both you and your partners gear. Traverse to the right on good holds to a long sustained 5.8 crack system. Belay at a large ledge.

Pitch 7-9

Climb the steep juggy crack system to the left to a ledge with a few small trees and a large boulder. Sling the boulder with your rope for a belay. continue up up the easy terrain towards the top of the Flying Buttress, passing through a corridor just shy of the summit to a bolted belay on the other side. Rappel or down climb to a large sheltered ledge. This is a nice place to stop and eat lunch. 

Climb down to a bolted belay at the base of the obvious crack system, belay from here.

westview

(A spectacular view of El Cap and the Cathedrals from the Steck Salathe. Photo by Walker.)

Pitch 10

Climb a long 5.9 pitch to a belay below a small roof.

Steck 2

(LEFT: Looking up at the 10b crux of the route and the Narrows. Photo from MountainProject.com. | RIGHT: A climber enters the Narrows. Photo from web.stanford.edu.)

Pitch 11

Climb up and right, mantle onto a sloping ledge, climb to the right locating an old bolt. Trending up and left on fun terrain, placing small nuts and clipping new bolts, belay at the base of a wide flare. Easiest 5.9 on the route.

Pitch 12

With everything you’ve got, burl your way through the crux of the route. Plunging your arms into the gaping crack, swimming with your legs, wiggle your way past two new bolts to the bolted belay. Victory favors the bold.

Pitch 13

The Narrows

Placing the #4 high above your head, chimney through one of the most unique features ever, gaining the squeeze and a hidden jug. Bracing with your knees and feet tunnel inside the mountain, escape through a gap to the outside, following a foot ledge away from the depths, gain the easy cracks and climb to the sandy belay.

Pitch 14-15

Climb easy terrain to the base of one final chimney with large lodge boulders inside. Navigate through and behind the obstacles existing up and left on easy terrain to the belay at the base of a steep crack system. #3 and #4 fit in at belay nicely.

Pitch 16-17

Climb the final steep 5.9 hand cracks to a difficult exist move. Romp up low angle cracks, past a large tree, to the summit. Belay in the sand from a crack to the right with a #.4 and #.5.

DESCENT
Steck 3

(LEFT: The descent viewed from the summit. | RIGHT: Looking up the descent gully. Both photos by Walker.)

Locate the large dead tree directly North of your position. This is NOT the way down!

IMG_7118

(The large dead tree – NOT the way down! Photo by Walker.)

Instead head towards the North East corner of the summit. Meander down through manzanita tunnels. Exit the manzanita on the West side of the saddle, traverse the hillside to the notch. Pass over the notch to the East gulley.

Keep close to your partner, in case you dislodge a boulder and send it tumbling. At the end of the gulley you will encounter a cold spring. Drink up you deserve it!

the sentinel

(Approach and descent overview for the Sentinel. Photo Google Earth.)

From here the route finding is a little tricky. Cross the stream and make your way down a series ledges and small cliffs. Be sure to not get suckered too low and escape back towards the base of the sentinel down a bushy gully. Continue down steep slabs paralleling the creek still on the East side.

At the bottom of the steep section you can escape across the creek to easier terrain and finally arriving at the junction, where you have left your packs. Stash your beers in the creek on the approach for a cool and refreshing reward!

GEAR
  • Single set of BD C4’s #.3 – 4 with extra pieces in the .4 – .75 range
  • Single set of BD Stoppers #4 – 12
  • 9 Slings
  • 3 double length Slings
  • 70 meter Rope
LOGISTICS
  • Start early.
  • Leave extra gear at base of route.
  • Avoid using a daypack.
  • Distribute weight on your harness, use two plastic water bottles, modified with cordelette and duct tape.
  • Hang a mesh bag from your harness to carry bars, a sandwich and your headlamp.
  • Both you and your partner take pictures of the topo with your phones.
  • Link pitches to save time.
  • Tweet at the belay to avoid boredom.
stecksalathe topo

(Overview of the Steck Salathe. Photo Xrez.com.)


walker bio photo
Walker Emerson is a contributing writer for the PG Blog. He also sets routes at Planet Granite under the alias ‘Smash’. When he’s not plugging grips and jugging lines, he can be found on weekends clipping bolts at Jailhouse or sailing the granite seas of Yosemite.

To keep up with Walker’s adventures, follow him on the PG Blog, join him on InstagramVimeo and Facebook.

Oct 152014
 

On September 26th Planet Granite Belmont opened its doors to over 300 climbers, all ready to test themselves against the setters’ best for BLOC PARTY 2014.  Climbers of all ability levels worked for hours on the problems, and were not disappointed. High finishes, creative sequences, and smooth flowing climbing at all difficulty levels made this set of problems great!

26 and 25

LEFT: Problem #26. | RIGHT: Problem #25.

Several problems stood out for their popularity: #26 demanded balance and controlled movement on the smallest of crimps. #25 had a near-constant crowd of climbers working on the beta, with the most popular choice being a high left heel to a tricky left-hand cross.

35

The infamous problem #35.

However, by far the most popular climb of the night was #35, set in the lead cave.

Matt Irwin, one of the night’s winners and a Climbing Team veteran, thinks the reason for this popularity is clear: “The climb is a triple dyno with a big heel hook. Its really cool.”  From 4:00pm to 9:00pm, packs of climbers gathered around #35 encouraging each other to commit to the big horizontal and vertical moves!

Edder Diaz kept things moving as this year’s MC, motivating climbers with interesting interviews and his usual impeccable style.  Climbers also regained energy by visiting our fantastic sponsor booths: Flux Coffee, Three Twins Ice Cream, and Katapult Energy.

And of course, the event would never have gone so smoothly without the hard-working staff at the front desk and on the floor!

BL Bloc Party

PG staff love giving out prizes!

At the end of the night climbers gathered together around the prize table, and eagerly raised their hands towards the balcony where Chelsea was poised and ready to rain prizes down onto them. After a five-minute-long shower of stickers, bars, brushes and other small gear items, everyone had their hands full of goodies.

Finally, it was time for the results!

WOMEN

22,660   HANNAH DONNELLY       Female Open

19,370   ZOE WONG         Female Advanced

14,500   NIKA BOGOSLOVSKY      Female Recreational

14,500   HEATHER I HOUGHTON Female Recreational

MEN

27,980   RYAN K OLSON  Male      Open

23,960   MATTHEW IRWIN            Male      Advanced

19,080   TED PETERSON  Male      Recreational

ALL SCORES + PHOTOS + SERIES LEADERS

With good music, good food, good people and good problems Belmont’s 2014 Bloc Party was truly a fantastic night!

**SEE YOU THIS FRIDAY @PG SAN FRANCISCO! **
Last stop in the tour AND the ONSIGHT SERIES FINAL!

Jesse Bio Pic
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jesse has a passion for education, climbing, and being outdoors with friends. Now back in the Bay Area after several years of traveling, he can often be found talking with friends and drinking tea in the gym between climbs. He loves the PG community, and is psyched to take both his training plans and the PG Belmont youth programs and community events to the next level.