Randy Casillan, possibly better known as RC, is Sender One SNA’s routesetting foreman. Recently, he was invited to set for the USAC Collegiate National Championship at Momentum Indoor Climbing in Houston, Texas. We interviewed Randy about his experience at the National Championships.
Hello Randy. For those of us who aren’t familiar with you or your setting style, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi. I’m Randy, I’m the SNA routesetting foreman. I’m RC. I set what I think will be fun; climbing is like a puzzle. I like challenging people, and making them “solve” my climbs. Climbing is more than just a physical challenge, there’s a huge mental game in climbing. That’s why they’re called problems.
That’s awesome, that’s probably why they invited you to set for the Collegiate National Championship. Can you provide some background on the event?
The championship was a two day event, and we set at two Momentum gyms. We had climbers come from all over the place, I even saw some climbers from Sender One there. We set boulders and sport climbs. It took a whole week to prepare for the event.
Wow, a whole week! How many other setters were there? Did you enjoy meeting and them?
I’m a social butterfly with the other nine routesetters. We had our own texting thread. I sent GIFs, and had a lot of fun. It was great connecting with the other setters. It wasn’t just climbing, we stayed out and hung out throughout the week.
So you made friends. How was setting with them?
All the sets were a team effort. There was a lot of setting to do with a very diverse skill-level to accommodate to. We all had a say in everything, and we set climbs from V3 to V10. I even helped set a 5.8 for ropes.
Did you learn anything from the other setters? How did you contribute to the team?
Absolutely! Climbing is constantly changing and everyone has their own styles and ideas. Competition sets are a different game than commercial sets and it gave us an opportunity to try some new things.
I learned a bunch of new things, and Momentum has a lot of cool toys and tools that I got to try out. I think I was an I was positive influence on the team. I believe I have great attention to details, I notice things. I liked tweaking certain aspects of the climbs to just make the flow smoother.
Can you tell me how competition sets are different than regular sets?
For competition sets, we’re really testing someone’s skill in all aspects of climbing. We use the Risk-Intensity-Complexity scale for the climbs. Risk means a high commitment moves, like dynos. Intensity is the raw strength required for the climb. Complexity means the technical aspects of the climb, or the creativity in reading the route beta.
In the gym, I just like to set what I think would be fun to climb. I set all different aspects so I can challenge everyone and help them improve.
What was the best part of the competition?
Finals night was the pay off for all of our hard work. Watching the climbers try to figure out our climbs, and feeling the energy and hype from the crowds. The crowds would just go wild when the climbers would make certain moves, or finishing the climb.
Did you bring anything back from your experience? How is going to affect your sets at Sender One?
Well, I got this super cool jacket. And I’m back on dynamic moves. Paddles, I’m gonna set a bunch of paddles. Low percentage, high commitment moves. Risky moves, cross dynos, and such.
Would you like to see anything new at Sender One?
Our gym is perfect. But I saw some cool new holds that we’re planning on getting for Sender One.
Any advice for the climbing community out there?
Climbing is hard. Never quit. And all climbing styles are good. I’ve seen it all and it's always fun.
Sender One SNA will be hosting the USAC Sport & Speed Youth Regional Competition. Click here to volunteer for the event!
Los Angeles has a lot going for it: a great food scene, plenty of live entertainment, near perfect weather year round. But at Sender One Climbing, we’re pretty certain that rock climbing in Los Angeles is one of the best ways to really understand and appreciate all that this wonderful city has to offer. Find out where our 5 favorite Los Angeles rock climbing spots are below!
1. Stony Point
Stony Point is one of the many iconic climbing locations found throughout Los Angeles and is notable for its nearly 130 bouldering problems that climbers can enjoy. Located in the Santa Susana Mountains, Stony Point is perfect for those that know how to climb outside safely and enjoy beautiful scenery. Climbers of different abilities will be able to easily find challenging routes for bouldering and top rope climbing.
2. Malibu Creek Canyon
Malibu Creek Traverse - Photo by RachelATC via Mountain Project
Although traversing to routes at Malibu Creek Canyon can be technically challenging, the bouldering and top rope opportunities are some of the most sought after in Los Angeles. Enjoy a leisurely hike into the Santa Monica Mountains and explore the countless bouldering problems and 100+ bolted climbs ranging from 5.5-5.14, all on steep pocketed volcanic rock. Plus, there are tons great locations to hike, swim, and mountain bike nearby!
3. Echo Cliffs
Echo Cliffs - Photo by Kimberly Kay via Mountain Project
With over 200 routes available for climbers of every skill level, Echo Cliffs is one of our favorite spots to enjoy a day outdoors. This beautiful sunny destination is sought after because of its particularly long routes, several of which require over 60-meters of rope in order to top rope. Plus, all Echo Cliff routes are bolt protected and the diverse rock faces range from pockets and holds on vertical faces to overhanging rock.
4. Point Dume
Point Dume - Photo by Tozankyaku via Mountain Project
If you haven’t been climbing in Point Dume, what are you waiting for? This stunning location offers both a west facing wall and a south facing wall with routes for beginner and intermediate climbers. Point Dume is an excellent spot to practice technique and hone skill, with routes ranging from 5.6-5.10. Did we mention that it’s located along the beach in Malibu?
5. Sender One Climbing LAX
While we love the great outdoors, heading up the coast to Malibu or making your way into the Santa Monica Mountains isn’t always an option. At Sender One Climbing LAX, we make things simple so you’re able to get in and get climbing without any hassle. Practice and improve your technique on our state-of-the-art bouldering problems and top rope routes, or take a lead climbing class before you take your climbing outside.
Visit Sender One Today
Rock climbing in Los Angeles is extremely popular for a reason, and we encourage you to get out there and explore all of the incredible climbing the city has to offer. Learn more about rock climbing at our Sender One LAX location and explore the many benefits of our indoor climbing gym here.