The Ultimate Bloc

The hardest thing in CATS. I made this problem in a desperate attempt to try to set something that Daniel would not be able to do in a day. I failed, for a third time. On his flash attempt he got through 9 of the 11 moves. It was the most impressive thing I have ever seen in climbing. He sent in about another hour. When I originally set the problem the 6th move through the 10th were all the crux and I could only do the first hard move. I still have not done the 7th move. I believe this is perhaps one of the hardest climbs in the country, potentially behind Terremer. If you do not think it can be this hard because Daniel did it in a day then you clearly just do not understand Daniel on straightforward moves on a 70 degree overhang.

The problem starts with a little 5 move V8 or V9 set up problem, then a V10 move, then a V12 move, then a V11 move, to a V9 move to a V10 move to a V6 move. This is of course my feeling and I have not done the problem, but it should give a basic idea. Here are pictures, I do not think I will be getting video of this one. . .

Right V10

The second of two somewhat mundane V10s I found and flashed in a day, this one has one slightly sharp hold and a cool big move to the Boss. I actually like this climb a lot, a few nice little intro crimp moves, a hard crux and then a hard finish toss to a jug lip, actually has zero repeats....
Here is the video which should work well enough with a description.
Start on a massive right facing jug just below and left of the "Cool Wall" hold. Foot is on a incut chip out right between a Hudz hold and a left facing jug, small cross over to a white incut Comfy Crimp, reach out right to a thin flat Epic taped hold, cross into a two screw red sidepull, Boss, Red Hornytoad taped bubble wrap, Green Hornytoad taped finish.

Left V10

The first of two somewhat mundane V10s I came up with and flashed in a day, it climbs very nicely though and if you want to crimp but have bad skin or are not psyched on even a little pain this is the climb to do. Or if you like shoulders, crimps and are looking for your first CATS V10. The video should make it pretty clear, but I will describe some as well; you start on the "Cool Wall" plate foot on a flat/slopey red jib directly below and above the mini-roof and reach right to a crimp right over the angle transition between a right facing jug and a right facing flat edge, jump to the incut Green Hornytoad crimp and from there the video makes it obvious.

The Original Pinch Problem

A very old school testpiece for CATS V8 pinching. The second move is an interesting tension move and generally considered the crux, but it is relatively sustained and you can definitely even fall on the last move. There used to be a taped box to the left of the molecule to designate the finish, but it is now gone. So basically just go left hand somewhere to the left of the molecule. Here is the video and a picture. Also as you can see in the video you are allowed to smear on the right wall, just be careful not to dab holds if you are swinging into the wall dynamically.

Right-Hand Mini Problem Sit

A great new steep crimping power testpiece, the low start adds a short three move V10 into the Right-Hand Mini problem which I think bumps the grade into solid V12. Big moves on nice small incuts. I am not sure which is a better climb, between the low and the high. The High just goes straight into business without a jug in the middle, but the low starts at the bottom of the wall and adds good moves. Here is the video: and pictures

FA: James O'Connor
Other Ascents: Paul Robinson

It Has Begun!

Well I am pretty much finished with the layout and meat of the site, and have a small initial batch of problems now up, along with a ton of video(thanks Ellen!). A useful thing I just thought of is on the Problem Guide title I will keep a running number of how many problems are up on the site. So when you visit you can tell whether I have added any new problems or not since you visited last.

There are still many many classic climbs that are not up on the site yet, but in the coming weeks the number of problems will at least double I am sure. The V9 section of the site is particularly sparse but this is not from a lack of problems, I have loads of V9s. But I figure I might as well wait until I have video of them before putting them up. Just come into CATS Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday and I will be there and can show you infinitely more problems.


The left wall Keen is actually the original. Rob at one point put up a bunch of jibs on the left wall and I made this line out of most of them. A very very crimpy perhaps easier CATS V12, requires a bit of pain tolerance and cool temps.
Here is video of the latest ascent
FA: Daniel or Paul?

Other Ascents: Seth Allred, James O'Connor, Matt Johnson


THE pinch testpiece of CATS. I set this for Daniel after he did Organic in about 30 min, this one was harder for him as it took him 45 min or so. An amazing line of ETCH pinches with scarce feet making for interesting footwork. If you think you are strong on pinches have at it. It is taped with Epic stickers and starts near the bottom right of the steep. It is a fairly obvious line of all ETCH pinches except the first hold. Here is the video of Paul:
FA: Daniel Woods
Other Ascents: Paul Robinson

Crimp Warm-up

This is a good climb with small moves to warm up your fingers, it does however have a piss ton of holds and there is more than one way of doing it so the video here: will help some and here is a picture as well, it ends on the plate over the lip.

Jug Warm-up

A good warm up that is harder than a ladder of jugs but does not require any fingers. There is actually a really pretty foot sequence that can be done in the upper but I totally forgot it in the video which is here: and I will post pictures to help as well.

Old Power V8

This is a very very old problem I made up when I first moved out, perhaps the third problem overall that I set in CATS. A good mixture of power and tension on pinches and slopers makes this the Full Service of CATS V8. The original finish got moved slightly quite awhile back so the current one is somewhat half-assed. A good variation if this is not at your limit is to jump to the Egg at the end, but that could bump to V9. The video is here: and I am giving a couple pictures as well.

The Classic Power Bloc

A solid V11 testpiece of power, although sadly a bit easier for those who are taller. Nonetheless not too many repeats. Remember not to match on the red pinch, in general in CATS you cannot match on holds unless they are clearly designed for matching. Video is here: And one picture of the bottom, after the red pinch goes to chunky white edge, then purple Teknik edge, finish yellow sandstone.

New Team Effort V7

I very well set V7 by Silven, Philip and myself. This one has a great variety of movement and is much more interesting than the typical CATS climb. I have been hearing some complaining regarding the grade, well this is certainly much easier than the V8's and V9's I have been putting up so I guess I have to be consistent. I would be interested to hear though if you believe my new climbs to be generally harder for the grade than my old climbs, because then I guess I would have to adjust some, let me know. The video is here:
The video should be enough but I will run it through by words in case. Start Zbar jug, with a blue jib and a dirty yellow jib to start, left hand two screw teal crimp, into blue Teknik pinch, out to small green ETCH pinch, right foot on red jib just to the right of the big yellow loaf pinch, right hand to small tan/yellow pinch above the green font, right hand again to the pink eGrips scooped mini pinch, left hand Red Hornytoad.

Ellen's Climb

This is in fact the second climb my girlfriend Ellen ever set, and it turned out to be a very good climb. Cool holds, reasonable movement, good sustained difficulty, feet are a little odd to use though. But definitely fills a good niche in the V6 area. Video is here and a picture of the bottom as well to be clear, after the last hold in the picture the video should work, but if not; black eGrips crimp, small blue sloper, three screw teal crimp rail, big yellow sandstone to finish.

Blue Tape

This was an excellent climb set by Peter Beal, and taped blue. A bit ago though me and Rob decided the gym was messy looking and took down a lot of tape this one included. I liked this climb though and continue to warm up on it, it should be remembered so here is the video of Ellen climbing it: to help and a picture for the plethora of feet


This is the CATS Clear Blue Skies simulator. Original concept by Anson modified and re-set by Rob, Carlo, Alex and myself. First this problem was untaped, then it had Epic tape, then the Epic traverse was set and this was reset Keen. Which fits well with the other Keen climb which is simple, short, crimpy and maybe a touch sharp. Although I realize that saying this is harder than CBS does not make this V13, this is a decent amount harder and many who have done the climb cannot do the 2nd move at all on the CATS CBS, so I will give it entry level V13. No flash ascents by the way. . .
Video is here:

FA: Daniel Woods
Other Ascents: Paul Robinson, James O'Connor, Phil Schaal, Alex Puccio

Green Hornytoad

An epic masterpiece of movement and perfect holds. This is a taped climb that is very very hard for me to put a grade on, I did it awhile back without too much difficulty and Daniel flashed it but it has seen many many people who climb V13 and V14 fail on it so I guess I will go ahead and list it as a V13. If you send it and go "pshh that is V11" well good for you I do not really care.
Video is here:
Green Hornytoad is also one of my current campus projects all the moves have gone, and I have had decent link starting 2 moves in and falling on the last move. The future for sure.

If you can campus all the moves I will buy you 3 blocks of chalk.
If you campus Green Hornytoad and your last name is not Woods, then I will name a problem after you and will treat a meal at iHop.

FA: James O'Connor
Other Ascents: Daniel Woods, Gabor Szekely, Andre Defelice

Spider Man

There are 4 taped climbs in CATS that are taped with various Spider Man stickers, the are very easy and cannot be harder than V3 and the easiest is probably V1. They are not supposed to be climbed open feet you are supposed to just climb them with tracking. Some of them climb awkwardly because it is harder to set a problem with only 8 stickers. But they are good for the CATS neophyte or as warmups. I will post pictures to help with the location and lines.

New Mini Power Bloc

This is one of my most fun problems, big fun moves on decent holds, nothing really heinous to do just power around the wall. I was thinking this maybe was V11 as none of my friends could touch the moves, but I and a couple others flashed it(well I had to set it so it was not exactly flash, but I never fell on it) and Phil said I could not count it as CATS V11 if I were to do a points day so I guess it will get V10.
Video is here
And I will give a description as well: Start B3 with the green Orange Horny Toad jib, straight up to red ball, black ETCH pinch, big cross through to good White Fang pinch, White Smith sidepull, circular red two screw jib for feet, big move to the yellow ETCH sandstone.

Campus Number 2

This is Campus Number 2, a slightly odd one because it is a piece of a problem that had feet, lots of slopers and Boss mastery. Climbs more like an actual climb, with matching, needing to set up, missing, accuracy etc. A difficult one for me to repeat, but Paul said it is easier than 1 and 3 so I guess it will stick with V11.
Video here should explain it well enough, if not let me know.

Campus Number 1

This is the first real campus problem I made up, although this is the full. The original just started high on the Lunar Flats. There are currently campus problems 1 through 5, plus a new sloper campus. They are numbered chronologically by when I set and sent them. Number one here is a nice friendly tension problem. I am not sure if it helps or is possible to quickly onetwo through the crux to the lip, but if it is, don't do it, stick the holds. In general onetwoing is not very acceptable. I think the video here makes things clear enough, if not drop a comment.

Phil's Hard Climb

This is another problem set awhile back by my friend Phil London. A combination of sick holds, power, and a commiting finish make this a nice steep testpiece for those entering double digits in the steep.
Here is the video sorry it is not shot super well, hard to keep everything in the frame.
Here is a picture showing the bottom which may be hard to make out in the video. After the two last holds shown; bubblewrap ledge, pink ETCH pinch, pink ETCH pinch, green E-grips left facing jug.

The Nemisis

This is a really good tension and power pinch and sloper problem. I originally put it up at V10 but it got a lot of attempts and no repeats until Paul sent after a few falls, so I guess it gets V11.
Here is the video:
Believe it or not the first two moves are what most people find difficult as peoples feet cut off the stingy jib. It starts on a purple ETCH Pinch and a jib crimp right below it, here is a picture of the start just to be clear

The Original Problem

A very old climb for the current CATS, this was the first climb I set in CATS when I moved out here and the walls were still being filled in from Nationals. If you want to start climbing on the steep this is a must do intro problem with crimps, tension and a touch of power.

The bottom is a little hard to see so here is a picture to help, after the last crimp in the picture the video should show it well enough; big move to finger bucket, come into undercut, up to three finger pocket dish thing, purple sidepull screw on, jug.

White Smith

This is a super classic taped traverse set by the owner Rob, that can be climbed open feet at about 5.12b, jibs only(no tracking) at 5.13a or I have campused it in two pieces, if that were to go it would be pushing 5.14d would be my guess but route grading is not my field. It is very smooth movement on finger buckets for a little over 30 moves, the end is easier but from the bottom it climbs with a perfect consistency. A perfect warm-up if you climb routes or have climbed in CATS for a little bit and know where it goes, as it warms up the muscles and body given the 30+ moves and the fingers because all the holds are crimps.
Video is here

The Bear Problem

This is a very simple, taped, CATS style climb set by my friend Philip London awhile back. Who strangely at the time had been to CATS maybe one other time. Very cimpy with tension and not very much pain. Has actually seen more flashes than redpoints as Daniel, Paul and Carlo flashed it and I did not.

Video of the climb is

Given that it is taped and there is a video I do not see much need for a description, just remember you do get a foot out right for the end.

The New Pinch Classic

This is a really good obvious line I saw after I put up some new holds. A variety of moves on pinches; compression, stabs, crosses it comes together pretty well. And tall people should not complain about the high foot near the end, it works perfectly fine for a friend of mine who is 6' 1"
The video for the problem is
Starts in good deep incut scoop, right foot on green Orange Horny Toad jib, left foot (which I do not start with, but some do) is directly left 8bolts on a strange right facing edge. The rest should be fairly obvious from the video. Green ETCH, Yellow ETCH, little black, big white, green font ETCH, Epic 50cent edge, Jug.

Old Compression Bloc

This is an old very fun problem, and although it has slopers and pinches it climbs very differently than something you would find at the Spot. Better to be taller on this one, but don't dab the first move. Video of the climb is here
Starts left hand fat pinch right hand Hudz plate, right foot straight down on a red jib on the kickboard. Jump into the fat Teknik pinch, left hand to red Teknik pinch, right hand red Pusher sloper, left hand strange brown seam crimp, right hand old school E-Grips jug pinch, jug.

Bubble Wrap Dyno

This is a relatively old problem, not too hard for the grade and friendly holds. So definitely a problem to do if you can. There is video for this problem( but I will describe some of the beta anyway, especially as the feet can be hard to see. You start on the two obvious slopey jugs with a red jib on the kickboard out right, easy reach up move to a rounded incut crimp, bring left foot up to a green Orange Horny Toad taped jib and do a slightly harder reach move to a small vertical rock pinch, feet in starter, and do a tensiony reach up to the bubble wrap. Right foot on the first crimp and Moon kick up to the Spider Man taped jug.

Up and Running Soon!

I think I have figured out how to get the blog to run the way I want it to. I now need to takes lots and lots of pictures and spend some time in MS paint but in the next couple weeks I will hopefully get a lot of problems up onto the site. I already have almost a dozen videos up of some CATS classics on my Vimeo, so be sure to check that out for now! And let me know if you have any suggestions, be gentle. . .

About CATS

CATS(Colorado Athletic Training School) is a 10,000+ square foot training facility primarily devoted to gymnastics and climbing.

CATS is located at:
2400 30th Street
Boulder, CO 80301

and can be reached at 303-939-9699

For becoming a stronger, better rockclimber there is simply no better gym. CATS does not coddle with too many jugs, big feet, dihedrals or silly climbing. Especially with a crew of friends, CATS is very fun as well compared to traditional gyms where you have to deal with crowds and poor setting. CATS is whatever you want it to be, you can spend all day doing 30+ move traverses, crush out 3 move power problems on the smallest crimps you have ever seen, or climb out the absolute pinnacle of training; the CATS steep wall.

Not only is CATS the best place to train, but it is the cheapest.

$5 for a day pass, which after 8pm gives you full access to the rest of the facility which includes bars, rings etc.

$45 for a 10 pass punch card

$30 for a month pass

$290 for a one year membership