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Official News for USA Climbing Routesetting

National Cup Series Recap and Level 1 Clinics Scheduled for February and March


The second season of the National Cup Series proved very successful with a nearly 50% increase in athlete participation overall, consistent top-level competitors going to multiple events, and many youth competitors testing out their skills in the Open field.  USAC assigned four top Chief Routesetters to work at the respective events along with setters representing or contracted by the host facilities.

The season kicked off with the Yank ‘N’ Yard in Albuquerque where Mike Bockino was the Chief Routesetter working with Stone Age’s excellent team to put on a great first event of the year.  Touchstone’s Dogpatch Boulders was the second competition, with Ian McIntosh from San Diego as the Chief, setting for a very competitive field of one hundred Open participants.  The season then moved to Austin, Texas, where Crux Climbing Center was another new host, and Garrett Gregor worked with a great all-Texas setting team, raising a high bar for the athletes with hard problems in an exciting event.  Jeremy Hardin was the Chief Routesetter at the final NCS event last weekend at High Point Birmingham, where in a great show Alex Puccio and Nathaniel Coleman took their 3rd and 4th wins of the season respectively.  They go into the Bouldering Open National Champions well ahead in the National Ranking and the routesetters for Nationals, both Open and Youth, will have their work cut out for them with such strong and competitive US athletes.

Thanks to all the routesetters for the great work at these competitions and good luck to the teams at the upcoming National Championship events in early February!


Please see below the assignments for upcoming National competitions this February and March. 

A Level 1 Clinic is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in improving their overall routesetting, learning fundamental skill sets for competition routesetting, and taking the first step towards advancing as a USAC competition routesetter.   Please go to the CLINICS page and register directly through the link for the clinic.  Clinic location and info:

February 10/11, 2018 – On The Edge; Melbourne, FL – Chief Instructor Luke Bertelsen

March 1/2, 2018 – Momentum Climbing Katy; Katy, TX – Chief Instructor John Muse

Registration is first-come, first-served and you should have 6 months experience routesetting and be able to comfortably work 5.10/V3.  If you want to participate we encourage you to register as soon as possible as we continue to see growing interest in Level 1 Clinics. 

We are also working on scheduling Level 1 Clinics for later this fall and winter.  If you work with a climbing gym and may be interested in hosting a Level 1 Clinic, or have general questions about the program, please contact the Administrator of the Routesetting Clinic and Certification Program, Chris Danielson at routesetting@usaclimbing.org.   

Regionals Recap & National Routesetting Assignments


Regionals were held this past weekend with the new Multi-Zone Scoring system and over 4,000 Youth competitors climbed across 16 Regions, fighting their way to make it to Divisionals.  Thanks to all the routesetters for the great work at these competitions!


Please see below the assignments for upcoming National competitions this winter.  Thanks to all who applied.  As always it is very competitive, with many more applicants applying than we have positions for. The review and selection processes involve a lot of work, thoughtful deliberation, and cooperation between all the Chief Routesetters and the Administrator of the Routesetting Clinic and Certification program and we greatly appreciate the continued interest.   

Bouldering Open Nationals:

Chief Routesetter:  Dave Wetmore  

Assistants:  Garrett Gregor, Jeremy Ho, Ian McIntosh, Brad Weaver, Joel Zerr

Bouldering Youth Nationals:

Chief Routesetter:  Nic Oklobzija

Assistants:  Mike Bockino, Jonathan Brandt, Nohl Haeckel, Josh Larson, Ryan Sewell

Apprentices:  Eric Mahan, Curtis Mesmer, Flannery Shay-Nemirow, Ivan Vargas

Intern:  Ryan Withey

Sport Open Nationals: 

Chief Routesetter:  Kyle McCabe

Assistants:  Alex Borst, Rylan Marshall, Ryan Sewell

Apprentice:  Nick Orange

Positions Announced and Application Period Open for Winter Competitions

We are excited to announce the open application period for positions at the following competitions:

Bouldering Youth Divisionals (INTERNS ONLY):  January 13-14, 2018; Multiple Locations (see below)

Bouldering Open Nationals:  February 2-3, 2018; Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, UT 

Bouldering Youth Nationals:  February 9-11, 2018; Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, UT 

Sport Open Nationals:  March 16-17, 2018; Mesa Rim Reno, Reno, NV 

Please read below for more info.  You are encouraged to apply to positions at different events but MUST have the requisite certification for the event(s) you are applying for.  If you are Level 2 Certified, you may apply to Internships; Level 3, Apprentice positions; and Level 4, Assistant positions.  Intern positions are unpaid and Intern Routesetters must cover their own travel expenses but accommodation will be provided.  Apprentice positions are provided a partial travel stipend and compensation, and Assistants are fully compensated and all travel expenses are covered.  Please also note it is unlikely you will be selected for multiple positions given the limited number of events and high quantity of qualified applicants.

If you are uncertain of your certification level please see the Resources page to find the certification list based on current Routesetter Memberships or email routesetting@usaclimbing.org. 

DEADLINE TO APPLY for any of the positions listed below: 5pm EST Nov. 24th, 2017

NATIONAL COMPETITION POSITIONS (see above for relevant dates)

Bouldering Open Nationals:  Chief Routesetter:  Dave Wetmore (dave@metrorock.com)

  •  5 Assistant Positions

Bouldering Youth Nationals:  Chief Routesetter:  Nic Oklobzija (blocstrategies@gmail.com)

  • 5 Assistant Position
  • 4 Apprentice Positions
  • 1 Intern Positions

Sport & Speed Open Nationals:  Chief Routesetter:  Kyle McCabe (northernarboriculture@gmail.com)

  • 3 Assistant Positions
  • 1 Apprentice Position


All Divisional competitions are held January 13th/14th, 2018

Division 1:  Vertical World Redmond; Redmond, WA – Chief:  Bret Johnston (bret@verticalworld.com)

Division 2:  Base Camp; Reno, NV – Chief:  Jeremy Ho (jho@touchstoneclimbing.com)

Division 3:  Momentum Lehi; Lehi, UT – Chief:  John Oungst (john.oungst@momentumclimbing.com)

Division 5:  Vertical Endeavors; St. Paul, MN – Chief:  Nic Oklobzija (blocstrategies@gmail.com)

Division 6:  Active Climbing Gym; Grovetown, GA – Chief:  Brad Weaver (bweaver@ssclimbing.com)

Division 7:  Philadelphia Rock Gym; Wyncote, PA – Chief:  Mike Bockino (bockinov14@gmail.com)

Division 8:  Central Rock Gym; Warwick, RI – Chief:  Shane Messer (shane@centralrockgym.com)

There is 1 official Internship available at each of the above Divisionals. In order to apply you:

  • Must have Level 2 Certification
  • May only apply to Intern outside of your home Division 

To apply for a position at any of the above events, please download the Routesetter Application Form on the Resources page, and send your Internship application directly to the Chief Routesetter of the event. 

There may be additional official Internship(s) announced in the coming weeks so please check back or with any general questions about the events or application process, email the Administrator of the Routesetting program, Chris Danielson at routesetting@usaclimbing.org

Routesetter Memberships Now Open

All routesetters are now welcome to purchase a USA Climbing Routesetter Membership for the 2017-2018 climbing season.  A current Routesetter Membership is required to work as a Chief Routesetter for any Championship events, as well as to apply to work at any National events and/or to be listed on the published list of USAC Certified Routesetters. 

Beginning this season, certified routesetters who have a current routesetting membership will also be given access to USA Climbing Sponsor discounts.  More details on this can be found on the Member Benefit page.


Level 2 Clinic Scheduled at Vertical Endeavors; November 26-28, 2017

We have scheduled the next Level 2 Clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to be held at Vertical Endeavors. The Clinic will be held November 26th – 28th, 2017 and the Chief Instructor will be John Muse.  Qualified routesetters must apply to take part in this clinic and there are limited spots available. See all the information on the CLINICS page and apply directly using the form on that page in the Level 2 Announcement. 

Please note – application for Level 2 Clinics is very competitive and the strongest candidates will be those that have the best combination of the following factors for consideration:  Level 1 Certification, experience routesetting at Championship Level events, significant Chief Routesetter experience at competitions/gyms, strong references, and those who represent strong USA Climbing partner gyms/regions.  We will consider all applications as they are submitted and encourage those to apply who have depth of experience and qualifications. The deadline for applications is 5:00pm MTN; Friday October 20th, 2017.

To apply to the Level 2 Clinic DOWNLOAD AND COMPLETE THIS FORM, and send directly to john@usaclimbing.org

eGrips Scholarship:  For those who are applying to the upcoming Level 2 we are also excited to have eGrips, a longtime USA Climbing sponsor and a favorite brand of USAC’s routesetters, supporting our Level 2 Clinics with a unique scholarship program.  The eGrips scholarship is a need-based program designed to support up and coming routesetters who have been accepted to participate in the Level 2 Clinic, and who may find the greatest benefit from having financial support.  Routesetters must apply independently for the Level 2 Clinic (Clinic Application sent to USAC Chief Instructor) and the eGrips scholarship (Scholarship Application sent to eGrips) as eGrips selects the scholarships awarded, completely independent of USA Climbing. USA Climbing will confirm to eGrips who the Level 2 participants will be, and of those accepted to the Level 2 by USAC, at least two routesetters will be awarded the Scholarship by eGrips and their Participation Fee ($400) will be paid for.

If interested in the eGrips scholarship, you can DOWNLOAD AND COMPLETE THIS FORM, and send directly to deakins@gthi.com.  All submission details are included within the form.  PLEASE be sure you have already sent your Level 2 Application to john@usaclimbing.org before you send the eGrips Scholarship Application, separately, to deakins@gthi.com for consideration. 


National Chief Routesetters Announced

We are excited to announce the National Chiefs for the 2017-2018 climbing season.  The application process to work as a routesetter at National Championship events, and for Internships at Bouldering Divisional events, will go live in the coming weeks. 

Please refer to the Competitions page for a listing of the Chiefs selected for each competition.


Rules Updates

By now most of you are aware of the rules update supporting the new Multi-Zone scoring methodology in addition to redpoint “Modified” format.  For more information and clarification please refer to the Significant Changes section at the front of the USA Climbing Rulebook and also specifically sections (5.18.5, 15.2, 15.3, & 5.4.6).  And if you are organizing a local event in a Redpoint “Modified” or Onsight format and will be using the Multi-Zone scoring and have questions or with any other general inquiries about the Rules changes, we encourage you to contact us at routesetting@usaclimbing.org.

Prior to the Bouldering Regional Championships, Chris Danielson, Chair of the Rules Committee and Administrator of the USA Climbing Routesetting Program will be sending out an information document outlining details about these new Rules and considerations regarding routesetting for the new Multi-Zone scoring methodology.  This correspondence will be sent to all Chief Routesetters for Bouldering Regional, Divisional and National Championship events.

Any questions, please contact Chris Danielson at routesetting@usaclimbing.org

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