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    Olivia VitaternaOlivia Vitaterna

    In moving into the head setter position at my gym, and I want to crowdsource what you gals are looking for!
    I’m doing my best to find women to set with, but besides the gender gap in the setters themselves, what are you looking for in the gym routes? Is there a quality in some routes you’ve noticed that seems to attract you and not the guys? Are any of you also setters and have stories, advise, or ideas you want to share? I’m also wondering if any of you have noticed specific benefits in gyms that have more female setters, and want to hear about that! Really this is an open-ended discussion, so if its about around female setters, then it is welcomed!

    Elyse NicoleElyse Nicole

    CONGRATS on your new position!

    Definitely not a setter – I work at a bouldering gym, operations side – but I’d love to see routes that incorporate more balance and flexibility rather than raw power – all the setters at my gym are men with the exception of one woman – and you can tell. It’s great to develop power (especially with bouldering routes) but if you’re setting with ropes in mind, I find balance and technical routes WAY more enjoyable that just a campus-esque route (in my opinion!). I also enjoy routes that focus on foot technique (especially on slab walls, obvi), but it comes in handy when teaching new climbers about technique and the importance of footwork and using legs as power!

    Also, I love a good traverse bouldering route… I have yet to see one at my gym or at the other gyms I’ve climbed and/or worked at! As someone who has broken a few bones from falls, I appreciate a low bouldering traverse route.

    Good luck!

    Tanager TanagerTanager Tanager

    Hi Olivia,
    I’m a ladysetter, though I don’t have a permanent gig anywhere. I think one of the biggest benefits of having a female setter on the team is that it’s inspiring for the girls and women who come into the gym to climb. Many women set problems and routes that are powerful and dynamic and many men set balance-centered and intricate lines; a high quality gym will encourage all of the setters to think creatively and to set a variety of styles. Of course, center of gravity and muscle distribution will change how a climber experiences a problem or route (and women tend to have lower centers of gravity). All in all, I think it’s really important for young climbers to see female setters at the gym. My two cents 🙂

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