The Art of Route Setting

At blurr we're honoured to have an incredibly talented group of people as our ambassadors. Kevin Goradia is no exception to this rule. Here he weighs in on the art of route setting. 

" I’ve been a route-setter almost as long as I’ve been climbing. I always thought it was so fascinating watching the “strong guys” put up beautiful works of art in my local gym. I knew from day one that I wanted to be that guy, minus the strong. Fast Forward 7 years and I am now a Level 3 USAC certified route-setter and have set for numerous local comps all the way up to Nationals. In those 7 years I also decided that I wanted to own a gym. It was the best decision I could have made but unfortunately route-setting took a back seat to crunching numbers and scouting locations for my new gym.

My good friend Louie Anderson started the Setter Showdown and I decided to attend the most recent instalment in Lexington Kentucky. I was nervous because I knew most of the guys were setting 5 days a week at very reputable gyms and I’ve only been guest setting for comps every month or so. Despite the nerves it was a wonderful event and I made a lot of new friends and connections. 


The comp was scheduled to start on a Saturday and the event was broken into 3 rounds. First round included Metolius grips and dimension volumes. The volumes each had a hold on it that could not be moved but the volume could be placed anywhere in your area. Second round was with Cheeta and Artline holds and included a partner. The third round was a little more relaxed and included Thrive Holds with no restrictions. I was lucky to place in the top 10 against some truly talented setters. This event made me realize how much I miss route-setting and how much I look forward to developing the setting program at my new gym Crux Climbing Center

Events like the setter showdown are great for the industry and community because they shine light on some of the least appreciated yet most important figures in the industry. I’m proud to call myself a route-setter and now that I own my own gym I will do my best to make sure our route-setters are treated and compensated like they really should be.

Kevin G #4.JPG

I’d like to thank everyone at Blurr for keeping me comfortable while route-setting and climbing. I couldn't imagine being affiliated with a better group of people. I’m sure the people of Austin will really enjoy your goods in our gear shop!" - Kevin