This week’s interview is with Jackie Hueftle, a professional rock climbing route setter – that person who decides where to put those brightly colored rock “holds” that you see on a climbing gym wall. In addition to her trailblazing work making rock climbing more inclusive and diversifying route setting itself, she also co-owns a small business that makes the actual rock holds themselves. We talk about the ins and outs of working in rock climbing – a field that is exploding in popularity and recently debuted at the Summer Olympics – and what it’s like to shape the profession of route setting as it develops, alongside the demands of running a small business during a global pandemic.
Jackie Hueftle has been climbing and setting routes for climbing gyms since 1998. She is co-founder of the Routesetting Institute, co-owner and COO of Kilter Grips, and a member of the Climbing Wall Association Routesetting Committee where she is working with an International group towards the professionalization of routesetting. She is also a writer and contributes to climbing and routesetting publications.
Follow Jackie on Instagram @thegirlinlongshortsKilter. Check out her work at https://settercloset.com/ and @kiltergrips and @kilterboard on Instagram.
The Routesetting Institute is at https://www.routesettinginstitute.com/ and @routesettinginstitute on Instagram. Route Setter Magazine (https://gym.vertical-life.info/route-setter-magazine) features articles by Jackie in issues 2, 3, and 4. Issue 4 and includes Jackie’s articles on routesetting professionalization and the history of climbing volumes.
The Spot is a gym in Colorado with locations in Denver and Boulder, among others: https://www.thespotgym.com/