Routesetting at Bridges
We think climbing should be challenging and fun. Our goal is to set boulders that teach climbers different types of movement, on different types of terrain and climbing holds, and that challenge folks to push their limits while having a good time. We provide our routesetters with the training and structure to set high-quality boulders that express the setter’s creativity and imagination, while keeping the intended audience in mind.
How Does Circuit Grading Work?
We grade the difficulty of our boulder problems using a circuit grading system, as indicated above. Where traditional bouldering gyms might label a problem with a difficulty of V0, V1, V2, where the higher the number the harder the grade, we distribute our boulder problems into Circuits which encompass a range of grades.
Circuit grading leaves a little wiggle room for the subjective nature of climbing grades. At Bridges, each circuit spans 3 grades (for example, the green circuit spans V0 to V2), and each circuit overlaps (the blue circuit spans V1 to V3, overlapping with green). This means you will find boulders with a difficulty of V2 might be grouped into our Green Circuit, Blue Circuit, or Yellow Circuit.
Why Circuit Grades
By removing the focus on V-Grades, climbers are encouraged to get outside their comfort zone, climb stuff that looks fun rather than stuff that looks easy, and get to know their own strengths and weaknesses better. We’re not alone in this thinking - Bouldering gyms across the country are adopting circuit grades, thanks to the groundbreaking work of Tonde Katiyo and the Bouldering Projects.
Height, weight, age, gender, body type, strength, and experience all play into how hard a problem feels, and this subjectivity often leads to disappointment, unmet expectations, dashed hopes and dreams, and generally bad feels.
How many times have you said to yourself, "oh I can't climb V6, I'm not one of the Team kids," or "I should be able to climb this V3 if I can climb that V3?" These barriers are often no more than mental blocks we've put up ourselves, and the best solution we've found is to challenge yourself with something a little outside your comfort zone.
We think our Circuit Grading System is a little more honest, a little less subjective, and a little more accessible than traditional V-grades. It helps us offer a better spread of boulder problems and climbing styles that are accessible to different ability levels. You'll not only have more fun climbing with us, but we think you might even progress faster. We hope you’re enjoying it!
Next Set: Southeast, September 27th
10 New Problems, V0-V9 - Set June 19th, 2021
13 New Problems, V0-V9 - Set July 4th, 2021
6 New World Cup-Style Boulder Problems
Set September 5th, 2021
Top Rope Wall
13 New Problems, V0-V - Set July 17th, 2021
14 New Problems, V0-V9 - Set July 31st
19 New Problems, V0-V8 - Set August 30th
11 New Problems, V1-V8 - Set August 14th
16 Problems, V0-V9 - Set September 14th