What is Routesetting in climbing? Why is it so unique?
Routesetting is the art of putting holds on the wall in a specific manner so that they create a challenging yet rewarding participant experience and correspond to a specific difficulty level.
Are you a route setter yourself? Is your name on the National Routesetting Database yet?
Who are the Routesetters and what are their roles?
Head Route Setter (H.R.S.)
- The Head Route Setter is the primary person responsible for organizing, and leading the team of Route Setters, in collaboration with the Assistant Head Route Setter, toward the common goal of providing the highest level climbing competition for our Athletes.
- Complete Job Decription
Assistant Head Routesetter (A.H.R.S.)
- The Assistant Head Route Setter (A.H.R.S.) is the secondary person responsible for organizing, and leading the team of Route Setters, under the leadership of the Head Route Setter (H.R.S.), toward the common goal of providing the highest level climbing competition for our Athletes.
For certain events the A.H.R.S. may be used as an educator, or evaluator to allow room for new, or first time Head Route Setters to have the opportunity to lead the team. In this case it is expected that the A.H.R.S. will provide unwavering support, and help to the H.R.S. to insure a high quality event, and the development of the entire Route Setting Team.
- Complete Job Description
- The Route Setter is an integral member of the Route Setting team. Under the direction of the Head Route Setter (H.R.S.) and the Assistant Head Route Setter (A.H.R.S.) Their job is to propose and test boulders and routes for CEC competitions and training events. The Route Setter should be hard working, willing to learn, and happy to take direction from the leadership team. The Route Setter is to help the team move toward the common goal of providing the highest level climbing competition for our athletes.
- Complete Job Descriptions
Pathway – how do I get about doing these roles?
Local Level – connect with your local climbing gym. Some offer training for route setters. Other organizations, such as The B.I.G. Initiative can be a good resource.
Provincial Level – get in touch with your Provincial or Territorial Sport Organization (PTSO) to discover their opportunities for route setting involvement. Many PTSO also have Route Setting Committees you could get involved with.
National Level – Climbing Canada is in charge of recruiting route setters for regional and national events. To receive communications about upcoming opportunities, please add your name to the National Routesetting Database.
The CEC Routesetting Committee is currently working on an education pathway for Canadian Route Setters. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements!
As a starting point, the CEC Routesetting Committee has established Recruitment Goals for the 2023-2024 Competition Season:
- Regional setting teams should feature 20%-25% “first time” Regional route setters including unpaid apprenticeships
- Youth National setting teams should feature 10%-15% “first time” Youth National route setters including unpaid apprenticeships
- Open National setting teams should feature 5%-10% “first time” Open National route setters including unpaid apprenticeships
- First time setters must meet minimum personal climbing level standards (at this point to be determined by the head setter, but we will work on presenting a guideline for this for the future)
- First time setters should have experience setting at the level below the event they would like to be considered for (for regionals, they should have set a provincial, for youth nationals they should have set a regional and so on)
- All first time setters MUST be evaluated by the head setter and informed of their strengths, weaknesses, and must be informed on what is required of them if they would like an opportunity at a higher level.
Event Targets and Evaluation
CEC uses the concept of “event targets” to guide the route setting team. Those targets will now be made public ahead of each event.
For the 2023-2024 Competition Season, here are the Targets: