Today we have a special guest blogger: our headsetter, Moses Potter! Moses was recently part of the setting crew for the 2015 ABS Youth Nationals in Madison, WI. According to climbingbusinessjournal.com, over 144,000 viewers tuned in to watch the next generation of climbing duke it out on climbs Moses was involved in setting! Without further ado....
I just returned from ABS Youth Nationals and I have to say, that was one of the cooler comp setting experiences I’ve ever been a part of. In a lot of ways, it felt like I’d gone back to college for a week. There were lots of new people to work with that I’d never met, new-to-me materials in the forms of the climbing holds/volumes/walls, very little time to produce quality work, sleep deprivation, unfamiliar environments, pressure to excel, and, most important, new ideas and collaborative opportunities. The entire week passed so fast, it’s hard to separate the days in my mind.
From the moment we first convened as a group, it was obvious I was amongst a group of passionately motivated setters. We started work a day early, made endless revisions throughout the week, and typically slept less than six hours a night, so that every setter would have the time they needed to perfect their climbs. While some of the long days could have been shortened a bit, we were all well-pleased with the end product. The individual rounds of the competition were a great test of each competitor’s overall ability, the changes made to the climbs in between rounds were appropriate to the next group’s age and size/strength, and the overall competition was touted by competitors and coaches alike as both fair and fun.
Despite the great learning opportunities presented from working at such a prestigious event as ABS Youth Nationals, the perfectionism required in each assignment, the high level of organization, and the stressful change-overs, the most fulfilling part of the experience was definitely the people, as cliche as that sounds. Ian McIntosh is an inspiring chief setter - always willing to let a setter indulge their ideas, and equally exacting in his expectations of a top-notch finished product. Nic Oklobzija is hilarious - passionate, creative, dedicated. Mike “Tape Murda” Bockino - thoughtful, energetic, pragmatic. Brad Weaver (“champ!”), Jeremy Ho (hyphy psyche), Steven Meinold (always “huckin meat”), Kasia Pietras (organization personified) and Kory Cooper-Fenske (Silent Murda), my fellow apprentice and intern setters, were also indispensable - for their knowledge, energy, and their previous competition setting experience. I came away from the week having learned a bit from everyone on the crew. After many years in the “industry,” it’s rare for me to meet and learn from new people. So rare, that sometimes I can get complacent, thinking maybe it’s all been done before, or maybe there’s nothing significant to continue learning. This crew challenged me, and got me to appreciate anew the fun in working hard with passionate, like-minded setters.