Preparations began on Thursday, two days before the comp. The course setters stripped the entire bouldering area in order to fill it with fresh new problems. The entire Touchstone route setting team took the trip to Fresno in order to help out.
"It was fun to see MetalMark filled with the setting crew," said one Touchstone employee. "They bring a really unique energy to the gym." The setters spent the morning crafting their problems. After lunch, they broke off into teams to forerun the set. They tweaked and set the problems to create perfect testpieces for the comp.
On comp day, the staff assumed battle positions and prepared for the competitors to arrive. "I'm really happy with my staff," said MetalMark manager Marie Garringer. "Everything went smoothly and even I was able to relax and have a great time!" More than 149 competitors and spectators arrived. The gym erupted in a flurry of activity.
"It was great to see the community coming together to support each other and have fun," said Garringer. "The next time the Touchstone Competition comes to Fresno, we'll hold the event on a Friday night, like all the other gyms." Touchstone set the comps on Saturdays to facilitate Bay Area climbers attendance at the Fresno event.
"I think the decision to move it to Friday is a good one," said Studio Climbing Gym Manager Diane Ortega. "The party atmosphere that Friday night comps bring is half the fun, and I think the MetalMark crowd will really enjoy it."
"TBS8 at MetalMark was the shnazziest of shanazzy shindigs here in Fresno," said MetalMark staffer Lexie. "I don't think there was anything even remotely as interesting or fun going on in Fresno that day!"
Be sure to make it to Sacramento Pipeworks this month on February 22nd from 5pm-10pm.
Did you make it to the comp at MetalMark? What did you think?