I am so psyched to be returning to San Luis Obispo this fall to take on the role of Head Route Setter for The Pad’s two facilities in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria. In preparation for that transition and to ensure Pad climbers are getting the very best, I recently attended USA Climbing’s two-day setting clinic in San Francisco. One day had a focus on ropes at Touchstone’s Mission Cliffs and one on bouldering at Dogpatch. The climbing experience in any gym is distinctly affected by the vision of route setters, and our ability to encourage creative movement and flow. For that reason, I am really looking forward to bring back some invaluable tips and tricks learned from two of the best route setters in the country. I joined setters from New York, Seattle, Nevada and all over the country, which allowed me to observe and work with tons of styles and methods. I am super excited for this fall to share this variety and new perspective with the SLO and Santa Maria communities.
As a routesetter, movement is always on my mind. Forcing moves and creating unique sequences that flow was a major focus of the clinic. Thinking of how to compel a climber to make individual types of moves such as; a toe hook, mantel, rose move, or shadow walk, can be one of the most rewarding yet difficult aspects of creating quality boulder problems and routes. In the clinic, I worked on getting out of my comfort and setting different styles of moves that I do not ordinarily gravitate towards. Jumping is one of my weaknesses as a climber, and putting up a run and jump climb that someone 5 and half feet tall as well as 6 and a half feet tall both had to jump for and catch was an interesting challenge in forcing moves for completely different body types. Being able to set a wide range of moves and styles is something I plan to bring to The Pad. Making the gym fun and approachable for everyone is an important goal of mine.
The main focus of USA Climbing is competition setting. Competitions offer a unique way for route setters to showcase our artistry as well as give the community the chance to push themselves on enticing challenges. An important component of any competition is testing the community in a large range of styles and techniques to equally separate the field of climbers and give everyone a chance to win. No matter what your favorite style of climbing is, there will be climbs that make you think, “I need to climb that.” One exercise during the clinic focused on techniques for youth competition setting. I am passionate about involving kids in climbing at a young age, and ensuring they have an opportunity to learn and develop a love for the sport. With SLO’s new climbing gym on its way, competitions will be bigger, more exciting, and even more fun. No matter what age you are, make sure you set aside the day to enjoy some incredible routes alongside our amazing climbing community.
Joe's certifed legit
Can't wait to get a taste of those new routes!