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Route Setters Get Wall Ready for Oceania Sportclimbing Championships


by Celia Williams

October 04, 2006

Camp4 - Climbing News Archive

Four specialist route setters are currently working round the clock to prepare several difficult climbing paths for competitors at this weekend’s Oceania Sportclimbing Championships.

Lead by former national climbing champion Jodi Apiata, of Christchurch, the group of experienced climbers have to design and build 20 climbs for all the categories during the three-day event, held at BaseCamp Wanaka on October 6-8.

By doing this, they must climb the bare, 10m-high wall from the bottom, securing different-sized artificial holds to the very top of the wall, which finishes with a five-metre over-hang. They are kept safe by auto-belay devices.

“The idea is to have a consistent degree of difficulty so that different competitors start to fall off at different stages. It’s really challenging because you are trying to make these climbs fun, but at the same time, hard enough for the competitors,” Apiata, who has 18 years of climbing experience, said.

The route setters will plot climbs up to 17m long on the wall. After each route is mapped out, they are approved by the fore-runner, who ensures the safety and difficulty of each climb. During the competition, the route setters have 20 minutes between each category to set up another route.

Competitors are kept in an isolation room during the competition so they cannot see the routes until they climb the wall.

More than 120 climbers from throughout New Zealand and Australia have entered the New Zealand National Championships and the Oceania Championships. The competition features lead climbing, where a competitor’s placing is determined by the height they reach on a route of not less than 12 metres, and speed climbing, where the time taken to ascend a route determines a competitor’s placing on a route of no less than eight metres.

For further press information, please contact:
Celia Williams – the eveNZ consultancy
E: T: 03 443 2700

This comes from: Camp4
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