Laurent has been route setting for over 20 years. Although he doesn’t remember exactly when or how it all started, he knows exactly why setting is still his passion: he loves being creative. He likes to try out his problems, he enjoys the exciting atmosphere at competitions and appreciates the relieve afterwards. Laurent set routes for six world championships and several world cups. For the Frenchman, every competition is a new challenge. For him, the difficulty in setting a good route lies in playing with the rhythms and to continue to search for new concepts to always be able to put on a good show. In his spare time, Larry wood carves, listens to Nirvana and AC/DC or simply rides the wave of his life. Laurent also takes care of the next generation of his craft. His son Mateo has been supporting the route setter team of adidas ROCKSTARS for several years now and his daughter Marie will set the boulder problems for this year’s Ticket to Rockstars Women Only at the Rockerei (Stuttgart).
The apple didn’t fall far from the tree in this route setting family. The Laporte’s are practically royalty in the world of route setting and as Larry continues to be at the forefront of change in the sport, his son Mateo is always by his side. He has been helping set routes for adidas ROCKSTARS since 2012 and can’t imagine a life without his passion of climbing. He works half of the time as a programmer and the other half as a route setter but he most loves to lead climb in his home country of France and all around Europe. He is an accomplished climber and boulderer and will undoubtedly keep the name of Laporte in the sport of climbing for many years to come.
Adam is originally from Poland but feels like he belongs everywhere and is at home anywhere. Adam has been climbing for more than 20 years and that is pretty much what his life is all about. He is currently working as routesetter, translator, teacher, and writer. During the past 10 years, Adam was able to work as head route setter for national and international competitions like World Cups, Youth World Championships and the 2012 IFSC World Championship in Paris. Since 2007, Adam has been instructing and managing Polish route setters. What makes him enjoy route setting? "First of all the aspect of creating something new that we want to see them play with. So one of the main values is being creative. Furthermore my inspiration that climbing gives me. It's that kind of job that motivates you. And I really enjoy working in teams, which can be quite spiritual work as we exchange experiences." Route setting is just one of Adam's climbing activities, but it is the one he can think of as a job and, what's more important, it keeps him connected to the competition community. In his spare time he is doing a lot of sport climbing, traditional and big wall climbing. And that's where Adam sees his climbing goals. Setting lets him see everything from a different side and a more professional angle.
Manuel has been setting routes for bouldering competitions for over 10 years. The Swiss national has worked at boulder world cups in Japan, US, Italy, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Germany, La Réunion, Russia, and of course in Switzerland. He was part of the route setter team at the World Championships in Arco (ITA) and Munich (GER). In 2013, Manuel spent two months in Japan to set training routes for the Japanese national team. He seized the opportunity to climb the famous 8B route Bansousha of Tokio Muroi in Ogawayama. In 2012, he founded, together with Mathieu Achermann, the Flathold GmbH and, as Master Shaper, continuously creates new holds that were also featured at the Outdoor Messe at Friedrichshafen.
Mélissa is among the best and most famous female boulder athletes in France. She knows adidas ROCKSTARS intimately from a participant’s perspective because she has been invited over and over when she was an active athlete. 2014 she reached the final, but 2016 she finished her career as competing athlete to focus fully on outdoor climbing. She is the first female to climb a difficulty of 8B+ at Fountaineblau – an achievement that is respected all over the world, since the boulder in the forest is supposed to teach humility before all else. Mélissa has had a career of 8 years at the top of the international boulder elite. Now she wants to dive into climbing further and with route setting she has found another opportunity to show her passion for her sports as well as demonstrate her creativity.
Felix has been setting boulder routes in several climbing gyms for almost a decade, mainly in Southern Germany. He has worked as official DAV (German Alpine Club) route setter for many competitions like CLIMB F.R.E.E. at the Munich Fair or the Bavarian Championships. In addition, Felix organizes and sets amateur contests for his DAV home division. His best achievements in competition bouldering include a second place at Gore-Tex® Be a Rockstar 2013 as well as a fourth place in the German University Championship in the same year. Outdoors he has bouldered and climbed 7c+ routes flash and on-sight both. After so many years of route setting he is still driven by the same motivation that makes sports climbing so unique: the combination of creativity and athletic achievement, the sheer endless diversity of movement and climbing styles and the fact that you never stop learning.
Toma is one of the most successful athletes in Polish sport climbing history. He participated in competitions for over 20 years in all three disciplines. His favorite discipline is bouldering, in which he won many supreme titles. In 2003, he began with route setting. Since 2012 he has been working regularly for the IFSC as route setter - mainly for bouldering competitions, although he feels confident in lead as well.
In 2015, Toma decided to earn his living with route setting and he is glad to have turned his passion into a career. Most of the time you can find him creating new boulders in several bouldering gyms in Germany (e.g. Studio Bloc, OstBloc, SüdBloc, …). Tomasz is the director of the climbing division of “MKS Tarnovia” where he trains children and young people. He also works as organizer of many climbing competitions in his hometown Tarnów. In the future, he would like to open his own climbing gym and have more time for outdoor bouldering.
Tomasz says “whenever styling new challenges, especially for competitions, creativity, resistance to fatigue and good shape are necessary attributes for every route setter. Without those it would be difficult to perform in this unusual profession at such a high level.”
„Kaddi“ has been climbing for 15 years. Ever since she started the sport she can no longer imagine a life without. In the beginning she successfully participated in Lead and Bouldering competitions where she always ended up on the podium. After graduating from school, she took off for an extensive climbing trip, which aroused her passion for rock climbing. Kaddi spends most of her time in Fontainebleau, her favourite ‘climbing school’ among bouldering areas, because there you can always learn something new. She loves South Africa’s Rocklands, too, since the area offers so many beautiful lines and so many new boulders to discover and send.
When Kaddi is not climbing on rock, she sets routes for competitions. She is an official German Alpine Cup route setter, but also sets regular boulders for gyms or fun competitions. Kaddi has been on the setter team for the Swiss Bouldering Championships a few times. She enjoys the creativity that’s involved in route setting. “You can build something cool onto the wall and try it. It’s always thrilling to see whether a problem can be solved during a competition. Climbing and route setting never gets boring, because it involves so many different moves. No climbing move is like the other.”
Tsukuru is the second router setter in the team that has already experienced adidas ROCKSTARS as pro athlete. In 2013, he placed 10thin Stuttgart. Tsukuru started climbing at the age of elven. He has been a member of the Japanese national team for over a decade, always ranking in the top 15 at World Cups and World Championships. In 2015, he won the Asian Continental Championships ahead of his talented young team mates Keita Watabe, Rei Sugimonto and Tomoa Narasaki. Meanwhile, the 28-year old has started to establish a sound basis for his after-sports career. He works as route setter and as Japanese distributor for the Swiss company Flathold, who say about him “he is as attentive to shapes as to how he intends to use them in training, and he always stays up to date. Even though he is first and foremost a competition climber, his performances on rock speak for themselves such as his ascent of Memento in Austria or Takakimikura in Japan, both 8b+.”