SBC Pro Day #1 Guest Blog from UBC Intern Jonah Meyer

Today we have the first of what may be several guest blogs from out UBC intern Jonah Meyer. If Jonah has time, he’ll be telling you what it’s like behind the scenes of the event. Of course, if he’s buried under the mountain of Sisyphean tasks we are sure to assign him, no one may ever hear from him again and these could be his parting words to the world! Onward fearless Jonah!

Hey y’all,

Heres your first update from team UBC as we prepare for the SBC Pro at Stone Gardens – Bellevue! Our east coast contingent arrived this morning in Seattle to get things rocking and rolling for this weekends events. This morning we met up with the already hard working crew from Stone Gardens and the incredible route setting team led by SBC Pro Head Setter Chris Danielson and Stone Gardens Head Setter Shawn Larson.

First impressions of Stone Gardens – Bellevue, this place is SICK! The gym: Multiple huge bouldering areas, a 40 ft lead wall, and even a flippin farmers market in the parking lot! The facility is practically brand new, having opened just a year ago, and this place is perfect for a world class bouldering competition, in fact they designed it that way.

The 5 person route setting team burned the midnight oil last night, and their work is definitely paying off. We have a ton of awesome problems for this weekends competitors to get crazy on! I dropped in on Head Setter Chris Danielson and he had this to say “the facility is superb, the wall has a lot of diversity, and our team has come up with some really creative climbs”.

Right now we are looking at one of the biggest and sickest fields of competitors we have ever seen! We have athletes from over 20 states as well as Canada, and we at NE2C and Urban Plastix want to know who YOU think has the best shot at the top spot and a chunk of the $17,000 cash purse (holy camoly batman)! Yeah, thats right, its the biggest cash purse in UBC history, with 1st place for Male and Female winning a whopping $3000! Head over to Urban Plastix Facebook page click on the UBC logo and vote for your favorite and you’ll be entered to win a SICK holdset or hangboard from Urban Plastix!

Stand by for more updates from the frontlines of the SBC pro, we will be posting daily behind-the-scenes blogs to keep your psyche up before the comp and please follow us on facebook and twitter for the latest!

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Abyss Film Review

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore”

Following on the heels of Park Life and a seemingly endless stream of trailers, ads and climbing short films, Louderthan11 has continued on its quest to redefine how we experience climbing through the internet with its first “Feature length” film, Abyss. Check it out at LT11′s vimeo channel.

Abyss is a film that’s ostensibly about a group of friends finding what they think is a new climbing area and what follows: The psyche they have for new climbing, the ethical questions that go into developing a new area, the existential questions about why some people really prefer developing new climbing instead of just doing what’s in the guidebook and ultimately, it’s about the climbing itself.

First a quick review of the film: It’s free. The transitions are amazing. It’s gorgeous to look at. The transitions are amazing. There are some gorgeous looking lines. The transitions are amazing. That said, for an area 13k feet above sea level, there do seem to be a lot of lowballs. The transitions are amazing. The rock doesn’t have huge water streaks or obvious features that make crazy aesthetic lines so I think perhaps that the film making exceeds the ability of the area itself to look great in a climbers eye. The transitions are amazing. On the other hand if you pause some of the panoramic shots, the boulderfields look truly staggering. The transitions are amazing. On the other, other hand, I’ve been climbing in a quarry lately, what do I know? The transitions are amazing. LT11 has upped its game on animations to totally new levels that are beginning to look totally appropriate alongside anything else out there and better than most in climbing. The transitions are amazing. I love the use of celebrity interviews with genuinely interesting commentary from them. And finally, the transitions are amazing. Short answer: Watch the fucking film already. It’s free and without major (any?) sponsorship for chrissakes!

And that’s the point that I honestly find the most interesting. Buried in a rant recently penned by my friend Andrew Bisharat was a really interesting point that we don’t yet really know what the internet is for and what effect it will have on climbing. Abyss actually explicitly comments on the change the internet has made in climbing during the film, but to focus solely on that point in the film is to miss the larger point that the film itself is such a commentary. What the Abyss is now is what climbing magazines used to be: Free to most of the people who consume them and our major source of news that goes deeper than a headline or a rumor. I found myself watching it and wondering what LT11 might ultimately be? Sure, they style themselves as a collaboration of like-minded climbers focused on producing free content. But aren’t they also only one news editor and a landing page away from being this generations Climb-X-Media?

Being a man of the written word it kills me to even think it, but IF (and it’s a big if) LT11 can build a business model that carries on in the directions they’re going… what service does a magazine provide that LT11 isn’t providing quicker, better and freer?

The answer is probably analogous to what’s happening in the news media: You want CNN? Sure here you go, for free. You want something a little more thought out? You need the New York Times and that you have to pay for. But watching the Abyss I kept wondering… In virtually no time at all, LT11 has gone from two kids with a video camera crawling out from under boulders in North Carolina to legitimate film makers whose skills are in demand from companies willing to pay for their services. I know because I own one of those companies. So, will they be able to stick with “Free whether you like it or not” while continuing to deliver higher and higher quality work? Or will they end up on a different trajectory?

LT11 is quickly losing sight of the shore and we will see if they discover a new ocean.

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SBC Pro Competition Schedule

Hey everybody, we’re 10 days out from Qualifiers at the SBC Pro! Athletes, please check your email (or your Mom’s email if she registered you) for your official athlete logistics packet. It includes beta on the schedule, where to stay, how to get to the venue, where to climb around Seattle and much more. Also, please stay up to date on the current qualifiers running order at And please follow us on twitter (@unifiedbc) for the latest in updates and schedule changes.

Official SBC Pro Competition Schedule:

Thursday September 20th: From 5-9pm, the American Alpine Club will host athlete check in at Stone Gardens in Bellevue. This is optional, but please stop by for some free refreshments and to get your official athlete portrait taken!

Friday September 21st: Please check your scheduled climbing time here. Iso opens at 8am. The top 20 male and female qualifiers advance to Semi-Finals.

Saturday September 22nd: Semi-finals begin at 10am. Iso opens at 8am and you must be in iso by 9am. The top 6 from each gender advance to Finals

Saturday September 22nd: Finals begin at 7pm. Iso opens at 5:30 and all athletes must be checked in by 6pm.

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Cash Purse Breakdown for the SBC Pro at Stone Gardens

Working out travel expenses for the SBC Pro? Well the biggest cash purse ever on the UBC Pro Tour should help! Check it out below. As always the cash purse is equal money for male and female climbers. Huge thanks to Stone Gardens and the Crossroads Shopping Center for putting up the money to make it happen!

1st Place: $3,000
2nd Place: $1,500
3rd Place: $1,000
4th Place: $750
5th Place: $600
6th Place: $500
7th Place: $400
8th Place: $300
9th Place: $200
10th Place: $150
11th Place: $100


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Throwback Thursday!

UBC Pro Tour at ORSM, 2008

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Throwback Thursday!

For this week’s Throwback Thursday we’re hitting you with some shots you wouldn’t normally see. A Behind the Scenes if you will, showing a UBC Pro Tour event through the eyes of the event staff and photographer access. Enjoy!

Cuttin' it up on the Turntables featuring Daniel Woods

Behind the Scenes, 2009 Gravity Brawl, photo: Tim Kemple

Pete Ward and Jason Danforth, Behind the Behind the Scenes at Outdoor Retailer

Paul Robinson at The North Face Open, photo: Tim Kemple

Jon Glassberg at The North Face Open, photo: Frances Beatty

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Throwback Thursday!

Earlier this week we announced the Seattle Bouldering Challenge Pro, our first gym comp in 2 years, at Stone Gardens Bellevue this September. This got us feeling all warm and fuzzy about our last indoor comp, The Earth Treks Roc Comp, so for this week’s Throwback Thursday we’re looking back on the official men’s and women’s highlights. Enjoy!

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