Sympathy for the Route Setter

A few months ago, I joined enemy forces and became a route setter. As much as I love route setting, I continue to work as a double agent. Per always, I bash all setters’ routes (“this is GARBAGE,” “why is this so tall,” “who thought this was a good idea,” “someone fell asleep on the job,” etc.), but I have to admit that now I do understand the route setter struggle. One might say I gained sympathy for the route setter…

Here is my adaptation of “Sympathy for the Devil” by The Rolling Stones (also thanks AZ Lyrics):

Sympathy for the Route Setter

Please allow me to introduce myself

I’m a man of chalk and dirt

I’ve been around for a long, long summer

Stole many a man’s send and flash

 

And I was ’round when the slab

Had its moment of sketch and fear

Made damn sure that foot jibs

Stayed real small and far away

 

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guess my name

But what’s puzzling you

Is the nature of my game

 

I stuck around the local gym

When I saw it was a time for a change

Took the drill and every size bolt

The team kids cried in despair

 

I set the moves

Hold the technical grooves

When the holds run scarce

And no one approves

 

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guess my name, oh yeah

Ah, what’s puzzling you

Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

 

I watched with glee

While your shoes and chalk

Fought for ten minutes

For the wrong beta

 

I shouted out,

“Who wanted the slopers?”

When after all

It was you and me

 

Let me please introduce myself

I’m a man of chalk and dirt

And I laid traps for boulderers

Who get pumped before they reached the crux

 

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah

But what’s puzzling you

Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, whipper

 

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah

But what’s confusing you

Is just the nature of my game

 

Just as every setter is a climber

And all the pinches crimps

As screws are bolts

Just call me High-Setter

 

Cause I’m in need of some restraint

So if you meet me

Have some courtesy

Have some sympathy, and some taste

 

Use all your well-learned heels and flags

Or I’ll lay your beta to waste, um yeah

Pleased to meet you

Hope you guessed my name, um yeah

 

But what’s puzzling you

Is the nature of my game, um mean it, get down

Woo, who

Oh yeah, get on down

 

Oh yeah

Oh yeah!

Tell me crimper, what’s my name

Tell me whipper, can ya guess my name

 

Tell me crimper, what’s my name

I tell you one time, you’re to blame

Ooo, who

Ooo, who

Ooo, who

High-Clip (Co-writer)

10 Replies to “Sympathy for the Route Setter”

  1. I’ve been a route setter for many years now. It’s so much fun to do, and even better when other climbers like your climb. It’s horrible when you spend a few hours creating something that sucks, but it happens still sometimes. You know what? I still often complain about routes other climbers set. Not proud about it 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s awesome! Yes, I totally agree. I don’t think it’s something that can be perfected, and it’s okay to have trashy routes sometimes…or else how would we appreciate the good ones?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel that! I’m not quite sure why that happens, but some of the time I think it’s because I went outside of my comfort zone with a sequence and though I didn’t quite feel good with it everyone else did. What do you think?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think that we sometimes set something that is not really our style of climbing, hence we dislike it. But others might really enjoy that style.

        Liked by 1 person

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