Full Gravity Day X

Dave Reuss's picture
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All photos by Chris Ebeling

The tenth installment of Bozeman’s best bouldering competition brought in gym rats from all across the Pacific Northwest, ready to pull down on over 100 new problems – from ladder-rung easy to way too damn hard. It was an absolute kick-ass full-day event, full of climbing, pizza, beer, crate stacking,excitement, and Full Gravity X in Bozemanas a bonus, a portion of the proceeds went to “Touch the Sky”, a non-profit group that helps underprivileged kids get out and climb.

“It’s Full Gravity Day Ten, not X. The X stands for ten… it’s a roman numeral,” Aaron Hjelt reminded the crowd just before he and a few members of the Bozeman Climbing Team serenaded a packed house with “The Full Gravity Day Song”. When the last trumpet note rang out, the Adult Open officially began: competitors had four and a half hours to climbing as hard as they could, their six most difficult routes counting towards their total score. A problem worth 100 points correlated to a V0-, or so easy your mom could climb it. 1000 points ranked around V5-6 (pretty damn hard, but doable after a few years of training or lucky genetics), and a few 1300+ problems were hard enough that my tendons hurt just trying to conceive of the movements involved. Mutants only.

Thumping techno beats filled the air as dozens of rock jocks tried hard, cheering each other on as every route was finished with a cheer at the top or a disappointing fall. When the chalk had finally settled, scores were tabulated, kegswere rolled out, and a fresh delivery of pizza came through the doors. Then the Full Gravity X in Bozemancurtains around the entrance of the bouldering cave were drawn, and while the super-hard final problems were set in secrecy, the crowd was entertained by a lively crate stacking competition. If you’ve never see it, climbers build a tower of milk crates while balancing on top, slowing adding one crate at a time until the whole damn thing tips over. (The climber is on a toprope and the crates are clipped to a tag line, so there’s no carnage at the end.) In an inspiring display of balance, local ultra-marathon badass Scott Creel dominated, ending up just below the ceiling with no crates left to stack.

After a silent auction, the six male and six female finalists were revealed: local crushers Kyle Vassilopolous, Joe Meiners, and Kevin MacCartney represented for Bozeman’s guys, and Bridgette Creel, Jo Onorato, and Inge Perkins pulled down for the home team on the women’s side. There were a few out-of-towners, but I had scored a few extra beer tickets off a friend and wasn’t really paying attention at that point.Full Gravity X in Bozeman

The cave was filled to capacity with spectators and the final problems were set: outlined in camo and tiger-stripe tape, viciously thin crimps and bulbous slopers hung on the wall mockingly, daring anyone to challenge them.

The showdown was, in a word, intense. Competitors were given five minutes to preview the problem, pantomiming their potential moves under the bright floodlights. Then, when the timer rang, they were shuffled out of the room and brought in individually, allotted two minutes each to do battle.

The Second Men’s Final was incredible. Arcing across the steepest, tallest wall, the route linked technical crimps and powerful shoulder moves with an amazingly hard dyno/compression move inthe middle – ridiculously hard to do with days of practice, much less to read correctly in just a few moments with dozens of cheering spectators behind you. Local favorite Kyle V crushed it – first try. The crowd erupted when “The Vanilla Gorilla” nailed the mid-route dyno, flying throughFull Gravity X in Bozeman the air and slapping two rounded holds while his feet swung out behind him. One terrible crimp and a few slaps later, he snatched the top lip of the bouldering wall with the crowd roaring loudly. I think he ended up getting second place, but the scene was awesome anyway.

Final Male Results:

1- Mike Bokino. 2- Kyle Vassilopoulos. 3- Joe Meiners. 4- Dominick Speranza. 5- Kerrek Stinson. 6- Kevin MacCartney.

Final Female Results:

1- Molly Rennie. 2- Sidney Trinidad. 3- Inge Perkins. 4- Bridgette Creel. 5- Joanna Onorato. 6- Tammy Stowe-McClure.

Train hard and we’ll see you there next year!

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