Trango Setter Spotlight: Movement Gyms DMV

From L – R: Matt Bosley, Charley Van Anda, Ward Byrum, Matthew Vesely, Chris Canela, Sammy Vasquez

For our first feature in the Setter Spotlight series, we went to visit Movement’s Crystal City location in Arlington, VA. The lead routesetters from all five of Movement’s locations in the DMV gathered to collaborate and set together as a team. The routesetters brought high energy and excitement with them, as they rarely get an opportunity to work together on a project of this scale. At the end of the day, they’d put up a long, eye-catching route that ascended the lead cave, filled with interesting movement and increasing in difficulty as the climb progressed.

Meet the Setters

Ward Byrum

Director of Routesetting – VA/MD/IL/TX

Matthew Vesely

Head Routesetter – Movement Columbia

Matt Bosley

Head Routesetter – Movement Timonium

Chris Canela

Assistant Director of Routesetting – Movement Crystal City

Sammy Vasquez

Head Routesetter – Movement Rockville

Charley Van Anda

Assistant Director of Routesetting – Movement Hampden

The Holds

For their route, the team was given their choice of any holds in our catalogue. They settled on a selection of holds from some of our most iconic styles since the inception of Trango Holds. Routesetters and climbers alike will recognize styles like Bubble Wrap and Mammoth Rub on the walls of gyms around the globe. The vision was to reflect the evolution of Trango Holds on the wall, with our earliest shapes flowing into our newest.

The Route

Set prominently in the lead cave, the route is easily seen as one enters the roped climbing area. The route began on slightly overhanging terrain, eventually moving into a fully horizontal roof filled with large holds and volumes, demanding creative movement from the climber. Moving onto the head wall, the climber is faced with larger holds and larger moves leading up to the anchors. Winding its way up the wall, the route is about as long as it could be, requiring a great deal of endurance to complete. Looking at the entire route, it’s easy to see the evolution of trends in climbing holds from the early days with holds resembling more natural rock features to more abstract and artistic shapes of modern times.

Setting a route can be a challenging task for one routesetter, let alone six. A long 8-hour day began with dividing up the holds based on release year and divvying them up between all the setters. They used a white board to sketch out the wall and their rough vision for the route. Then, the setting began.

Matt, who has been setting with Movement Gyms for __ years, set the start of the route, using some of Trango’s most classic holds from the 90s and early 2000s: Granite Ledges, Papa Elephant, Hueco Wonder Hole, and Comfy Crimps.

From there, Ward took over with a pair of Main Dishes, the Dish Power Pinch, Dish Dream Pockets, and Drop Art Finger Buckets. The route begins to move into more overhanging terrain, with an opportunity for a kneebar rest between two large dish holds before pushing through the roof.

Matthew was up next, bringing a massive volume and the iconic Bubble Wrap style onto the wall. He impressively wrestled to secure the pyramid-shaped volume onto the 45-degree overhang wall, and placed the Bubble Wrap, Bubble Wrap Big Wave, Bubble Wrap Big Pinches, and Bubble Wrap Ledges on two of its faces, making for fun and creative movement.

At this point we’ve reached the pure horizontal roof. Charlie set his sequence through this challenging terrain with the massive Myorcan Tufu Big Wave, the Myorcan Double TufaPinch, Myorcan Tufas, and Myorcan Knubs. To close out his section, he set the SoCo Sleeping Giant on one side of a volume, the last hold as the climber moves out of the roof and onto the head wall. This large, bulbous hold could be approached and scaled in a number of ways, making for a thoughtful moment in the route.

Moving onto the head wall, climbers meet the Giant Geo Fin, which leads to a section of Stealth 2Tex Slopers flanking a giant Stealth 2Tex Shelf set by Chris. With sparse footholds and directional pulls, this section increases in difficulty as the end of the route nears. The slick 2Tex finish on the holds requires precision from the climber, a contrast to the middle section of the route, where multiple approaches to movement are equally successful.

Sammy, the most recent addition to the Movement setting team, closes out the climb with a challenging section through Khans Sloper Jugs, Khans Crimps, and two large Khans Mega Sloper Jugs. As a finishing touch, Trango icon stickers were placed above each quickdraw to help guide climbers to the anchors.

The crew didn’t target a specific grade when setting, but rather wanted to set something that would be approachable to many climbers who are comfortable in the lead cave. The end result was a route that progressed in difficulty from start to finish, with the opening sequence close to 5.10+, and the final section coming in around 5.12-. After forerunning and making small tweaks, both Sammy and Matt hopped on the climb for its first runs.