3. What do you focus on when setting for a competition, and what makes for a good competition route?
When setting routes for competitions, our focus lies in providing challenges that test climbers in various aspects of their skills. Our aim is to create routes that are both demanding and sustained, avoiding clear-cut cruxes or moves that lead to a high percentage of competitors falling. The ultimate objective is to achieve a well-balanced distribution of results among competitors. Additionally, we strive to craft visually stunning routes, sometimes even bordering on the seemingly impossible, which makes it all the more impressive when a climber successfully conquers them. Throughout this process, we also continually put our own skills as setters to the test, ensuring that the competition’s routes are both challenging and rewarding for all participants.
My primary focus when setting for competitions is to test competitors as fairly as possible. In an ideal scenario, the most well-rounded climber should emerge as the winner. The competition round itself should assess as many facets of climbing as possible, such as balance, route reading, coordination, and power. The climber’s height should never be a factor. As for individual routes, our goal is to split the field to identify a winner. A good competition route should always keep climbers on their toes, providing a sense of insecurity, where they might fall off at any moment. It should be engaging from start to finish, both for the competitors and the spectators.
4. What are your favourite hold brands to set with for competitions?
In all honesty, you can’t go wrong with Flathold; the Damage Control sets are among my favourites to set with, along with the revival fibreglass range. A close second would be Xcult. I appreciate these brands not only for their functional qualities but also for their visually appealing designs. They always look and climb cool.
I have a strong preference for Flathold and ICP Volumes as my go-to holds for competition setting. Flathold stands out for its versatility and the wide array of dual-texture holds it offers. This dual-texture feature is especially useful for forcing specific movements. Additionally, I find ICP Volumes to be perfect for seamlessly and aesthetically altering the wall angles, providing a fantastic tool for competition setting.
The dedication and expertise of Queensland State route setters, Mitch and Darcy, shine through in their commitment to delivering exceptional competition boulders. Their skills will be on display at the upcoming ICP Social Series: Knock On Wood and FLOW Bouldering Gym: NEON Nights Social Event. Also for those eager to experience their creations firsthand, you can always put their boulders to the test at the ICP Boulder Hall anytime. Get ready for some exciting climbing challenges!