Q&A with Route Setter Dirk Uhlig – IFSC Boulder Worldcup Munich 2018

Q&A with Route Setter Dirk Uhlig – IFSC Boulder Worldcup Munich 2018


Is it recording? Hi Mom! No, not yet. Oh yes, it’s red! Today I have the pleasure to talk to Dirk
Uhlig. Oh, I’m Dirk. You are Dirk. And Dirk is one of the route setters for the World Cup in Munich, which takes place this weekend. 6 short questions, 6 quick answers. How old are you? Not so young anymore, but not old. Since when do you climb? Since … I started thinking. Your hardest route or your hardest boulder you climbed? I’ve already climbed many black routes and sometimes I also nail a white one. At the bottom of human’s possibilities. You are also a hall owner, where exactly? Here! Now your head is in front of it.
Yes… here… E4, the Boulderhalle E4. In Nuremberg it is. What would you have become, if it had not pulled you into the climbing sport? Probably a car mechanic or
Firefighter. Or a basketball player. Since I am relatively tall. Since when are you setting for World Cups? Boah, so World Cups … for 3 years now. That was the quick question round first. And now maybe a bit more detailed. How to become a World Cup route setter? Not by twiddling your thumbs. Cool, you can even see it. I do not know, I think it just happens So if you have the urge to do something and you are a bit persistent and you really want to do that then, I think, you can do it. Of course that requires you to have a soft spot for it and to be route setter by heart. What do all the rule changes of the last two years mean? For example, the flat 4 minutes? That you have to use the bonus (zone) hold and not only tap it? That the bonus (zone) is worth more than the attempts for a top? And also the controlled starting position? These are 4 things at once that you want to know from me. I really can’t do that. I’m not that multitasking. I do a bit of mono-tasking. It’s interesting for us as route setters, because the climber does not have so much time now. If it’s over after 4 minutes, maybe he’ll have one less try than the years before. Now the bonus (zone) is more important than a flash. That means, maybe we need to make the bonus hold a bit harder to achieve. Because the climber really needs the bonus (zone). And if so, he will be ranked better, because he was more persistent and not so focused on the flash. Formerly people who read the boulder quickly had advantages. now it’s not important anymore, I’d say. And the starting position? What about the small rule change … Oh, that’s very important, because for route setting it’s a bit easier since the referee demands you to hang on the starting holds with both hands and then you can start climbing. My Boulder may work as I imagined and then a climber tries to trick us by only tapping the starting holds and running up the wall and just skips all the hard moves which we have tried for hours. I do not want to think about what the climber might be able to do I want to know what he can do. He should climb something I demand from him. Munich is just around the corner. What awaits us? Who is in the route setting team? There are rumors about a new competition wall in Munich. A huge starter list. Yes, what can we expect? So I think it’s gonna be a damn exciting final. Because at the men’s side who wins the last competition wins the overall World Cup. And with
the girls it is the same. And it’s so close. They all want to win and we have to make sure it’s fair for everyone. And that the best wins in the end. The starting list is just huge (304 starters). The arm range and the size ratio of the people. They can have a difference of 20 to 30 centimeters from the smallest to the largest. It has to be fair for all and we test a lot what the climber can do
especially good, and where they have disadvantages so that in the end it is fair for all. Who is in the route setting team for Munich? In principle, it always has to be an international team. There is the Robert Leistner from Mandala and Robert Lux from Studio Bloc and me from E4. Mathieu Dutray will be back as the Frenchman. and there ‘s also one Briton (Jamie Cassidy – CRS). There will be a new wall? Yes – No – Maybe? Yes, with 99% certainty there is a new wall, which makes the route setting a bit easier. It will not have any screw holes anymore. That means we can now set every hold to a position we want and not where the screw hole is and the old wall had relatively many 90 degree corners. That’s 90 degrees. That’s 180. At 90 degree corners you can hold on excellently when you climb 9a, b, c. That makes things easier for us because We do not have to think about, is it possible to jump two meters to the right, grab the edge and then go back again. In the past, you had to tape it off with black tape. Look like sh*t and it might cause wrong decisions by the referee. It is also easier for the climbers. They doesn’t have to look for the black tape, what’s illegal? They can focus on where they want to go. Where the holds are. Then a question about the World Cup last year. There you still had your trademark, your long dreadlocks. They got lost very quickly. Almost with the award ceremony. Was there a bet? What are the backgrounds? Yes, we bet so often in such a competition on a variety of things. I said, I eat a hat, if a German is on the podium this year. Or I’ll cut off my hair. I decided to cut my hair off. Jan did a great job that day, although at the beginning, it didn’t look to promissing. Towards the end he really turned on the beast mode and deserved to win and I deserved to lose my hair. What will be the bet this year or will you do it spontaneously? Ew. We’ll just see what happens during the week. But there will be a change in any case at the top end … And then the last question. What is your tip? Who will be the overall World Cup winner for women? Who will be the overall World Cup winner for men? I will cross my fingers for the Miho this year. She really showed a good performance in Munich, every time. And so is my secret favorite in the
Moment. With the boys … I peek on the Jernej this year, because he just has a super awesome year and as an outlaw he got the focus on every competition so specific and then just wins. Party Jernej! Munich, as you say, always good for a surprise Terrific atmosphere. Well worth it to join the World Cup in any case Friday to qualify, the entrance is even free. Saturday. Who has no card until today …
I think they are likely sold out. But you can also watch the competion in the live stream and that’s definitely worth it, too. It’s gonna be a huge starting field in qualifying round (304). That will be a pretty long day anyway. Alright. Thanks, Dirk. Fries! Fries? Hhhhgggghhhh … How old are you? Oh no! Do I really have to tell you how old I am? I say, experienced 😉 Since when do you climb? Since I started thinking … …so… … half of my life. Here I say the hardest route in bouldering … I accomplish black and sometimes white. How would you earn your daily bread? I’m on low-carb. Bread? I can not make that much use of it at all. C-c-current project … World domination. Um … wait. You’re making eyes at me. Fries! Fries? Potato… …Fries I hope the record wasn’t to sharp because I have beads of sweat on my forehead.