Routesetting Clinics

As part of the USA Climbing Routesetting Clinic and Certification program, USAC organizes Level 1 and Level 2 clinics for routesetters across the country.  Prior to registration, all setters attending routesetting clinics must have a USA Climbing “Certified” Routesetter membership.  It is highly recommended that setters attending clinics have experience moving up and down ropes for routesetting and some knowledge of safety systems.

Clinic Prerequisites can be found here:  Routesetting Resources

Level 1 Routesetting Clinic
The USA Climbing Level 1 Routesetting Clinic teaches basic routesetting fundamentals and basic skills for competition routesetting. Successful participants will receive a Level 1 Certification.  The Participation Fee is $500, and all participants must have an active USAC Routesetter Annual Membership ($100). Beginner and experienced routesetters alike are welcomed if they have 6 months or more of professional routesetting experience and can work V3 or 5.10.  Minimum age to participate in a routesetting clinic with USA Climbing is 16.

Note:  this clinic is not intended for setters looking to increase their commercial routesetting experience.  It is intended for those who wish to progress through the Routesetting Clinic Certification Program and is catered fully to competition routesetting.

Level 2 Routesetting Clinic
The USA Climbing Level 2 Routesetting Clinic teaches and tests participants’ knowledge of on-sight routesetting and other skills necessary to act as Chief Routesetter (CRS) at Qualification Events (QE) and act as assistant routesetter at Regional or Divisional Championships.  There is a competitive application process for Level 2 Clinics and to be considered, applicants should have significant competition Routesetting experience, CRS experience, and must be able to forerun V7 and 5.13.  Successful participants will receive Level 2 Certification and be able to act as CRS for USA Climbing Youth Qualification Events.

The Participation Fee is $1000, and all participants must have an active USAC Routesetter Annual Membership ($100).


This page lists all currently scheduled USA Climbing Routesetting Clinics.  Please read below for more information and registration details for each clinic.

Level 2 Clinics open for application, all applications must be received by November 31, 2023.

April 2-4 The Spot Louisville CO, Chief Instructor Mike Bockino

June 18-20 Alta Climbing Gilbert AZ, Chief Instructor Nohl Haeckel

Sept 10-12 Sportrock Alexandria VA, Chief Instructor Nic Oklobjiza

To apply fill out the form at the link here:

Cost:  $1000

Registration is through Sport 80 and is based on an application process.  All setters accepted into the clinic must purchase a routesetter membership to take part in the Level 2 Clinic.

Level 1 Clinic Schedule:

April 10/11, Velocity Climbing Gym Brownsville, FL, Head Instructor John Oungst

April 22/23, BKB Chicago IL, Head Instructor Nic Oklobzija

August 21/22, Project Rock Easley, SC, Head Instructor Aaron Davis

September 18/19, Project Rock Oakland Park, FL, Head Instructor Molly Beard

These clinics are all available for registration in Sport80 until they are filled to their capacity.

Cost:  $500

Any questions can be directed to the Routesetting Program Manager Mike Bockino at


Hosting Overview
Our goal is to provide clinic instruction to routesetters throughout the US and in as many regions as possible. To do this we need great host facility partners. If you are interested in hosting a USA Climbing Routesetting Clinic, please see below or email

Hosting a Level 1 Clinic
A Level 1 Clinic is ideal for regular hosts of USA Climbing QE or higher-level competitions.  To host a Level 1 Clinic, a host facility must have significant roped and bouldering terrain, sufficient for hosting bouldering and Lead/TR local climbing competitions.  It is most common for a Level 1 Clinic to have 15 – 20 participants and the best host facilities will typically be larger climbing gyms, those that regularly host USA Climbing competitions at various levels.

There is no host fee for a Level 1 Clinic.  The host facility provides the climbing terrain and additional space for dedicated use during the typical 9am – 5pm schedule of the two day clinic and must be willing and able to accommodate up to 20 total routesetters.  Basic requirements of host facility include:

·      up to 20 individual route lines each a minimum of 24’ tall (ideal is 30’ – 40’) and with variety of top-rope and lead terrain.

·      Approximately 120 linear feet of bouldering terrain with space needed for up to 20 routesetters to work simultaneously.

Benefits to Host Facility

·      Host facility routesetters can participate in a Level 1 Clinic in their own gym without any cost of travel.  Successful participants will receive a Level 1 Certification.  Host facility also gets 2 setters into the clinic free of charge.

·      The facility’s routesetters will benefit from the work of the other clinic participants who have diverse backgrounds and represent many gyms from around the country.

·      For new climbing facilities, hosting a Level 1 Clinic can be an excellent opportunity to create a positive learning environment for intermediate experience level routesetters at their new gym. It can also provide ownership and management a chance to see the work of routesetters within the structured environment of a clinic.

·      There will typically be 15-20 routes and between 20- 30 boulder problems set during the Level 1 Clinic.  Many host facilities will schedule clinics specifically in the context of their regular rotation, use the clinic to refresh the start of a new round of routesetting, or use the routes and/or boulder problems from the clinic for youth competitive training.

Hosting a Level 2 Clinic

Level 2 Clinics are held 4 times per year at host facilities determined by USAC, based on their location, facility details and past experience hosting USAC Championship competitions or other clinics.

As with the Level 1 Clinic, there is no host fee, but the facility must provide the adequate terrain needed for the clinic and then can select two of their own routesetters to participate in the clinic.  This is determined after review with the RCCP Administrator during clinic scheduling.  All routesetters apply for the clinic directly through USAC and will be selected by the Chief Instructor, Assistant Instructor(s) and in consultation with the RCCP Administrator.

The basic terrain details outlined above in the Level 1 section also apply to Level 2 Clinics; in addition

  • access to a space adequate for presentations, and use of a TV or projector.
  • We review the quality of the overall facility terrain and gym amenities on a case-by-case basis.
  • An active youth climbing team at the host facility that we may coordinate with is a huge factor as they are an integral part of the learning process.

Benefits to Host Facility

·       Host facility may select up to two local routesetters to participate in the Level 2 clinic.  This routesetter must already have Level 1 Certification and meet the minimum standards for participation.  Successful participants will receive a Level 2 Certification.

·       High instructor to participant ratio (1:6) results in more hands-on time for routesetters and specific feedback following the clinic experience for each routesetter.

·       There will be 12 routes and between 24 – 36 boulder problems set during the Level 2 Clinic, depending on space allowed for the clinic.

How to Schedule

Level 2 Clinics are only scheduled at host facilities that are Championship level competition hosts, and after significant review and planning in the context of the overall yearly schedule of clinics.


USA Climbing Chief Instructors are all Level 5 Certified Routesetters with decades of combined experience and Assistant Instructors have worked at numerous national events and are also typically Chief Routesetters in commercial facilities.

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