New HRT SystemsI had the recent privilege of going to the Walltopia and HRT headquarters in Bulgaria. It was a great trip and I got to see first hand some new ideas put forth by HRT. These ideas will be coming into the climbing community in the year with one of them already in full production. The two new systems are a white hold system and an LED system. [singlepic id=493 w=600 h= float=center] The first of the two, the white hold system consists of solid white climbing holds with small circles where you can put on a sticker. In North American gyms, most of the time they put different colour tape underneath the holds to specify which route it’s on. My biggest pet peeve of that is it’s much easier to spin the hold and it looks pretty ugly in general. Most gyms in Europe will set their problems by colour of hold. Although it looks much better, I find that on the bouldering walls, it limits the number of actual problems you can have at one given time. Once you run out of colours, you can’t set any more boulder problems. [singlepic id=491 w=350 h=200 float=right] HRT came up with the idea to make white holds and then put little dots on them. This makes it much easier because you can just set a bunch of different routes using the stickers and when you want to finally fill the rest of the wall, you can use the same holds without any stickers on them. It also makes it very easy to tweak the problems as you never have to take the hold off the wall, you can just move the sticker. I’e ordered 4-5 sets of the white holds which will be coming in a week! I’m trying to think about how to make a movie on the setting and training aspect of circuits. I’ll start with the unboxing of the holds and finish with us climbing the circuits. Since my training partner Mathilde Becerra is on the French National Lead team, it’ll be really nice to have a women’s perspective in setting and also the running of the circuits. [singlepic id=492 w=300 h=200 float=left] I also have a few boxes of “normal” coloured holds so I’m going to try and integrate those into the circuits as well. My white holds will almost be like the “wild” cards. I’ll set by colour, and have the option to add a white hold with a sticker if I really need it. I can then also take off the stickers to make the circuits harder if needed. [singlepic id=494 w=500 h=400 float=center] This is what it could look like on a lead wall, but I’ill some more photos once I get my circuits up. I’ll combine my two sets to make my circuits, and the white holds will be perfect for some of the feet as well so I can put multiple colour tape on them! The second part of the new systems that HRT has come up with revolve around an LED system. [singlepic id=490 w=500 h=400 float=center] As you can see from the picture, it’s exactly what you thought. It’s a small LED behind the wall with the base of the hold being made of a transparent polyurethane. This is similar to the white holds system but instead of changing the stickers, you would use a very easy computer program to change which lights were activated. [singlepic id=488 w=300 h=180 float=left] The best and more creative part of this system is that (in my opinion) it looks absolutely amazing. Who wouldn’t want to climb on a wall that’s illuminated by different colours? It also makes it painfully easy to change the routes, add a foot or take out a hold. For training, I wouldn’t see it used as much as in kid’s camp or for normal day to day activities in a gym. I think this would be great; it would also look really good at an event where light up holds are the centerpiece of some bigger event. It attracts attention, it’s very aesthetic and it can be as hard or as easy as you want to make it. It would also be great in a competition scene so that it was easier to see the holds by the public. It would make it much easier for the public to see sequences and while there were no climbers on the wall, they could change around the colours and or what is lit up to show the best route or something! [singlepic id=489 w=500 h=400 float=center] I find that the possibilities are pretty cool with this and I can’t wait for people to think of even better ways to use this. It’s still coming along, but the technology is there and it’s come a long way from prototype as well. It was hard to figure out the best way for the LED to shine and also to come up with a cheap energy efficient way to affix the lights behind the walls. if you have any comments or questions for these two technologies, just ask below!
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