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MoonBoard Masters – A New Kind of Bouldering Comp

Ben Moon's MoonBoard is as much the centerpiece as the ten professional climbers competing at this crazy new event.

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The MoonBoard has changed the training game over the past several years, allowing climbers in different cities, countries and continents to test themselves against the same problems in an artificial, indoor setting.

Now it’s changing the competition scene as well. MoonBoard Masters, a comp taking place this Saturday, December 9, will pit five pairs of climbers against each other on problems they have set on the MoonBoard. The catch? The teams of climbers will be spread out in four different cities, on three continents.

Alex Megos and Margo Hayes will be in Sheffield, UK; Daniel Woods and Kyra Condie will be in New York City; Rustam Gelmanov and Katja Kadic will be in Barcelona, Spain; and Jongwon Chon and Miho Nonaka, as well as Tomoa Narasaki and Akiyo Noguchi, will be in Osaka, Japan.

On December 8, each team of two will have an hour session on the MoonBoard in their location to set two problems. Then, the next day, on December 9, all the competitors will compete on the problems they have set for each other.

Despite being halfway across the world from each other, everyone will be competing at the same time. You can watch the live stream of MoonBoard Masters on rockandice.com, at the following local times:

Sheffield, UK, 14:00

New York, USA, 09:00

Barcelona, SPAIN, 15:00

Osaka, JAPAN, 23:00

The MoonBoard’s central conceit is basic: it’s more or less a battleship grid on a bouldering wall. Holds get a letter-number coordinate, and specific information related to hold orientation is included as well. With this simple info and standardized sets of holds, after a climber creates a problem and broadcasts it to the world on the MoonBoard app, others can then replicate it and attempt it themselves.

So after the pros competing in the MoonBoard Masters 2017 finish up, you’ll be able to try their problems yourself.

You’ll probably have to be able to climb pretty hard though…

Check back at Rock and Ice’s Facebook and website for the livestream on Saturday, December 9!