Inside the World of Sport Climbing Route Setting: An Interview with Shingo

In the dynamic world of sport climbing, where every move counts, route setters play a crucial role, shaping the challenges climbers face. Today, we delve into the mindset of Shingo, an experienced route setter with a wealth of insights to share.

Meet Shingo – Guest Setter at Crescent Wall

Name: Shingo Takahashi

Age: 40

Nationality: Japanese

Experience: Chief Setter at Vertical Academy, with previous roles at West Rock gym in Japan and as a climbing instructor in Vietnam.

Years of Climbing Experience: 17 years

Years of Route Setting Experience: 11 years

Unpacking the Craft

Route setting is about crafting pathways up the wall, a blend of creativity, skill, and understanding. Shingo admits he’s lost count of the routes he’s set, with roughly 130 bouldering routes per year at Vertical Academy and countless more elsewhere.

Beyond the gym, Shingo’s influence extends to competitions and various climbing facilities, including Crescent Wall, where he oversees the bouldering routes.

The Heart of Route Setting

For Shingo, route setting is both a test of patience and a source of fulfillment. It’s about crafting routes that challenge and inspire climbers of all levels while prioritizing safety. A good route setter, he believes, designs climbs that foster improvement and enjoyment.

The Setter’s Journey

Transitioning from climber to setter took Shingo about a year. His advice for aspiring setters? Embrace climbing fully, fall, climb, and immerse yourself in the climbing culture. Climbing isn’t just a sport; it’s a community and a lifestyle.

Setting the Scene

When it’s time to set routes, music sets the tone. Shingo’s current favorite is “Doi Khi” by NODEY ft. SUBOI, though any music that keeps him in the zone works. And what keeps him fueled? A simple pleasure: chocolate.

Tools of the Trade

Shingo’s go-to tool is his trusty MAKITA 14.4V SOFT IMPACT DRIVER (believe me he love it so much that he wants it’s full name to be mention in the post ^^), essential for securing holds with precision and efficiency.

Parting Thoughts

To those aspiring to be setters, Shingo offers a straightforward yet profound message:

“Just do it. But don’t go it alone. Seek guidance, collaborate, and always listen to feedback from climbers.”

In conclusion, behind every thrilling climb lies the careful craftsmanship of route setters like Shingo, shaping the climbing experience one hold at a time. As climbers strive for new heights, it’s the setters who carve the path, leaving their mark on the walls and in the hearts of those who dare to climb.