Event recap written by PG Sunnyvale Instructor Reinhard Cate.


A competitor sends one of advanced problems at the PG Sunnyvale Bloc Party.

*The atmosphere was positively vibrant at PG Sunnyvale’s August 22nd Bloc Party!*

Competitors in three different divisions took on an array of new problems at PG’s largest competition to date!

The night also held special significance for the PG Sunnyvale team as they bid farewell to the comp’s MC and veteran team member and setter Mitch Newman.

As Planet Granite said goodbye to a veteran, they also said hello to a new member of the team, Bret Johnston. Joining PG as the new Director of Setting, Bret only arrived the Monday before the comp!  But he was raring to go and immediately got to work with coordinating and setting for the 45+ competition problems on Tuesday.


Bret Johnson, PG’s new Director of Setting, putting the finishing touches on one of the problems.

Climbers flock to PG comps because they know the setting will be both creative and challenging, whether they’re roping up or pulling on a boulder problem.

The PG setting team produced an amazing set of problems that marveled competitors from across the three divisions, (Recreational: V0-V3, Advanced: V3-V6, Open: V6+).

The event was a bit bittersweet for the PG Sunnyvale staff and especially so for Mitch Newman who parted ways after being on the PG Sunnyvale team for over 8 years!

Mitch, who’s known for his warm and open personality at the front desk as well as being a talented setter, is leaving one PG community to join another; PG Portland is psyched for his arrival!


The PG Sunnyvale staff surprised MC of the night Mitch Newman with a farewell cake.

As the official MC of the night, Mitch amped up the competitors and introduced participants to vendors and reps from the different businesses and organizations that attended Bloc Party this year. His personality and energy lent itself to the positive vibes felt throughout the comp.

The popularity of climbs varied from level to level. The Black and Red High Ball in the Alcove was one of the most popular recreational division climbs forcing competitors to try a bit of a jump start testing climbers’ commitment and tenacity. The purple V4 in the learning center was a huge hit because it forced competitors to use unique beta to finish the problem.

The Prow wall had one of the most popular advanced problems, a Black V8, which gave the strongest climbers a crux to remember with a powerful dynamic move to the finish.  The yellow V9 on the left cheek may have provided the crux of the day tossing off some of the gym’s strongest climbers. But it was the purple V11 on the outside overhang that took the cake, as no one finished the problem in time.


LEFT: A competitor sticks the dynamic finish on the Prow. RIGHT: Competitors line up to try the ‘Dynos for Dollars’ dyno problems as PG staff give the ultimate spot.

Near the end of the night, the party kicked off a Dynos for Dollars event to benefit the PG Sunnyvale Youth Competition Team. Climbers donated a dollar toward the team for three attempts at dyno’s of varying heights. Each hold reached represented a number of raffle tickets; the lowest at 1 and the higher more difficult holds earned the participant 2 or 3 tickets.

The event was a hit and crowds packed around the start to give the dynos a shot.

Thanks to a $200 dollar donation from Goal Oriented Academics the event raised $223.75 for the Youth Competition Team!


Competitors are literally ‘fueled by Flux’ during the event. And as always Arsalan delivers with a smile!

The vendors also brought a special energy to the party. Flux Coldbrew Coffee provided competitors with liquid fuel to send, Three Twins Ice Cream brought plenty of sweetness, and Sports Basement reminded us that our wallets will never close for great outdoor equipment.

Access Fund reps were also there and on point in getting climbers to take care of their local crags specifically signing up volunteers for the Summit Rock clean-up.

The night officially ended with the winners announced and the prizes passed out. Then raffle numbers were called out and more prizes were given away! Competitors lucky enough to win or get their ticket called walked away with everything from crash pads, to ropes, quick draws, guide books, and a ton of other climbing clothes and gear.


A lucky competitor walks away with a brand-new crash pad!

This years winners represented 3 divisions of competition and got their first choice of prizes. The Open Division Women’s winner was Sara Evensen with 22,550 points and the Open Men’s Division Men’s Winner was Ryan K Olson with 27,980 points.

The Advanced Division Women’s winner was Amanda Anderson 17,190 points and the Advanced Division Men’s winner was Bryce A Wat with 20,290 points.  The Women’s Recreational Division winner was Allikay Leung with 7800 points and the Men’s Recreational Division winner was Alex Chuong with 9360 points.

A BIG thanks to ALL that came to our competition!  

*The party continues!* Join us for the next 2 stops in the tour on:

Friday, September 26th at PG Belmont
Friday, October 17th at PG San Francisco

*All photos by PG Sunnyvale Instructor Max Stuart and 100% RAW Media.

For more photos from the event check out the hash tag #blocparty2014 on Instagram and click HERE for the Facebook album.*

Reinhard photoABOUT THE AUTHOR: Reinhard Cate is a Planet Granite Instructor, graduate student, and a freelance multimedia journalist. His work has appeared in Alpinist Magazine, BBC World News, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, New York Daily News, and Santa Clara Magazine. He currently is pursuing a M.S. in International and Development Economics at the University of San Francisco.