Route Setting Schedule
ROUTE SETTING SCHEDULE
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays: 8 am to 3 pm (sometimes we are done early or go late, depending on how much we have to do).
SCHEDULE EXCEPTIONS: CLIMBING COMPETITIONS
Whenever Stone Age hosts a competition our route setting schedule changes to accommodate the volume and demands of perfecting each competition climb. It typically consists of closing sections at a time starting one week prior to the competition.
CLIMBING COMPETITION SCHEDULE
(subject to change)
Spring: Member’s Stone Cup
May or June: USA Climbing Youth Championship Competition
Summer: Member’s Stone Cup
October: Yank-N-Yard; USAC Sanctioned Youth Local, Citizens, and Open Climbing Competitions
Stone Age was founded with the belief that the heart of our business is providing a quality experience through creating routes for every climber. Our head route setter, Lance Hadfield, strives to be creative and thoughtful of every customer that walks through the door. To do that, he has cultivated a team of setters that understand how to create interesting and fun routes for members and guests of all skill levels. “Each route has the potential of teaching people movement (or at least help them practice good types of movement) by the way the hand and foot holds are placed on the wall. Our route setters are trained to think of a climb as two parts; a hand sequence and a foot sequence. One must support the other to make a really good climb ‘flow’.” -Lance Hadfield
Route setting is an interesting process that may not be obvious to the casual climber. A router setter is assigned a specific difficulty or grade, a location on the wall, hold color, and even a specific audience. We often get asked if we have a book that catalogs all of the climbs we create. People seem genuinely surprised when we tell them that each climb is original and done from scratch. Sometimes we change the angle of the walls using large features to create different terrain for people to experience and enjoy. This adds variety to each area, always keeping the walls fresh and interesting for frequently returning members.
MEET THE ROUTE SETTERS
Lance Hadfield – Director of Route Setting
Lance Hadfield or otherwise know as “4”. “I started climbing as a young kids in Idaho and New Mexico you know back when dinosaurs walked the earth. I started competing in my late teens and early 20s. I won the second indoor competition in Albuquerque and was asked to set the next competition. That’s where it started.
I am New Mexico’s only Level 5 route setter. I founded and am still the head coach for the Mojo climbing team. But my favorite thing is route setting for Stone Age and our members. I am well known for my amazing ability to grade the climbs I set.”
"I began climbing in 2008 and route setting in 2010. I am a full-time route setter, personal trainer, and youth competitive team coach. I am currently a USAC level 2 setter and have set for over a dozen championship level events. I love route setting because I have the opportunity to test climbers both physically and mentally through infinite combinations of hold placements. I also love my job because it requires a complex range of skill sets from working at heights, physical manual labor, and creating aesthetic complicated movement. When I am not working I enjoy spending time outside with my wonderful family. My passions outside of work are climbing on real rocks, gardening, birdwatching, and long walks in the woods."
When I was 15, I told my rock climbing coach I would never want to route set. I was terrified of power tools, had no desire to climb up extension ladders, and didn't think of myself as creative or strong enough. Somewhere between then and now I got handed an impact driver and was lovingly shoved into the world of setting. Setting has made me care and belong to this community so much more than I could have imagined. My strongest passion is coaching kids, but I've found it pairs well with route setting because they both challenge, teach, and push me. If I'm not at the gym (which I always am) you can find me binge watching sappy Netflix dramas, reading sci-fi and fantasy novels, consuming enough caffeine to turn into a superhuman, or outside on a boulder (read: napping on a crash pad.)
When I first got into setting I was prepared to spend most of my time making mistakes and being confused. Two years later, a couple of comps down, a level 1 setter certification, and lots of time spent philosophising on the placement of plastic and I'm still making mistakes, still confused, and always thankful for my team. Beyond the plastic playground I spend most of my time cruising the desert in my resilient Honda Element (AKA The Hotelement. AKA The BeatBox. AKA better than your $60,000 Sprinter), wondering what's down that road, or what the view looks like from up there.
“Each route has the potential of teaching people movement (or at least help them practice good types of movement) by the way the hand and foot holds are placed on the wall. ” —Lance Hadfield