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Updated: Apr 21

Grades, Style and Philosophy

Boulder Planet Route Setting

At Boulder Planet, we believe that climbing is a full-body sport that uses brawn and brains. Therefore, we seek to break the notion that you need to be strong or light to climb our boulder problems.

These beliefs guide our boulder problems grading, style and setting philosophy.


Boulder Planet Grading System

At Boulder Planet, we grade our boulder problems from 1 to 12; there are also wildcard boulder problems.

The reason we grade from 1 to 12 is to bridge the gaps between the V-scale grades and allow for more gradual progression. Outdoors, the gaps between a V5 to a V6 can be immense. Also, outdoor grading is very subjective, depending on the location and country. Therefore, we have a scale from 1 to 12 that allows us to keep our grading more consistent.

We graded the boulder problems on the competition wall according to competition categories – Novice, Intermediate and Open. We hope to set at World Cup levels in the future, too.

Lastly, wild card grading tries to dissuade the grade-chasing mentality, hoping that you will enjoy the boulder for what it is. Most importantly, stop any self-limitation; JUST TRY!


Skills over strength

We designed the walls at Boulder Planet to be gentle to emphasize skills and movement. Some boulder problems will feel harder the more you pull on them!

A famous setter once mentioned – If climbing is about who pulls the hardest, you might as well set campus routes for everything.

As such, we set our boulders to emphasize flexibility, mobility and technique. Of course, you'll need some strength. If you can only do one pull up (or even none), climbing up to Grade 5 should be no issue at all.


Learn, enjoy, improve

As the head setter of Boulder Planet, Hilman's route setting philosophy is to set in a way that "help climbers move better". That is why every boulder set at Boulder Planet is intentional and educational so that you can learn.

Our attention to consistency ensures that boulder grading increases gradually and tests you in varied techniques, including – dyno, balance, footwork and especially tension. As a result, you will note that you are getting a full workout on your core and legs, not just your upper body.

Most importantly, we set in the hope that you will enjoy the boulders. So apart from the fundamental setting ethos like avoiding nasty (sharp) holds and dangerous endings, we set so you will relish the boulders, even if you cannot complete them. And to "fail" with a smile.

There is more to learn in our route setting journey, and we invite you to join us as we fall and as we triumph, but always with a smile.

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