Kingdom Creates Routesetter Comp

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Photo: Kingdom Climbing. Louie Anderson and the Factory's battlefield.
Photo: Kingdom Climbing. Louie Anderson and the Factory’s battlefield.

Kingdom Climbing will host America’s first ever officially organized routesetter competition on March 1st, 2014 at The Factory Bouldering in Orange, California.

The event, dubbed the Kingdom Games, will feature setters invited from 25 commercial climbing gyms from around California and Arizona. Along with three technical judges there will also be pro and amateur climbers that will help in the judging of the setters’ problems.

The routesetters will be judged on creative, aesthetic and technical aspects of the problems they put up during the event. There will be an overall winner as well as specific category winners. Every setter will take home a set of holds from Kingdom Climbing for participating and the winners of each category will get a hold credit to use in purchasing holds from Kingdom. The cumulative winner will get an even bigger hold credit to spend for their gym.

The event will be held at The Factory Bouldering gym which is owned by shaper and local legend Louie Anderson. The setters will compete on the Factory’s new 4,000 square feet of bouldering wall addition.

Anderson breaks the rules down for us:

  • At the start of the event each setter will select their holds from three groupings of bagged Kingdom Climbing holds.
  • The setters will be able to select only the holds, without knowing which wall angle those holds have been assigned to.
  • Each setter will then be challenged to create 3 problems, one each in the Easy, Medium, and Hard difficulty ranges.
  • The setters will have 3-4 hours to set, forerun and tweak their problems.

“Next a group of 50-60 ‘pro’ and amateur climbers will have the chance to climb all of the problems. They will have one or two categories that they can score the problems in. In addition there will be three judges that will score them in other, more technical categories,” said Anderson.

Over the years routesetters everywhere have dreamed of a setters comp. But until now it’s only been a dream.

Mark Bradley, owner of Kingdom holds said the genesis of the Kingdom Games came from a desire to set better problems than other setters he has worked with. “The setters comps is an idea that me and Kyle Mrohs have spent years talking about while setting together,” said Bradley. “It’s safe to say that we always pushed each other to see who would create the best problem that day. I think it was from that mentality of always trying to bend the limits of our own imaginations that the idea arose.”

Bradley will use the Kingdom Games as a brand launch for his new climbing hold company Kingdom Climbing. Bradley told CBJ, “I’ve wanted to put this event together for a long time just purely because I think it will be a lot of fun. Being able to use it as the launch for Kingdom Climbing is just the excuse that makes it possible.”

Full disclosure: CBJ Editor-in-Chief, Mike Helt, will be one of the technical judges for the Games.