Setter Showdown Hits East Coast

The latest iteration of Louie Anderson’s routesetting competition series will land this September 5th & 6th at Earth Treks in Rockville, Maryland. The Setter Showdown is a two-day competition and community event designed to bring setters of the region together to find out who is “best” at what they do. During the competition setters will be tasked with designing three boulder problems, one each of easy, medium, and hard difficulty from a pre-allocated set of holds. The setters will set their problems under the observation of three technical judges, who will keep on eye on their safety, efficiency, creativity and other aspects of routesetting. The technical judges for this event are Anderson himself, CBJ editor & National Chief Setter Mike Helt, and Earth Treks Head Setter Ward Byrum. The setters will not be judged solely on their technical abilities. They will also be judged by actual climbers, professionals and Earth Treks members who will critique the climbs’ creative value as well as aesthetics.
Setter Showdown Logo
For this east coast version of the Showdown, Anderson decided to make it a two-day event so as to accommodate for more time for the climbers to effectively judge. It also allows for more party! “The climber judging will involve a greater number of climbers this time and the entire day will be more of a festival environment with a large Vendor Village, shoe demos, live music, BBQ and beer in the evening,” Anderson told CBJ.

Event Rebrand

The Showdown was born earlier this year when Venture-based Kingdom Climbing wanted to launch their brand to the public and do it in a way that would have an impact on the setting scene. Held at The Factory in Orange, California The Kingdom Games was a one-day event that brought together 24 of Southern California and Arizona’s best setters for a friendly competition and community meet-up. After the Games, Anderson decided to evolve the idea into a continuing circuit of events. As stated on the event website, “Rebranded as the Setter Showdown, the circuit plans to present a handful of events each year, and will rotate to different gyms around the United States and abroad.” Anderson also signed up new hold sponsors, Climb-It and Kilter, in addition to Kingdom Climbing, to add diversity for the competitors. Adidas Outdoor and the Gear Co-Op have also signed up to be title sponsors of the Showdown. Setter Showdown – Earth Treks Preview from Louie Anderson on Vimeo.

Touchstone Announces 3rd LA Location

Culver City
Culver City
From: Press Release Touchstone Climbing has secured a location for a state of the art indoor climbing gym in Culver City. Touchstone’s first Southern California location, LA Boulders, opened in the Arts District of Los Angeles in late 2013. Their Culver City climbing gym is one of several projects currently underway in the greater Los Angeles area. The Culver City location will bring a world class Touchstone Climbing gym to the West Side. “LA Boulders has changed the climbing gym market in Los Angeles,” said Sr. Manager Jeffery Bowling. “This new gym allows us to serve the climbing communities of Culver City, Santa Monica, and beyond. We’re very excited about the location of the gym and thrilled by the warm welcome we have received from the L.A. climbing community.” The Culver City gym has a 25,000 sq ft footprint, making it one of the largest indoor climbing gyms in the country. “We are still in the planning stages of the project, but we know we are building a very large bouldering gym. We are still exploring the idea of raising the roof to add a rope climbing area,” said Touchstone Climbing CEO Mark Melvin. Culver City will be a full service gym, with designated areas for programs rooms, fitness equipment, and a training area. “Offering premier climbing, fitness, and classes like yoga and kickboxing has become synonymous with the Touchstone Climbing brand,” said Director of Marketing Lauryn Claassen. “Bringing a full service gym to Culver City will be huge for both the climbing and fitness communities.” Touchstone is working with Walltopia, a leading climbing wall manufacturer, to build the gym. This is the the 5th project the two companies have designed and built together. “Our partnership with Walltopia becomes stronger with each gym,” said Bowling, who visited Walltopia headquarters in Bulgaria in June. “We are ready to bring something truly innovative to the greater Los Angeles area.” “We are cautiously confident that this project can be completed within the first half of 2015,” said Melvin. The Culver City gym will be the Touchstone’s 11th location in California. They announced a Pasadena location in March, which is still in the planning phase. “We are continuing to work with the city and will be announcing our progress in the coming months,” said Melvin. “These three locations give us a good start on serving the entire L.A. basin climbing community. Multiple locations in close proximity is one of the things that separates Touchstone from its competitors. When completed, one Touchstone membership will provide access to over 50,000 sq. ft. of climbing within a 20 minute drive.” Creative Space, an integrated Real Estate Company, has helped Touchstone Climbing find all three locations. “Finding suitable locations for a climbing gym and getting the facilities approved and open for business is very difficult and requires a more integrated approach than the marketplace currently offers,” said Tyler Stonebreaker, founder and CEO, Creative Space ( “We had to find a space with a certain clear height for the climbing terrain along with proper zoning, parking and a location in a desirable neighborhood, not to mention do it multiple times to ensure Touchstone’s members are able to access one of their climbing facilities throughout the greater Los Angeles region.” Touchstone Climbing is the largest Indoor Climbing Gym company in the world. They have been leading the industry since the opening of Mission Cliffs in San Francisco in 1995.