top of page

Agenda:  routesetters

In the Routesetter Track, you will explore routesetting theory and best practices with industry peers, increase your technical skillset to optimize efficiency, and develop important team communication skills to grow as a leader.

You should register for the Routesetter Track if you identify as:

  • An early or mid-career routesetter

You should register for the Work at Height Certification for Competent Persons course if you identify as:

  • An intermediate or experienced routesetter in need of work-at-height skills training

Monday:  Workshop Day

Registration Open: 8:00 AM - 8:15 AM

Facility Orientation: 8:15 AM - 8:25 AM 

Morning Session: 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Improving Your Routesetting Abilities with More Effective Forerunning and Communication

Taught by: Routesetting Institute

From this clinic you will learn how to improve your contributions to your facility's routesetting program through more effective and in-depth team communications during the process of forerunning. This training is offered in the context of introducing VB-V4 boulders to members to steward their progression with climbing movement and difficulty. 

Lunch (provided): 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

Afternoon Session: 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

PETZL's Route Setter Experience

Taught by: PETZL

Come experience Petzl’s solution for accomplishing more in your gym with improved efficiency and comfort. You’ll get to demo the route setting tools and systems that will drastically improve the way you maintain your climbing walls.

Monday Night:  Member Meetup


Tuesday:  Conference Day

Check back for updates, times and locations are subject to change. 

Morning Sessions

Opening Remarks by the CWA and Gravity Vault

8:30 am - 8:45 am

Keynote: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Speaker: Chris Stevenson

8:45 am - 10:00 am

Great things happen when individuals come together for a purpose bigger than themselves. Goals are achieved.  Lives are changed. The world is a better place. In this inspiring and enlightening keynote, we explore effective ways to improve both personally and professionally, which includes discussing the habits and regimens of high level performers. From there, we learn how to take that individual greatness and mesh that seamlessly into a team environment. Attendees will leave understanding how to be the best they can be as individuals and as part of a team.  

Coffee Break

10:00 am -10:20 am

Breakout Presentation:  Setting for Customer Progression and Retention

Sarah Filler 

10:30 am - 11:45 am

By setting routes that engage and progress your climbers, your facility is more likely to excite and retain its members. This session will help improve your routesetting program so it more effectively helps your gym reach its member base goals. You will learn how to identify and provide for the needs of your customers through setting, forerunning, and observing, with an emphasis on grade appropriate setting and customer progression.


Lunch​ (provided): 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Film Screening: Adaptive, Presented by Sterling

12:30 PM - 1:15 PM

Afternoon Sessions

Routesetters Roundtable

Petzl Technical Institute

1:25 pm - 3:00 pm

Join your routesetting peers for a guided discussion on best practices for working-at-height, facilitated by expert trainers from the Petzl Technical Institute. 


3:00 pm - 3:10 pm

Peak Sponsor presentation: PETZL

3:15 pm - 3:45 pm

Supporting Sponsor presentation: MyClimb

3:50 pm - 4:20 pm

Q&A and Closing Remarks with the CWA
4:20 pm - 4:35 pm

Tuesday Night:  Happy Hour
4:35 pm - 6:00 pm


Work-at-Height for Competent Persons Certification 

Gain technical certification for working at height. This certification course is ideal for day-to-day routesetters and staff who perform wall maintenance. The Competent-level of this training is highly tactical and involves techniques for routesetters to remain legally compliant with OSHA standards and industry best practices.

This is a separate ticket from the Monday-Tuesday workshops/conference event and is not eligible for discounts. 

Seats are limited >>


Meet our Speakers

Jackie Hueftle-compressed.jpg
Sarah Filler-compressed.jpg

Routesetting Institute

Jackie Hueftle has been setting since 1998. She has set for everyone from brand new climbers to high level competitors including world-cup level athletes. Most recently Jackie was Head Setter of The Spot in Boulder, though in 2017 she stepped out of full-time setting to focus on her hold company, Kilter. In 2018 she helped form the Routesetting Institute with the goal of helping more gyms create and maintain good setting programs.

Sarah Filler started setting in 2007 in Buffalo, New York. In 2014 she moved to Boulder, became Assistant Head Setter at The Spot and then in 2017 became Head Setter. Sarah planned the routesetting department for and opened The Spot Denver, works with Kilter in sales and consulting, and helped form the Routesetting Institute. She often travels to set for gyms and comps and helps train new setters.


Petzl Technical Institute 


Keith Luscinski's entire career has been built around keeping people safe at height. From developing recreational tree climbing programs, to guiding multi-pitch rock climbs, to managing industrial rope access projects, Keith has always had a passion for teaching others to work and recreate in the vertical world. As the Technical Institute Manager, Keith is responsible for overseeing all of Petzl America’s training activities. He is currently involved with standards development within SPRAT and ANSI, but stays in touch with his rock climbing roots through his work with the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance.

Chris Stevenson-compressed.png

Chris Stevenson

Chris is a fitness industry leader with over 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. This experience ranges from personal training and group instruction, to owning and operating facilities. Chris has also been a presenter and speaker for national and international events for the last six years. He presented at the last few conferences and was one of the CWA's highest rated speakers.

About CWA Work at Height Certification for Competent Persons

The Climbing Wall Association has developed a Work-at-Height Competent-level training and assessment program for commercial climbing wall operations. This course is intended for technicians working at height in a commercial climbing facility, and for administrators seeking eventual certification under the Qualified level of the Work at Height program.


Participants of this training will have existing duties in their job functions, such as: hazard assessment; implementing your employer’s managed fall protection program; supervising authorized persons; performing rescues according to the employer’s rescue plan; and training of authorized climbing wall workers.


The course will combine instruction and evaluation in the selection and use of specialized equipment, use of various access methods for work-at-height, rescue procedures and policies and procedures a climbing facility must have.


Please review the standard, the student manual and the competent person assessment form before signing up.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Educate the indoor climbing industry about legal requirements for Work-at-Height.

  • Provide candidates with guidance regarding an employer’s comprehensive fall-protection program.

  • Provide a means of promoting consistency and quality assurance for managed work at height programs.

  • Improve the level of competency of employees working-at-height in climbing facilities.

  • Evaluate the technical skills of employees working-at-height.

  • Prepare workers in the event of a work safety audit by a regulatory agency.


Certification participants will demonstrate their ability to conduct a basic hazard assessment, and demonstrate techniques for ascending, descending, positioning, self-belay, and rescue while working at height on a climbing wall. We will discuss the selection and use of appropriate PPE and various access methods and the application of certain work at height techniques used in industry to the climbing wall environment. Successful candidates should be able to implement a comprehensive work-at-height fall protection program.


You are welcome to bring your own climbing equipment – provided it is in good condition, it is inspected, and you have an inspection log – however, we will be providing equipment for this course.

Pre-Requisites for Work-at-Height for Competent Persons:

  1. You will be at least 18 years of age by the conclusion of the course.

  2. You can demonstrate proficient belay technique.

  3. You can lead climb 5.9 on artificial terrain.

  4. You have, or are provided with, appropriate equipment in good condition.

  5. You can demonstrate proper care, use, and inspection of Personal Protective Equipment.

  6. You can ascend a rope.

  7. You have knowledge of the regulatory requirements of the code of local adoption.

  8. The candidate has the physical ability to successfully complete the assessment.


For those seeking recertification, the curriculum for the Work at Height program has evolved significantly in the past two years. Therefore, the recertification process will require a specific pathway that is dependent on the date of your last certification.

If you received a Competent Person certification between November 2017 and today, you are eligible to enroll in the Qualified Persons course. If you were certified as a Competent OR Qualified person before November 2017, you must enroll in the Competent Person certification course before proceeding to the Qualified Person course. Please contact your course provider with questions.

bottom of page