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MEET THE SETTERS: BFFs Kurtis and Dave


Meet Kurtis and Dave. It’s obvious both are excellent climbers, making difficult problems look easy. They also have the same sense of humor, making them formidable Cards Against Humanity opponents. Both have climbed for ten years on opposite coasts: Kurtis is from the Pacific Northwest, having set professionally for two-and-a-half years at the Seattle Bouldering Project. Dave is from Connecticut, having set in a hobby setting for the past three years.

As the Head Routesetter, Kurtis instills in his team Brooklyn Boulders Chicago’s philosophy of setting. He describes the style as “difficulty based on movement, which is more progressive than the traditional philosophy of setting based on contact strength.” Of course, difficulty and grading are subjective. Grading comes from a combination of the crux (or hardest) move as well as the endurance piece. Kurtis believes “chasing numbers detracts from the essence of climbing.” Don’t focus on the grade; focus on bettering your movement!

Dave, who also goes by Sal and Good Hair Dave, was hired early through recommendation by Phil Schaal, our Routesetting Director. The rest of the team interviewed by an open set to make sure personalities match, but Sal and Kurtis were destined to hang on ropes together for hours. Rather than interview the two of them, we had Kurtis and Dave interview each other!



Dave: What do you think when you see yourself in the mirror?

Kurtis: “I see pride! I see power! I see a bad-ass mother who don’t take no crap off of nobody!” (Quote from Cool Runnings)


Kurtis: What’re your favorite hand holds?

Dave: Dualtex crimps. Crimps in general.


Dave: Most memorable route you’ve set?

Kurtis: The first pink one. Or the other pink one with the inverted knee bar. I think pink routes are memorable because there’s such a unique hold selection.

Dave: My pink 10d was my favorite route I’ve set. All my ideas translated quickly to the wall with minimal tweaking.

Kurtis: That one was a gem.


Kurtis: How does Good Hair Dave’s hair stay so good?

Dave: I woke up like this.

Can’t wait to find out more? Meet the Setters this WEDNESDAY, March 9th from 6-8PM. Maybe Good Hair Dave will finally reveal his hairstyle secrets!