Head Routesetter

    • Full Time
    • Morgantown, WV
    • Jan 27, 2020
    • John Burkhart
    • 3345245350

    Website Gritstone Climbing and Fitness

    We are hiring a head setter for our soon-to-be-completed climbing gym in Morgantown, WV. We will be housed in a custom built 20,000 square foot facility with ~12,750 square feet climbable wall surface (3100 bouldering, 7850 routes, 1780 kids’/instructional bouldering and ropes). The wall surfaces are designed by Jason Kehl and being built by Walltopia. The facility will house a full fitness area, climbing training equipment including an adjustable Tension board, yoga and dance studio, locker rooms, and a comfortable dedicated staff office. The head setter will have the opportunity to help in the equipping and organization of the dedicated 400 square foot setting room.

    This position will provide the successful applicant the opportunity to live and build community in one of the finest outdoor recreation cities in the eastern US. Morgantown, WV offers quick access to great local bouldering and craggin’, with Coopers Rock being the closest and best known.  Additionally, there are an abundance of local off-the-radar climbing with opportunities for first ascents and route development. There are a wide variety of four-season recreational activities available nearby, including all types of biking, whitewater, skiing, and natural history observation. Summersville Lake (2 hours), the Meadow River and the New River Gorge (2.5 hours), Seneca Rocks (2 hours), and Franklin Gorge/Smoke Hole (2.5 hours) are all easily accessible for day and overnight climbing trips. The GritStone community will regularly coordinate carpools to these regions to climb. As the home of West Virginia University, Morgantown has a great balance of cultural activity, good restaurants and breweries, local sporting events (go ‘Eers!), a diverse population, access to outdoor spaces, and affordable cost of living. One additional benefit is that GritStone will be located right along a rail-trail path, facilitating a convenient bike commute from a variety of neighborhoods.

    Our expected opening date is late January or early February 2020. We would like for the successful applicant to start in early January. If available, it is possible that the applicant could start earlier to participate in light construction, hold inventory, development of safety protocols for customers and staff, training of new staff, and other tasks related to opening a new gym.

    GritStone Climbing and Fitness is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to provide an inclusive and growth-oriented environment for all associated with our business, including customers, employees, and affiliated partners.

    Applications should be submitted to john@climbgritstone.com. Please provide a cover letter, a resume, and two references. Applications will be evaluated as they are received and we reserve the right to close the job search at any time. If you have any questions about West Virginia, Morgantown, our facility, who we are as owners,  the work environment, etc., please let us know. Learn more about us at climbgritstone.com and via our  Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/climbgritstone) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/climbgritstone) pages.

    Principal responsibilities for the head routesetter:

    • Lead a motivated team of routesetters to consistently provide our customers with fun, engaging, and challenging routes of all grade levels.
    • Work with all members of Executive Team and Management Staff/Program Leaders to broadly fulfill business obligations.
      • Communicate effectively and professionally, both verbally and in writing, with all colleagues, customers, and vendors.
      • Capacity and willingness to learn new software programs, including Rock Gym Pro or similar and Microsoft Access or other database software.
      • Proficiency in Excel and other Microsoft Office programs appreciated/desired.
      • Ability to fulfill other roles in the gym as necessary, including front desk staff, program management, coaching and class instruction, and general managerial and administrative tasks. A degree of ‘job-swapping’ will be expected from all employees in our business so that we can better coordinate and emphathize with each other.
    • Development of route setting program in consultation with Managerial and Executive Teams.
      • Consider, decide upon, and implement distribution of grades and styles throughout the gym
      • Be accountable to and hold accountable members of route-setting team in terms of professional behavior, punctuality, cleanliness, and safety.
      • Pursue ongoing professional development in routesetting for both commercial and competition routesetting.
        • USA Climbing Certifications- Subsidized training opportunities will be available.
        • Pursue newly developing training and regional training opportunities (e.g., http://www.supportyourlocalroutesetter.com/clinic.html and https://www.routesettinginstitute.com/)
      • Engage in dialogue with Program Managers and Youth Coaches to help lead routesetting team in fulfilling needs of youth competition climbers and other user groups.
      • Manage hold inventory
        • Participate in the implementation of database-driven hold inventory monitoring and route-tracking
        • Develop and implement hold washing and care techniques that are health, time, and environmentally-conscious.
        • Plan periodic and ongoing hold purchases in consultation with Managerial and Executive Team based upon assessments of needs, knowledge of hold manufacturers, price-consciousness, etc.
      • Lead general staff, routesetting team, and ‘all-hands-on-deck’ in periods of general facility maintenance (e.g., work-at-height for facility cleaning)
      • Manage and participate in flows of information between customers and management with respect to customer feedback on routesetting
      • Provide effective leadership and instruction to Routesetting Team that promotes overall professional development, camaraderie, work pride and satisfaction, health and well-being.
      • Development and consistent implementation of work-at-height and safety standards for all involved.
      • Clear communication of route needs (grades/styles) to setting team and leading the daily/weekly/annual development of setting programs
      • Participate in forerunning and provide instruction to other routesetters on how to effectively forerun other people’s problems
      • Provide guidance in how to efficiently plan the day’s work, from stripping, to set-up, routesetting, forerunning, and cleanup.
      • Provide effective critique and instruction for routesetting team during the setting, forerunning, and review process.
      • Leadership in the critique process, including the implementation of question-based critiques, guided learning, and other effective professional development and pedagogical techniques.
      • Tracking routes on the daily/weekly/yearly timescales, including understanding in changes of distributions over time.
      • Leading staff in safety and maintenance inspections and logging for all climbing and life-critical equipment.
      • Ability to climb/set up to V8 and 13a, if harder that’s good. Desire for personal development as a climber essential.
      • Coordination of event-planning and competitions and ability to pull off complex events with the minimum necessary impact upon day-to-day climbing operations.

    Pay: Professional-level for the region and commensurate with experience, 42-44k.


    • 10 days of paid time off annually.
    • 10 days of unpaid time off available annually.
    • Medical + Dental Insurance Available.
    • Relocation allowance of $500 for those hired from outside of the Morgantown area.

    Additional Benefits:

    • Full, free membership extended to all members of immediate family or one significant other.
    • Access to pro-deals/wholesale pricing on climbing and outdoors equipment.
    • Paid to experiment and tinker: We are developing cutting edge tools for use in the climbing gym industry. We are seeking a person with the inclination and aptitude to assist in our R&D operations, and able to contribute to the development, testing, and implementation of the next generation of technologies in indoor climbing gyms.

    To apply for this job email your details to john@climbgritstone.com