Can route-setters decide competitions?

31 05 2017

Here is a short bio-mechanics type of analysis base on a video by Climbing TV. Decide for yourself:

Tip: As a general principal, the more stretched you are, in an overhanging climb, the less weight (and thus grip) you are able to have on your feet and, therefore, the more stress you will have on your fingers and arms.

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The cited video:


I have all the sympathy for the route-setters who try their best to avoid being the protagonists. It’s far from easy, I know! But be honest and try, will you!?

Both Alex and Adam are excellent competitors and rock climbers, and this video should not lead to the conclusion of one being better than the other. Although it could have been intend to do so. 😀


– Always have, at least, two DIFFERENT route-setters trying the route/boulder before you say it’s done.

– If in doubt, add an extra foot hold or a different variation to the climb – making sure that difficulty does not change considerably. Different solutions to a climb will only make seeing the competition more interesting!

– The route-setter can be an artist. Some are and that’s great! But let that not interfere with finding the best climbers.

– It would be nice that someone would come-up with an illustrated manual, for beginner route-setters, on classic reachy moves to avoid. Example: Crucifixion move with big feet, reachy move to an undercling, etc.

Let me know your thoughts,

Ricardo Belchior




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