Level 1 certifies that a routesetter has successfully completed a USA Climbing Level 1 Routesetting Clinic and demonstrated basic proficiency of routesetting fundamentals and basic skills for competition routesetting.
Level 1 Clinics provide instruction for new and experienced routesetters alike, giving individuals an opportunity to learn and practice fundamental routesetting skills valuable for commercial and competition routesetting. In a Level 1 Clinic, one day is spent focusing on route-specific setting and another on boulder setting, with various exercises presented. Each routesetter is asked to set both routes and boulder problems and is given the opportunity to work with others in the forerunning process, gaining valuable feedback from the experienced USA Climbing Routesetting Instructor and peers alike. Routesetters gain insight into methods and techniques dealing with efficiency, hold manipulation, creative movement, aesthetics, youth routesetting, forerunning and the calibration or “tweaking” process.
Level 1 Certification is provided to successful participants who have demonstrated proficiency in the basic routesetting skills presented and practiced, and an understanding of the methods and ideas introduced regarding redpoint and on-sight competition routesetting.
Ability to climb 5.10 & V3
6 months routesetting experience
Level 2 Certifies that a routesetter has successfully completed a USA Climbing Level 2 Routesetting Clinic and demonstrated sufficient knowledge of onsight routesetting and other skills necessary to set effectively for Championship level events.
Routesetters must apply to participate in a Level 2 Clinic and are selected based on a combination of factors including their general and USAC specific competition routesetting experience, resume, references, personal application, and the gym and/or region they represent. Level 2 Clinics have a significantly higher level of intensity than the Level 1 Clinic, with exclusive focus on onsight competition routesetting, specific exercises targeted to challenge routesetters, and with more detailed evaluation.
The goal of the Level 2 Clinic is to provide an environment for experienced competition routesetters to demonstrate their skills, learn specific techniques and approaches for onsight competition routesetting, organization and teamwork, and to evaluate the ability of those individuals to work effectively as routesetters at USA Climbing Championship level competitions. In this clinic, we focus on challenging setters with respect to fundamental aspects of Championship routesetting. Knowing the USA Climbing youth categories and routesetting effectively for them in an onsight format are the most important aspects. In addition, being familiar with competition organization, USA Climbing rules, and having fundamental skills of strong communication, leadership, and time management are also incredibly valuable. Our goal is not only to have Level 2 routesetters working at Regional and higher events that are experienced and creative with respect to the craft of routesetting, but also those that approach the work at these events with a high degree of professionalism, attention to detail and ability to work well with others to contribute to an effective team.
In a Level 2 Clinic, one day is spent focusing exclusively on boulder-specific setting and another on route-specific setting, with a third emphasizing competition organization, management, rules and judging. Each routesetter is expected to set multiple boulder problems and at least one route, testing their knowledge of USAC youth categories, difficulty levels, and how to effectively and fairly divide a field of competitors, all while working constructively with others in a fast-paced environment. Additionally, routesetters are evaluated on their creativity, understanding of hold manipulation, ability to work within routesetting constraints, organization, communication, leadership, management, and teamwork – all important skill sets for an effective Championship routesetter, and specifically, potential Chief Routesetter, to have.
Level 2 Certification is provided to successful participants, denoting their competency to set for Championship level competitions. Routesetters with Level 2 Certification may apply to official USAC Internships at higher level (Divisional and National) competitions.
Level 1 Certification; Significant USA Climbing competition routesetting experience; Chief Routesetter experience
Ability to forerun a minimum of 5.13 & V7
Level 3 Certifies that a routesetter has successfully completed an Internship at a Divisional or National level competition and is qualified and eligible to apply for an Apprenticeship position at any National level competitions.
Routesetters with Level 2 Certification may apply to Divisional and National Internships announced on this website. These positions are very competitive because USA Climbing only has a small number of National events with limited Internship positions offered and there are many experienced and interested routesetters. During an Internship, a routesetter will work in all aspects of the Divisional or National level competition routesetting with a Level 5 (Or Level 4, Approved by Routesetting Committee) Chief Routesetter and an experienced team.
Events at which National Internships have typically been offered include: Bouldering Youth Divisionals, Bouldering Youth Nationals, Sport & Speed Open Nationals, GoPro’s Vail Citizens Nationals, Sport & Speed Youth Divisionals, and Sport & Speed Youth Nationals. Each event is different but typically requires a week of work. Interns are not compensated and must arrange for their own travel.
5-7 days for each event
Level 2 Regional Certification
Significant experience routesetting for USA Climbing Championship level competitions
Able to forerun 5.13 and V7.
Bouldering and Sport Climbing
Level 4 Certifies that a routesetter has successfully completed an Apprenticeship at a National level competition and is qualified and eligible to work as an Assistant Routesetter at any National level event. Level 4 Endorsements, in Bouldering and Sport Climbing, certify that a routesetter is competent and eligible to be Chief Routesetter in the discipline(s) for which they have the endorsement(s), at USA Climbing Divisional level competitions.
Routesetters with Level 3 Certification may apply to Apprentice positions for National competitions announced on this website. These positions offer a small stipend and a travel allowance and give Routesetters who have completed a National Internship the opportunity to continue to gain experience with National events. During an Apprenticeship, a Routesetter will work in all aspects of National level competition routesetting with a Level 5 Chief Routesetter and an experienced team. A Routesetter who successfully completes an Apprenticeship will be awarded Level 4 Certification.
Routesetters with Level 4 Certification are eligible to apply to Assistant positions for any National competitions announced on this website. Assistant Routesetters at National events are paid a full salary and all travel expenses and accommodation are covered.
Endorsement(s) in each specific discipline (bouldering/sport climbing) may be awarded to those Routesetters with Level 4 Certification who are considered highly qualified to be Chief Routesetters for Divisional Level events in the specific discipline AND who have received a positive report from a USA Climbing Level 5 Routesetter while working at a USA Climbing Divisional or National level competition.
Level 3 Certification; AND
Significant experience routesetting for USA Climbing Championship level competitions.
Ability to forerun a minimum of 5.13a or V7
Bouldering and Sport Climbing.
Level 5 Certifies that a routesetter has successfully completed a National Chief Routesetter Practical and is qualified and eligible as a Chief Routesetter in the discipline(s) for which they have the endorsement(s), at USA Climbing National level competitions.
The most experienced Level 4 Routesetters who are interested in becoming National Chief Routesetters, may formally request to the Chief Routesetter of an event for which they have been hired as an Assistant, to undergo a “Level 5 Practical Review” at. This request must be submitted at least one month prior to the competition and then approved first by the Chief Routesetter and also the USA Climbing Routesetting Committee. If approved, the Assistant Routesetter will work closely with the Chief Routesetter in the preparation and execution of the event and their work will be reviewed by the Chief Routesetter, Chief Judge and Chief Organizer.
5-7 days for each event
Level 4 Certification
Experience at 4 or more National level competitions
Ability to forerun 5.13 and V7.
Youth Bouldering, Adult Bouldering, Youth Sport Climbing, and Adult Sport Climbing.