Loading Notifications...

Route setting in my new home bouldering Cave

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
 @FarmCave 30 Mar 2020

Hi All

Im new here and fairly new to Bouldering, but myself and my daughter have decided that it’s our new thing

I have just spent the last few months building a cave inside my house for us to climb on as the nearest gyms are in Bristol and we can’t get to them that often 

We are finding it hard to set new problems that are not just challenging but also useful for training to higher grades

youtube and google are a great help but if we could find someone local that would like to come and have a climb and maybe assist in setting this would be great

We are just outside Taunton, Somerset, UK

Get in touch if your interested or have any tips on setting

Of course this is not the time to be meeting up during lockdown, but it seamed a great time to put this post up

I will post some photos of the cave as soon as I work out how to

 Thank in advance

Lee & Saffy

Post edited at 14:16
 Durbs 30 Mar 2020
In reply to @FarmCave:

One approach, is to simply mash all your holds on to the wall, then make up routes, optionally tagging holds with tape (or coloured chalk I use...). This approach means you can generally alter the difficulty of a route by using the next furthest hold, or a smaller hold nearby. Similarly enforcing feet-follow-hands, or feet-never-follow-hands can make a route harder.

A lot will depend on the quantity and type of holds you have.

At first, it's tempting to set specific routes such as you find in a gym but I found that a) this takes a lot of holds and b) it's really hard to set multiple routes that isn't too hard/easy.

You can set for a specific move; whether a rock-over, toe-hook, cross-under etc. and then alter a hold to make it easier/harder as required. If you've got a lot of holds, you can sometimes set the same move and different difficulties - rocking over further or using higher foot.

I found this (sadly defunct) blog where the routesetter was re-creating either specific moves, or even specific parts of famous test pieces. As well as being a great approach, it's very well written and interesting.


The key thing I've discovered, which I knew but the home-wall really drove home was that route setting is a real skill.

 finc00 30 Mar 2020
In reply to @FarmCave:

I've found the easiest way for me to set is to have one specifice move in mind that I want to set (say a heel hook) and then keep that in mind for the duration.

I then set the start move, keep it reasonable so that pulling on isnt horrendous. I'll then pull on and hold the start position to get a feel for it, and figure out roughly where I want to be going next. Through some holds up in that general direction, and start thinking about trying to force certain moves.

I'll set most of the route by just kind of throwing holds onto the wall in what seems like a reasonable orientation and location, and then start tweaking.

My hold set is quite limited (and I'm the only one that climbs on my wall, so can set for my height - not really best practice but it works for me) so I'll make the most of rotating holds or having them at funny angle to vary the difficulty.

I've found that the most enjoyable way to gauge difficulty when setting is to get on each move individually, and just try and hold the position for a few seconds, but be pretty much unable to move onto the next move, but this possibly wont work if you're setting for climbers of varying ability.

Of course the other approach is a spray wall (I dont particularly enjoy these) or attempting to recreate classic boulders (probably very much depends on the hold sets you have and the way your wall is layed out.

Happy to chat more or exchange ideas with you (or anyone else for that matter) if you want to PM me.

 gilesf 31 Mar 2020
In reply to @FarmCave:

I have a fair selection of holds and when I first built my wall I tried to set routes. Its tricky and you end up resetting often. In the end I put mostly very small holds low down, for feet, then a huge selection of larger holds, crimps, underclings, slopers etc higher up. Depending on how I feel I'll either challenge myself to do moves I've previously tried and failed on, or do 1 minute on, 1 minute off, for however many times you want, or some variation of a game, either hovering your hand over a hold for 3 secs before you use it, or get a partner to use a laser pointer to indicate the next move. You may find other games that suit your style/needs more. The world is your lobster.

Any pics of the wall?

In reply to @FarmCave:

The woody board at my local wall that I use has got stacks of wooden holds for hands of all sizes and orientations, and just a few, regularly spaced, bad screw-on footholds. You can't use the wooden handholds for feet, which means they don't get shitted up, but the footholds are obviously even worse for being coated in rubber (it's not sticky in that form!). Never gets reset, and doesn't need to be - the set-up makes it excellent for working out your own problems V2-Vwhatever.

If I had a home wall I would do the same as this - it works a treat, mainly because you don't have to remember which footholds you're allowed, and it makes you work your feet even if you're on big handholds.

 @FarmCave 15 Apr 2020
In reply to gilesf:

some great ideas there mate, nice

I have loads of pics that I want to show you guys, but how do I add one to a post?

 @FarmCave 15 Apr 2020
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

Nice wall paul

we must paint ours, that was the plan but then we put loads of holds on it lol

how do I get a pic on this site?

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.