Set it up: Adam Koebel

Last week we announced that our initial set will be kicked off with guest setters from Hive North Shore Vancouver; JC Reinosa and Hamish Thomson.  This week we are excited to introduce The Core’s Head Setter and Product Manager: Adam Koebel.

Adam has been an avid climber and active competitor for over 6 years in the Ontario area and is a familiar face in the climbing community. Adam furthered his integration into the climbing community when he started route setting at Kitchener’s Grand River Rocks in 2016. From there he found a passion and started learning the craft. Most recently Adam has set for Canada’s national competition series, Tour de Bloc at Grand River Rocks.

Is this part of the setting program? 

Is this part of the setting program? 

Every day , dozens of messages fill our inbox from climbers about what they want to see from our setting program - I guess my first question is this:

Are you up for the challenge?


Over the last year I discovered that I have a true passion for setting and I’m excited for this opportunity to really push my skills as far as I can go. My plan is simple – high quality climbing at all costs. That will force me to focus on movement, flow, and overall enjoyment of each boulder problem regardless of grade. Climbers of all skill levels should have access to unique and exciting climbs. Which means cool moves and cool holds are not reserved just for advanced or expert climbers.

That said, setters also have the ability to teach technique by setting climbs that force particular movements. I want climbers to leave my climbs having learned better body positioning and spatial awareness in order to complete them. Feeling strong on a climb is great but feeling strong on something that is also technical, now that is a great experience. That’s why we climb, and that’s what I want to set.

You’re over 6ft tall, and have long arms. Are your climbs going to be “reachy” and height dependent?


You might think so! But in reality, you won’t have to worry about extra “reachy” moves sneaking into our climbs. A climb is usually set at first by one setter but it is climbed, critiqued, and tweaked by several members of the setting team. This way we get different perspectives on the grade, figure out different body positions and that kind of thing. By the time the climbs are ready they will be owned by the entire setting team not just myself or one setter.

Adam, you are still new to setting, what makes you think you are ready to be head setter at Core?


I've had a ton of great setting experiences at Grand River Rocks including setting the finals for Tour de Bloc but for me there is still so much to learn. I have always been critical on my setting from the very start and will continue to be. It allowed me to pay extra attention to details and quickly learn some of the artistic elements of good climbing.

I’m excited to finalize the details of the setting program with JC and Hamish during the initial set of Core. They have a lot of experience that I can integrate immediately into my skillset. Not to mention a ton of tips and tricks that I can build off of. From the initial set and onward we are committed to high quality 5-Star Problems. With the right inventory of holds and enough time I’m confident we can continue to deliver.

Anything non-climbing related you want to share with us?


I strongly dislike eating bruised bananas. So I got myself a “banana guard” to keep them from getting all squished and icky in my bag. It’s also great when climbing outdoors, no mushy banana all over your gear. Worst part is that it only fits one banana.