Member since 2015
1. How long have you been climbing and how did you get started?
I’ve been climbing consistently for about 3 and a half years now. I first went climbing while studying at a language institute in Germany, where one of my classmates took me to a bouldering gym. I was hooked from the start, but at the time I was living in Puerto Rico and there was no climbing gym there, so for the 2 more years I had to finish high school I wasn’t able to climb. I was still very interested in climbing and I would watch the old IFSC bouldering world cups on YouTube. After graduating I moved to Gainesville to go to UF, and immediately started climbing once again. Shortly after I started climbing consistently I watched Jan Hojer’s training video which motivated me to do more calisthenics along with my climbing and that’s how I got to where I am today.
2. How long have you been setting and what was your first setting experience?
I first started setting while living in Egypt over one summer. When I got there I immediately looked for a climbing facility, but the only place to climb was a Gold’s Gym that had a climbing wall as its centerpiece. After climbing there almost every day for about 2 weeks, the manager asked if I would set there. We didn’t have GriGri’s or drills so it took quite a long time to set just one rope route. It took the whole summer for me to reset the wall there, but it was worth it. I had a setting hiatus between then and when I started setting at Sun Country in June this year.
3. How has setting changed the way that you climb?
It hasn’t changed my climbing style at all, I still hop on without route reading. It has changed what I take away from climbing though, now I tend to analyze a move that I liked and try to think about how the routesetter forced that specific move.
4. Say you’re looking at a boulder that you just set and realize it’s the best creation you’ve ever made. What would it look like and how would it climb?
Quadruple clutch dyno to backflip bathang! In all seriousness though, it would be a really powerful boulder, one that really made the biceps pop, it would definitely include a big deadpoint move, and maybe a toe hook or drop knee. It would finish on a huge jug, because I don’t really like tricky finishes.
5. If you could go back to your first week of setting and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Chris would probably want me to say something along the lines of “set in a way that’s more accessible for people of differing heights” or “set something that’s hard without being big moves”. But, if I’m being honest, which I am, I would probably tell myself to set more confidently and to focus more on setting something good, rather than trying to force a specific move.
Thank you Kai-Paul for taking the time to catch up with us, stay tuned next month as we get to know the other setters in our community!