Setting For Climbers Stronger Than You

Setting For Climbers Stronger Than You

Can you call yourself an advanced route setter? There is no shame in the game if you cant. But even if you do consider yourself to be in the upper echelon of route setting skills, you still might run into that veteran climber which crushes every route your put up on the next wall reset.

It can be easy to fall into the trap of setting with one small group of climbers in mind, especially if you are well integrated with your community. The most important lesson to take from this post is to not focus on the few as it might hurt the many. Here are some quick tips to help you set harder challenges without bias.

  • Dont be stingy with variety: Think of yourself as one of the members that visits your gym every week. What brings a twinkle to your eye the most? The three new routes that kept a section closed for (exaggerated) 3 days? Or the 10 new routes, 7 of which you can conquer, two of which you can project, and one that you can watch in awe as someone else does? Sometimes you just need to throw some stuff at the wall and see what people like. Its always super fun to find an expected challenge.

  • Focus on technique and tension: Simply increasing the distance between holds can create frustration, not necessarily difficulty. By starting with a well-flowing sequence, you can then focus on replacing holds with ones that demand more specific technique, tension control, and body positioning. This makes the climb more engaging and forces climbers to think critically about their movement

  • Put theory into practice: Even if you can't personally execute a specific move, your understanding of climbing mechanics can guide you. Think about the leverage points, muscle engagement, and body tension required for the movement. Then, select holds that accentuate those demands and force climbers to work harder.

  • Ditch the pressure of the perfect Grade: Instead of assigning a single, definitive grade to each route, consider utilizing a grade range system. This reflects the inherent subjectivity of climbing difficulty and caters to climbers with different strengths and weaknesses. AMPclimb makes this process incredibly easy, allowing you to define a range for each climb. Leave your grade hunting ego at the door!

  • Chase some inspiration: Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and its also the best method to find your way to put a unique spin on things! Visit a neighboring gym with mindfulness and intention. If you dont have anything viable nearby, you can always leverage videos of the best competition routes, as well as the most classic outdoor boulders around!

  • Leverage Your Powerhouse Climbers: Don't be afraid to tap into the expertise of your gym's strongest climbers. Once you've set a route, invite them to forerun the problem with you. Their insights can be invaluable, helping you identify potential deadpoints, awkward transitions, or unforeseen sequences. Collaborative setting fosters a sense of community and ensures the end product will truly challenge your most advanced climbers.

Remember, climbing isn't just about brute strength – it's a beautiful puzzle of movement and problem-solving. So, embrace the challenge of setting for climbers stronger than you! And if you're always flashing the routes you set, maybe you're just not trying hard enough. Keep experimenting, keep learning, and most importantly, have fun twisting those minds (and tendons) on your wall!

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