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Backfill versus setting
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Poll: Backfill versus setting
No, I only like climbing taped problems 6 / 21%
No, I can still make up my own problems using holds from taped problems 9 / 32%
Yes, It's equally as important as the taped problems 7 / 25%
Yes, It's more important than the taped problems 3 / 11%
I don't know, I've never regularly climbed in a gym that back-fills 3 / 11%
28 total votes
 

brow


Feb 5, 2012, 11:08 AM
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Backfill versus setting
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This poll is intended to understand the preferences of EXPERIENCED indoor boulderers who climb 2+ times per week in the same gym.

Do you value back-filling bouldering walls? (i.e. filling in open space between set/taped problems with random holds)

Please add your thoughts on why/why not.


shotwell


Feb 5, 2012, 11:30 AM
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Re: [brow] Backfill versus setting [In reply to]
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brow wrote:
This poll is intended to understand the preferences of EXPERIENCED indoor boulderers who climb 2+ times per week in the same gym.

Do you value back-filling bouldering walls? (i.e. filling in open space between set/taped problems with random holds)

Please add your thoughts on why/why not.

Having a large number of regularly cleaned holds on the wall makes a huge difference in the amount of climbing you have in a given grade range. Most of the gyms I've climbed at tend to have (far) fewer than 10 climbs of any given grade. If I'm climbing indoors, I'm typically going to be there 4-5 days per week. There just simply won't be enough problems to keep busy without backfilling.

You should still put effort into setting high volumes of high quality problems. Having challenges set by others forces climbers out of their comfort zone and provides challenge that people can share.

Finally, put TONS of foot chips on. Everywhere. I don't want to 'track' all day, I want to use awkward feet. When I take my climbing outside, awkward foot placements seem to be incredibly common.


shockabuku


Feb 5, 2012, 12:09 PM
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Re: [brow] Backfill versus setting [In reply to]
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None of the above. I really don't care as long as you don't put the fill holds in the way of an established route.


petsfed


Feb 5, 2012, 12:12 PM
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Registered: Sep 24, 2002
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Re: [brow] Backfill versus setting [In reply to]
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At the gym I set at, there is a near continuous battle between the experienced setters and the inexperienced setters regarding the acceptability of reusing holds from another problem. My perspective is simple: our customers are virtually guaranteed to be smarter and more creative in aggregate than any single setter. Thus, if a new problem contains more than 2 pre-existing holds (including beginning and finish holds, but not foot jibs), it shouldn't be set. The inexperienced setters, meanwhile, see an easy way to get paid.

One of my favorite ideas remains a variant on the Moon board, where a 8'x8', 16x16 hole grid is completely covered with holds, and you play battleship. I'd love to see this as part of a dedicated training area in more gyms.


petsfed


Feb 5, 2012, 12:16 PM
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Re: [shockabuku] Backfill versus setting [In reply to]
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shockabuku wrote:
None of the above. I really don't care as long as you don't put the fill holds in the way of an established route.

Well, that's the other battle, and one that I get to fight on a regular basis (up to and including having to play detective to figure out who and why my pre-existing problem was changed...)


djlachelt


Feb 5, 2012, 2:53 PM
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I really like having the bouldering area back-filled. Of course that shouldn't take the place of thoughtful setting.

Back-filling is probably most needed when the bouldering area is not very extensive and the gym can't have more than 10 or so in each range (Rec/Int/Adv/Open). The regulars get bored really fast with the set problems, and having a bunch of new holds on the wall makes it possible to really be creative.


lena_chita
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Feb 5, 2012, 5:50 PM
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Registered: Jun 27, 2006
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Re: [brow] Backfill versus setting [In reply to]
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brow wrote:
This poll is intended to understand the preferences of EXPERIENCED indoor boulderers who climb 2+ times per week in the same gym.

Do you value back-filling bouldering walls? (i.e. filling in open space between set/taped problems with random holds)

Please add your thoughts on why/why not.

I think backfilling would make sense ONLY if the problems are set so sparsely that there is a lot of empty space.

But in that case, I would rather see a bunch more problems set on the wall, instead of just random holds. So really, the only reason to backfill would be if there aren't enough route-setters to set problems, and the wall is semi-bare.

In our gym routes get set in the bouldering wall to the point where the wall is pretty much filled with holds, and there are no untaped holds that do not belong to at least one route.

I like it that way. There are enough holds that you can play a game of add-on easily, there is a mix of easy/moderate/hard routes, and there in a possibility of climbing one route, down-climbing another route to the start of a different problem, climbing up another problem, down-climbing to another problem, etc. etc.


jakedatc


Feb 6, 2012, 1:55 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Backfill versus setting [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
brow wrote:
This poll is intended to understand the preferences of EXPERIENCED indoor boulderers who climb 2+ times per week in the same gym.

Do you value back-filling bouldering walls? (i.e. filling in open space between set/taped problems with random holds)

Please add your thoughts on why/why not.

I think backfilling would make sense ONLY if the problems are set so sparsely that there is a lot of empty space.

But in that case, I would rather see a bunch more problems set on the wall, instead of just random holds. So really, the only reason to backfill would be if there aren't enough route-setters to set problems, and the wall is semi-bare.

In our gym routes get set in the bouldering wall to the point where the wall is pretty much filled with holds, and there are no untaped holds that do not belong to at least one route.

I like it that way. There are enough holds that you can play a game of add-on easily, there is a mix of easy/moderate/hard routes, and there in a possibility of climbing one route, down-climbing another route to the start of a different problem, climbing up another problem, down-climbing to another problem, etc. etc.

yep that is how my gym is too. they set 50+ routes each month and it pretty much fills everything. People end up playing add-on after a few weeks when they are bored of the set problems or just do it for fun before that.

if your gym needs to put extra holds on then perhaps they need to set more taped routes.


dagibbs


Feb 6, 2012, 8:42 PM
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Re: [brow] Backfill versus setting [In reply to]
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My main issue with back-filling (or, for that matter, putting multiple routes in the same area) is that if the person back-filling isn't careful, the new holds can interfere with the movement, especially the foot placement, on existing problems.


Traches


Feb 7, 2012, 8:22 AM
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Re: [dagibbs] Backfill versus setting [In reply to]
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dagibbs wrote:
My main issue with back-filling (or, for that matter, putting multiple routes in the same area) is that if the person back-filling isn't careful, the new holds can interfere with the movement, especially the foot placement, on existing problems.

Oh god yes, at my gym there's a top-rope route that sticks a crucial toehold behind a gigantic sloper from another route, and right next to a bolt hangar. You can't see the hold when you need it, it's awkward working your foot around the sloper, and your belayer has to tell you whether you're on the hold or the bolt...


yodadave


Feb 7, 2012, 3:21 PM
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Re: [Traches] Backfill versus setting [In reply to]
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I'm not a backfilling fan, the only caveat being that on walls that lend themselves to long traverses where you may want to do a set numbers of holds on or a certain time on. Of course that kind of training doesn't always mesh well with boulderers.


cmc51377


Aug 1, 2012, 4:29 PM
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At the gym where I set, we do not back-fill because we fill up the walls with taped problems. I've always found back-filled walls to look sloppy, and to reflect poorly on the routesetters. You should have enough taped problems to fill the wall. You should also have the foresight to see an empty are while setting, and be able to fill it with a good problem.


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