Creative and Inspiring

ICP Home > Route Setting

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, it includes holds and route setting! At the end of the day, our goal is to get better climbs into the hands of climbers.

With a dedicated Route Setting team, we have all aspects of setting covered. We can help with route mapping, your first opening set, route setting for competitions, consulting and advice, and more.

ICP Route Setting Services and Achievements

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.

BoulderCraft (Setting Workshop)

A trilogy of route setting workshops for beginners, intermediates, and advanced setters. Our aim is to establish a foundational baseline for the climbing industry, offering a creative space to learn, grow, and be inspired. Register now!

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.

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 and see if they need any help with cleaning holds or striping the wall. Ask to observe sets.
  • Reach out to us to see if we have any workshop opportunities coming up. Learn More about ICP’s Route Setting Classes

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.

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