Joe McLoughlin

2014 Blackout Brawl

Blacklights, day-glo, weirdness, super fun and sick boulders! The best blackout comp in all the land returns for the 5th season at MetroRock in Newburyport.
Here's the deal:
DATE: October 25th, 2014
3p - Registration Opens
4-7p - Redpoint Round
7:30p - Finals
PRICE: $35/general admission
Call to register (978) 499-7625...

Make sure to wear bright colors and wearing a costume gets you entered to win a door prize...what is it you ask? WEAR A COSTUME AND FIND OUT!!!

It's all about a fun atmosphere but the climbing is top notch (as is tradition) and we're all psyched to go bigger on our finals extravaganza!! This is a comp/show/event you do not want to miss!

Check out the highlights from last year for a glimpse into what's in store!

Western Mass Rendezvous Recap

The Western Massachusetts Rendezvous was held this past weekend with over 100 climbers attending the event from all over New England and even Canada.  As the Western Massachusetts Climber's Coalition main fundraising event, the Rendezvous raised over $5,000 to help the WMCC in their access efforts in Western Massachusetts!

Screeing of Valley Uprising at Central Rock Hadley.

Screeing of Valley Uprising at Central Rock Hadley.

The Rendezvous included a screening of Reel Rock's Valley Uprising and a dyno comp on Friday night at the Central Rock Gym in Hadley.  The competition on Saturday at Farley was a highlight of the Rendezvous with Katie Lamb and Kai Webler winning the bouldering comp and Wayne Burleson and Hillary Harris winning the routes comp.

On Sunday, 25 volunteers showed up to build a retaining wall and improve trailwork at Farley as part of the Rendezvous' Adopt-a-Crag event.  If you haven't already, please consider joining the WMCC to support the great work they are doing at some of New England's best crags!  Thanks to for the photos and you can check them out for a more detailed write up and more photos from the Rendezvous.

Jerome Boutaid on Tweaky Bird during the bouldering comp.

Jerome Boutaid on Tweaky Bird during the bouldering comp.

Jack of Diamonds Video

Dave Wetmore is on fire these days and with the cameras of Back Mattress following him around the woods of New Hampshire, the results have been tremendous.  Here, Dave makes a repeart of an old Dave Sharratt problem at Whitton Pond in Conway, New Hampshire called Jack of Diamonds.  Dave initially thought this was an FA, but later learned that Dave Sharatt had sent this problem over 10 years ago.  Either way, a cool video of a great looking problem.  Enjoy!

Iron Maiden - Newburyport

Based on the success of last year's inaugural Iron Maiden bouldering comp (sorry boys, women only), MetroRock expanded the competition into two events.  This past Saturday, the Newburyport gym hosted the first event which was attended by over 50 women of all ages.  In the pro division, Bimini Horstmann took first, Zoe Leibovitch came in second, with Adriana Jacobsen taking the final podium spot in third place.  Full results can be found here.  The second event in the series will take place on February 28, 2015 at MetroRock's Everett facility.


Bouldering World Cup - Toronto

The first of two Bouldering World Cup events in North America was held over the weekend in Toronto.  Although U.S. participation increased with the proximity of this event, the results remained similar to the events in Asia and Europe.  On the Women's side, Akiyo Noguchi of Japan won the event, with Shauna Coxsey of Great Britain further extending her overall lead with a strong second place.  Six Americans competed in Toronto with Alex Puccio, the only American to make the finals,  taking the third spot on the podium.  Alex sits in the fifth overall on the season rankings.  On the Men's side, Guillaume Mondet of France took first, overall point leader Jan Hojer of Germany second, and Canadian Sean McColl taking third.  Vasya Vorotnikov placed highest for the U.S. men finishing 11th.  Massachusetts boulderer Josh Larson finished in 27th.  Click here to check out the video and photos from Gripped Magazine.

Cleaning Up Lincoln Woods

It has been a long standing joke among climbers at Lincoln Woods to watch out for the sketchy old men at the park.  Although many jokes have been made, the reality is that Lincoln Woods has been known as a trolling ground for men engaging in deviant activities.  After many complaints, the Rhode Island State Police recently arrested five men in a sting operation at the park.  Hopefully, this will discourage these activities in the future.  Click here for the Providence Journal article on the arrests.

Hard FA in New Hampshire

If you are a regular on, you may have noticed a lot of new boulder problems going up in the Waterville Valley area of New Hampshire.  There has been climbing in this area for decades, but recently a dedicated group has been ferreting out new areas and new boulder problems with great regularity.  You can check these locations out on Mountain Project.  Back in September, Dave Wetmore made the first ascent of the crown jewel hard project in the area, naming it White House.  The problem comes in at V11 and here is a video of the FA from one of our media spotlight crew, Back Mattress Media.

Bouldering World Cup - China

Although it is a far cry from what most of us do on a daily basis, the IFSC Bouldering World Cup events are our equivalent of the major leagues of bouldering.  In the first event of the year in Chongqing, China, two Germans took home the gold medals, with Jan Hojer winning on the men's side and Juliane Wurm (recent winner of the ABS Nationals) winning for the women.  What interests me most about these events is that, especially on the men’s side, U.S. boulderers (Graham, Woods, Webb, Robinson, and even Sharma when he chooses to focus on bouldering) are among the top in the world on real rock but the top U.S. men’s finisher in China came in 30th!  On the women’s side, Alex Puccio finished a strong 4th but the next U.S. woman came in 26th.  Is it lack of interest in this form of bouldering competition or do U.S. boulderers just suck at climbing on plastic?  For a great video recap of the first event, check out and for the full results check out IFSC’s website.

2014 Access Fund Grants

The Access Fund recently announced the first round in their Climbing Preservation Grants Program and two New England projects have received funding.

The Clifton Climbers Alliance received a grant to support their efforts to save climbing at Eagle Bluff, popular sport climbing and bouldering area in Clifton, Maine.  The area was closed to climbing in 2013 and put up for sale.  The grant is going towards the purchase of the land.

The Western Mass Climber's Coalition received a grant to improve the parking lot at Farley.  The Access Fund was instrumental in the purchase of the land in 2007.

Click here read the Access Fund's press release for all the grants.  While you are there be sure to join the Access Fund!