Name: Jeremy Hardin
Height: 5.9 ish
Ape Index: +1
Hometown: Ft. Worth, TX
Interests/Hobbies: Cars, Motorcycles, anything that goes fast and can get me in trouble.
Favorite climbing spots and/or climbing accomplishments: Sportrock Sterling’s 45 degree, home of the best problems in the world!
What got you into climbing?: I’m not allowed to say.
How long have you been setting at Sportrock? How did you learn?: My setting career started about seven or eight years ago during illegal late night sessions when I wasn’t allowed to set. I’d go around and take all the big volumes off existing routes and set temporary masterpieces that would disappear only hours after they went up. I never had anyone really teach me about setting, but Mike Helt (former Director of Routesetting), was the one who pushed me to become better and better through his harsh criticism and his ability to be unimpressed by anything I did.
At what other gyms or competitions have you been a setter?: I’ve set at over 13 different gyms/ venues, and 20+ local, regional, national, and world cup events.
You recently set for Adult Nationals in Boulder. What was that experience like and how does it differ from your everyday setting at Sportrock?: National competitions are always a week of 12+ hour days filled with drama, hard work, stress, and unforeseen problems. These athletes train for the better part of a year for these events and it’s our job to break down the field from 100 climbers in each division to 1 single competitor finishing the final problem. The amount of what rides on each problem is ridiculous. If I were to spend one week setting boulder problems at Sportrock, I could easily set 150 problems. At nationals, in the whole week I set less than 10. Every move and every hold are reviewed multiple times with multiple setters, making sure the final problem that gets put up is as perfect as it can be.
This year ABS Nationals was even harder because it was the first time we had ever taken the competition outside of a gym setting. To start, the comp wall wasn’t finished in time and we had to help the wall crew complete the build. This meant screwing in thousands of t-nuts the first day and having to compress a week’s worth of setting into three days. The warehouse didn’t have heat or electricity for the first few days and we had to work with just two-three spot lights. As hard as these events are, I believe setting at Sportrock prepares me better than anyone else at handling the heavy work load. I’m very fortunate to have our great comp style walls to set on everyday to come up with creative ideas to use at Nationals. My women’s semi-final #2 was a direct replica of a feet-first climbing problem I had set on the Orb at Alexandria, and the men’s final #3 was something you’d see everyday on the 45 degree in Sterling. Our setting program and style and diversity of problems at Sportrock contribute so much to these high level events.
What are your favorite kinds of routes or boulder problems to set? Terrain? Grade? Difficulty? Do you have a particular style?: I like to set routes and boulder problems that challenge me; anything that gets outside the norms of everyday setting and rock climbing. I was one of the first USAC setters to bring powerful gymnastic movement into sport climbing comps and especially YOUTH sport climbing comps, that’s the style I like most. That being said, If I only set what I liked, you all would be looking like silverback brawlers. It’s important to me to be well-rounded and have the ability to set great routes in all styles and grades.
What do you like best about setting at Sportrock?: Being able to set in an environment that demands only the best out of me. I enjoy the challenge of having two of the biggest gyms in the nation to set for and keep happy. It keeps me motivated and at the top of my game. I go to work everyday because I enjoy it and the family I get to work with.
Quote to live by: “Get to the chopper”