Observing the roped route setting process

I picked AJ up at 0730 hrs this morning and we went over to the climbing gym so that he could set a lead (rope) route.  He got to work with the red holds and was setting a 5.10.  It was cool to watch and be part of his thought process as he went about doing it.  Michelle, Mack, and Dillon were already setting routes because they had arrived a bit sooner than AJ and I, but they were all setting in a dihedral, so there was limited room, anyway.  That gave AJ plenty of time to plan.  First, AJ picked out the holds he was going to use to start.  He laid them out on the floor and visualized, making the movements with his arms and legs as he chose and placed them.  He added feet as needed to get up to the point where his starting handholds became footholds.  After this initial section was on the wall, with the use of the ladder, he began planning other sections.  He had a lot of slopers and a few jugs and crimps.  He broke the route down into a traverse section, a sloper section, a crimp section, and a jug section on the overhang at the top of the wall.  All of this in a dihedral!  He laid the holds out in “sections” on the floor and then loaded them into buckets, highest hold first, so that the first hold in the bucket available to him while he was on the wall was the lowest and next hold that he wanted to use in the sequence.  Setting on ropes is difficult because you have to haul all of the extra weight of the holds and bolts and a drill driver up the wall with you as you climb, self-belaying on top of it!!! With all of that, you have to then set the route!!!  I have a lot of respect for the people who do this.  I want to learn to do it, but I have to both lose weight and learn to climb better before I’m able to accomplish that goal!  AJ set an awesome red 5.10d route!  He was still working when the gym opened this morning and people were absolutely drooling over the four new routes that had been set, haha!  It was awesome to watch everybody pour in to get on the wall!!!

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