Understanding Route Setting in Bouldering


When climbing indoors, you depend on the route setters who put up those plastic puzzles. The routes let you try new moves, climb with your friends, or challenge yourself. They are a gym element that is constantly changing. But, how does the setting process go? How can you set a good route? Read on to find the answers to these questions:

How the Route Setting Process Go

Setting a route usually begins at the bottom and the setter makes their way up move by move. In some cases, the setter has a specific move they wish to incorporate into the route, although they may allow the route to take shape as they set. A local bouldering gym usually has a formula for the route percentage at particular grades and the route styles it wants to offer.

What to Keep in Mind in Terms of Route Setting at a Bouldering Gym

Good routes challenge the physique and brain of climbers.  Also, they teach them climbing techniques naturally. A good facility keeps the following in mind when setting routes for their clients:

  • Not setting routes that feel like climbing a ladder. The route that involves the feet following the hands can be common beginner-friendly routes. This is because beginner climbers need to have fun getting to the top. But, for routes that range from 5a to 6a, holds can be used more effectively by making under moves, easy heel hooks, siders, and others.
  • Setting routes clients are comfortable climbing. Although it can be tempting to build a hard project for clients, some clients may still do not have the skills to do it. For instance, if you climb 6b, you still don’t possess the skills to make great 7a route. Learn more about this by visiting

  • Not increasing your reach. A lot of route setters make climbs more challenging by increasing their reach. This will become an even serious issue if the setter is tall since other clients will find the moves too high. To measure maximum reach distances, setters must stand on a foothold, ensure their arm is fully extended and put the next handhold between your wrist and elbow. When in doubt, they should ask someone shorter than them to test-run the route.
  • Ensuring flow in routes. Route setters steer clear of awkward matches which kill the climb’s rhythm. Also, they understand that a good climb flow involves consistent difficulty. This is because a more challenging sequence will kill the flow.

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