Name: Kenzie Bell

Member since 2016

1) How long have you been climbing, and what got you into it?
I have been climbing for about 6 years. I like to think that my interest for climbing started when I got my drivers license. Growing up in Southern California, it was a short drive to Joshua Tree National Park to camp and I always had a blast scrambling up the boulders there. In my first year of undergrad, I started working for my school’s outdoor guiding company and they needed extra people to work the Rockwall. I hadn’t really climbed before but, the next semester I ended up woking at the Rockwall and the rest is history.

2) How long have you been setting? What experience do you have? What got you started?
I’ve been on and off setting for the last 6 years. I have set for San Diego State’s Rockwall, a few bouldering gyms in Melbourne Australia, and now SunCountry Rocks for the past two years. At SDSU they pretty much throw you in the deep end with setting and you learn by trial and error and getting feedback from your peers.

3) What is your most memorable setting experience?
Funny enough, the memory that comes to mind is the time I tried to set right after I broke my arm. I had an idea that maybe I could set an easy undercling traverse that I could do with one arm. Long story short it was a hilariously awkward and a not-so-fun traverse that I couldn’t do, but I certainly won’t forget watching people try to figure it out.

4) From start to finish, what process do you use to come up with a new route or boulder
The process I use to come up with a new route varies every time I set. Sometimes, I go outdoors and get inspired by movements outside that I would like to replicate indoors. Other times, I see the holds available and get ideas for movements while I am setting depending on the angle of the wall.

5) What have you learned while setting over the last year, and how do you apply it to your personal style?
Over the last year I have tried implementing the idea that “the problem is a solution”. What I mean by that is sometimes you don’t quite have the available spot you’d like to put a handhold or foothold, or maybe the handhold gets turned in a way you weren’t anticipating. It can be initially be frustrating, but if you shift your perspective it can really allow you to break out of your comfort in movements and get creative.


Thank you Kenzie for taking the time to catch up with us, stay tuned next month as we get to know the other setters in our community!