At White Spider we are passionate about routesetting because we know you want routes that will challenge and inspire you – whatever the grade you climb at.
How do you set routes?
For our initial set, we had around 250 routes and 120 boulder problems across 2,000 m2 of wall. This has now grown to 300+ routes and up to 200 bouler problems.
We have areas that are easier for beginners and more challenging for experienced and adventurous climbers. We ask the route setters to come with their imagination, their climbing passion and experience to set routes that are nicely challenging for the grade and provide variety for regular climbers.
We built the walls so that all natural features are included in our routes, so there are some great arêtes and laybacks. The high walls are a mix of lead and top-rope, approximately 50:50 though we vary this over time and we also move the top-topes around to create variety.
Now that we've been open for over a year we are incorporating lots of different sized and shaped volumes onto the main walls to keep it interesting for our climbers!
How often do you change the routes?
You'll find new routes on the wall every week; we are now working on an 8 week cycle for our main bouldering areas. For the high walls we monitor the frequency of use on particular walls and re-set accordingly, generally 12 weeks +.
As we aim to have over 400 routes at White Spider, we are confident you won't get bored so let us know if you do and we'll find you a new challenge.
Who sets the routes?
We use some of the most highly respected route setters in the country as well as sourcing internationally accomplished setters from abroad. At White Spider we also want to foster up and coming talent so we will also give opportunities from time to time to those who are newer to setting.
Leah Crane & Evie Cotrulia, Sam Whittaker & Yann Genoux, Jade Love & Gav Symonds
Who grades the routes?
The route setter suggests the initial grade and then we give it the White Spider test (a good excuse to make sure we get to climb every new route).
For our routes, we have a new system to ensure our grading is as good as possible. At the bottom of each newly set route, you'll see a yellow card displaying the provisional grades for that line.
Next to them you'll find a notebook for your feedback. If you feel they are too hard, too soft, or just right – let us know!
At the end of a short trial period, we'll review your feedback and adjust the grades accordingly. We'll then replace the provisional yellow card with a permanent white one.
Can I tell you what I think of the routes?
Yes please do! Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, use the contact form or write your comments in the route books at the bottom of each new climb. We also have feedback forms available at reception!
Tell us what you like or don't like about our routesetting, what grades you don't agree with. If we don't know, we can't improve!