ROUTE SETTING by ICP

World-class setting for every climbing gym

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The Art of Route Setting

Not sure how many holds you’ll need for your gym? Maybe you’re still trying to decide what colours to use, or how many routes you’ll be able to fit on your walls. When we say we manage all aspects of a climbing wall build, you’d better believe that includes route setting! At the end of the day, our goal is to get better climbs into the hands of climbers. Quality route setting enables us to do just that!

Route setting is about far more than just how many holds to use or how far apart they should be. Routes need to work for a range of heights, shapes and sizes. Choosing the right hold brands for your gym requires a great deal of knowledge about best practices and standards but also how to address climbers’ wants and needs. To top it all off your climbs need to look aesthetically pleasing, drawing climbers in.

With a dedicated Route Setting team, we have all aspects of setting covered – you don’t have to worry about a thing! We can help with route mapping, your first opening set, route setting for competitions, consulting and advice, and more.

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ICP Route Setting Services and Achievements

Commercial Route Setting
We can provide the best route setters to work on your wall – helping to enhance your venue and create routes that climbers will travel from far and wide to climb.

Route Setting Classes
ICP can provide classes for route setters interested in mastering the art. We’ve previously offered masterclasses with international route setters which we hope to continue in the future.

Route Setting Achievements
All our route setters have set at state and national levels. We’ve set at many climbing gyms around the country and even the world!

How to Get Into Route Setting

Route setting involves climbing experience and knowledge. We’ve put together our top tips for getting started in route setting:

  • Reach out to your local climbing gym,
  • Reach out to ICP to see if we have any workshop opportunities coming up,
  • Take climbing lessons – this can help you understand body positioning, balance, and understand movements,

Route setting is a physical job but also has a big mental component. It’s a journey of skills learnt over years of continued application.

How can experienced route setters help aspiring setters?

  • Suggest to aspiring setters to observe sets,
  • Ask them to help with testing,
  • Ask them to help strip the wall,
  • Ask them to help with cleaning holds,
  • Talk about your process

Route Setting Apps

Tension and Kilter Board have apps for their hold sets, with problems set by well-known climbers and setters from around the world.

DIY Home Route Setting

Home setting without experience can be challenging, but also a great way to get started. Here are a few tips for when you’re first starting to set on your home climbing wall:

  • Use small footholds for more technical moves, and to load your hands,
  • Use larger shapes for your feet as a good foundation,
  • Positive holds can work well for circuit training,
  • Have a good selection of open-handed holds to avoid injury,
  • Try and think about the purpose of each movement – whether it’s warming up, a more balanced move, powerful movements, etc.
  • Pick smaller holds so you can fit more on the wall – pack more of a punch!
  • Have multiple people test your route.

Route Setting Certification

There is only one type of accreditation in Australia, through SCA (Sport Climbing Australia). State competitions consist of a head setter, two regular setters and an apprentice setter. You can apply for these spots through your state organisation (such as SCQ, SCSA etc). Once the head setter is selected for the competition they will choose their team. A certified head setter can then certify setters for future competitions. A state head setter is certified by a national setter. Once signed off, you have the ability to apply for future head setter positions, providing you don’t go longer than two years without setting at a competition. National head setters are voted for by other national head setters.

Resource Hub | 3 Pieces of Route Setting Equipment You Need

We think there are three things that are absolutely necessary when it some to doing your own route setting. Be sure to get the right type of drill or risk stripping the bolts. And we know our handy tips will save you time and energy too.

Visit the ICP Resource Hub

LET’S GET STARTED