What Makes A Good Climbing Route

Consistent difficulty

-climbers should not encounter challenges along the way that are not of the same level of difficulty that they found at the beginning of the route


-combinations of required holds, route direction and a creative approach are what make routes worth being climbed more than once


-every step in planning a route needs to allow the climber to fall safely if a fall is inevitable.  Good routes are based on planning what will happen “when” a climber falls, not “if” they fall.

Good Marking

-a route that will be climbed multiple times needs to be marked with something durable like route setting tape so that it will be easy to follow.

Artistic and Natural Flow

-A good route will attempt to mimic an experience that a climber might encounter when climbing in nature.


-input from two or more setters/climbers will almost always lead to  a route more interesting and challenging than one set by a single setter who consults no one else.  One setter on the wall and one on the ground will often provide a unique and valuable point of view.