adidas ROCKSTARS head referee Johannes Altner (GER) started climbing at the age of 12 and has experienced the sport from various angles in the past 32 years of his climbing career: as competition climber, as route setter on national level, as climbing coach and adventure educator, and since 2000 also as referee. In 2005 Hannes started working at international competitions and since 2008 he is managing the referee team at World Cup events as head referee. His preference are boulder comps, because „there is always such a familiar atmosphere despite being a highly professional elite sport. The athletes are not opponents but friends, who get on well no matter where they are from.“ His aim as head referee is to facilitate a fair, good and enjoyable competition for the athletes.
Chief Route Setter
Reinhard Fichtinger, better known as "Reini", leads the quartet as chief route setter. The 37-year-old started climbing over 20 years ago and was leading the Austrian competition ranking for a long time together with Kilian Fischhuber. Today he is an instructor for Austrian route setters. Reini set his first routes in his local climbing gym in Innsbruck, when it was first built. In 2001 he set his first competition. Since then he has been working hard for his well-deserved reputation as a route setter, which proceeds him in Austria and worldwide. His motivation results from the constant need for new training routes. His philosophy when setting routes is that they must not only be interesting for climbers, but also for spectators. He gets around much and loves listening to “eich dodl gib i gas“ by Austrofed, while climbing and working. He is a down to earth person, who enjoys hanging out with his mates in a boulder gym and pursues his passion - CLIMBING!
Laurent Laporte or "Larry" from France has more than 20 years of experience in route setting. He can’t really remember how he got into building boulders, but he knows very well why he's still passionately doing it: he loves being creative. He enjoys trying the boulder himself, the tension during the competition and the relief afterwards. Laurent has already set four world championships and diverse world cup routes. To the frenchman each contest is a new challenge. In his opinion the biggest difficulty to set a good route is to play with the rhythm, always searching for new concepts to be able to screw a good show. In his spare time Larry carves climbing holds, listens to Nirvana and AC/DC or just surfs on the wave of his life.
Matthias Woitzuck is the second Austrian in the team. The Viennese has been setting routes for seven years now, also likes to be creative and to express himself through climbing. Matthias enjoys meeting up with other route setters to share different styles. His most important route setting project to date was the world cup in Vienna, where he gained a lot of experience. What matters most in competitions in his opinion, is to set routes that are enjoyable but also challenging enough for the athletes and entertain the crowds, of course. Matthias is a full-blooded rocker and listens to “Rage against the machine“. When he’s not climbing in the gym you might find him outside skydiving or speedflying.
Chris Danielson has been a chief route setter for national competitions for nearly 10 years and the leading American route setter for the IFSC Boulder and Lead World Cups in the US. Since 2006, he has developed a national route setting program and is the primary instructor for the US federation. Chris began climbing and route setting almost 20 years ago in his home state of New York and quickly became obsessed with bouldering after a first trip to Hueco Tanks. Playing with movement is a never-ending passion and the lens through which he thinks about and approaches climbing. With graduate studies in philosophy, Chris takes both an analytical and artistic approach to route setting, looking to always better understand climbing mechanics and build inspiring sequences. When not helping to set up competitions, Chris is an independent consultant for climbing wall businesses and representative for top climbing brands in North America, through his company Thread Climbing.