Header photo by Andrea Laue.
One of the many, many things that make Woman Up such an incredible event is its all-female routesetting crew. This year, we’re flying our setters in from Singapore to San Francisco so we can create something truly unique. These ladies are the best of the best, and we wanted to give you the opportunity to get to know the faces behind your new favorite boulder problems:
Home Gym: The Spot
Years Setting: 20
Comps Set: 50+
Why I’m excited about Woman Up: Psyched to work with a crew of the most badass women around!
Favorite style of climbing: Hueco roof kneebar caterpillaring, delicate granite slab balancing, and Font sloper squeezing.
Favorite climbing destination: Fontainebleau
Favorite route/boulder problem: I have many, but one of the coolest is Rataplat in Fontainebleau.
Advice for aspiring female crushers: Your projects are just as valid as everyone else’s!
Home Gym: Earth Treks Climbing Centers
Years Setting: 5
Comps Set: 10+
Why I’m excited about Woman Up: I am thrilled to collaborate, learn from, and blow minds with this completely amazing group of lady routesetters.
Favorite style of climbing: Technical…with a perfect blend of balance and power
Favorite climbing destination: Squamish, BC
Favorite route/boulder problem: Crown of Thorns in RRG—I love a no hands rest.
Advice for aspiring female crushers: You can do anything…and don’t forget to breathe!
Tan Shi Hui (Shi)
Home Gym: Climb Central Singapore
Years Setting: 2
Comps Set: 5
Why I’m excited about Woman Up: Setting with an all female crew for the first time!
Favorite style of climbing: Dynos!
Favorite climbing destination: Leonidio (Greece)
Favorite route/boulder problem: Tufadango!
Advice for aspiring female crushers: Every progress made is still progress!
Home Gym: Freelance
Years Setting: 6 years
Comps Set: 15?
Why I’m excited about Woman Up: I am excited for the chance to learn from such talented and amazing folks, as well as pass on a little bit of the knowledge I’ve picked up.
Favorite style of climbing: I enjoy steep with pinches (the ones where you need to use vice grips).
Favorite climbing destination: Somewhere new, especially if it’s local choss.
Favorite route/boulder problem: Boyz in the Hood in the Tahoe area really stood out to me.
Advice for aspiring female crushers: Fail publicly, ask lots of questions and don’t take any guff.
Home Gym: EVO Rock+Fitness Concord
Years Setting: 14 Years
Comps Set: 25+
Why I’m excited about Woman Up: I’m excited at the opportunity to work and learn from such a great group of women and I look forward to sharing my experience with others.
Favorite Style of Climbing: Technical vert or slab (cause I’m not very good at that style) and big moves on steep.
Favorite Climbing Destination: Currently, Chattanooga. There is just a great variety of climbing there from trad to sport to bouldering.
Favorite Route/Boulder Problem: Apollo Reed at the New River Gorge was a great mental fight for me.
Advice for Aspiring Female Crushers: Teach others, support others, and embrace the challenges.
Home Gym: Great Western Power Company and Rocknasium
Years Setting: 3
Comps Set: about 10
Why I’m excited about Woman Up: I’m excited to meet and work with a whole crew of female setters and to share my experiences with them. Also to set for an onsight competition.
Favorite style of climbing: Tufas and heinous crimps on overhang! And finger cracks! Bat hangs are always welcome.
Favorite climbing destination: Bishop, pretty much any limestone cave in Spain, and lately Yosemite.
Favorite route/boulder problem: Cannibals in Donner, the Oompa Lumpa boulder in Red Rocks
Advice for aspiring female crushers: Just go climb things and have fun. Do what you’re psyched on, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Especially for routesetting and learning gear management outside, don’t be afraid of showing that you don’t know things. No one else does either when they start.
Home Gym: The Spot
Years Setting: 11
Comps Set: 25+
Why I’m excited about Woman Up: I’m excited to set with and learn from a bunch of amazing women!
Favorite style of climbing: Steep, thuggy boulders.
Favorite climbing destination: RMNP
Favorite route/boulder problem: White Wizard in RMNP
Advice for aspiring female crushers: The value of a project isn’t based off of its grade.
Home Gym: Austin Bouldering Project
Years Setting: 3
Comps Set: 2
Why I’m excited about Woman Up: The chance to support this amazing community of climbing women – and getting to work, learn, and climb with some of the most creative and talented ladies out there!
Favorite style of climbing: Silly mantles. Or long, pumpy routes.
Favorite climbing destination: These days, either Chattanooga or Squamish.
Favorite route/boulder problem: The low start to Pancake Mantle (Chattanooga) or 40 oz of Justice (RRG) are pretty standout examples of my favorite types of climbing…
Advice for aspiring female crushers: Pick projects that will teach you something. Don’t forget to play!
Anna Liina Laitinen
Home Gym: Kiipeilyareena in Finland. In Colorado my home gym has been the Movement.
Years Setting: I’ve been doing on/off setting for fun since we opened our gym, but as a profession I’ve been setting for almost 2 years whenever I’m not abroad.
Comps Set: Never! I’ve always wanted to try that and I can’t describe how excited I am!
Why I’m excited about Woman Up: I haven’t been to that many climbing festivals and certainly not in a one which is full of girl-energy. This will be fun.
Favorite style of climbing: Powerful but techy boulders, and as a sport climber I enjoy of doing relatively long boulders. I also love gastons and highsteps! So be aware…and even though I’m short, I’ve noticed that I’ve set surprisingly long moves!
Favorite climbing destination: In bouldering The Rocklands and in sport Red River Gorge. I guess I love sandstone.
Favorite route/boulder problem: Favorite route has been the Joe Blau (8c+), in Oliana, Spain by Joe Kinder. Favorite boulder has probably been in South Africa and it’s hard to pick a one of so many classics! One of my favorites was the Law and Order (8A+).
Advice for aspiring female crushers: Don’t let the guys climbing fool you and try the same routes without preconception. You might find other betas by being flexible or finding different holds they’ve never even considered as hand holds.
Claire Kawainui Miller
Home Gym: The Studio, San Jose
Years Setting: 2 months! (a baby)
Comps Set: 0
Why I’m Excited about Woman Up: I’m excited to be surrounded and supported by strong women. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to work with experienced women routesetters in an environment made for us.
Favorite style of climbing: Sustained crimp lines
Favorite climbing destination: Red Rocks, Las Vegas, Nevada
Favorite route/boulder problem: Sentinel Traverse (v6)
Advice for aspiring female crushers: Don’t give up! Trust the process! You’re stronger than you know!
Home Gym: Great Western Power Co., Oakland
Years Setting: 9 months
Comps Set: 2
Why I’m excited about Woman Up: I really want to embrace the women in the climbing community. I’m excited to meet other strong, passionate people and share my energy with them.
Favorite style of climbing: Generally a nice, techy slab, but as I’ve been getting stronger, the steep has been calling to me.
Favorite route/boulder problem: My favorite route is up in Minnesota, A Feathery Tong—my first long, exposed climb on the bluffs of Lake Superior.
Advice for aspiring female crushers: Just go get it! The biggest thing that stands in your way is yourself (I know that well), so shake off your doubts and go have some fun 🙂
Want to know more about routesetting? Then sign up for our Womxn’s Setting Clinic, run by the very same badasses setting the Woman Up comp’s plastic classics. You can also sign up for a bouldering session with Anna Liina Laitinen, and catch Jackie Hueftle on the panel!