Meet Our New Head Routesetter, Eddie Morillas
Meet Our New Head Routesetter, Eddie Morillas
- Posted by Kaleigh
- On December 10, 2019
Originally from Agoura Hills in southern California, Eddie has been climbing for most of his life. He pulled pockets at Malibu Creek State Park, then climbed in the Sierras while attending UC Santa Cruz.
After 15 years exploring and climbing in California, Eddie moved to Salt Lake City in 2015 to join the routesetting team as we were finishing The Front’s expansion. He quickly became 2nd in command to our previous Director of Routesetting Mike Bokino – a USAC-certified Level 5 Routesetter and qualified Chief Routsetter.
Unfortunately, we recently said goodbye to our Director of Routesettting, Mike Bockino, as he returned home to Idaho to build his new climbing hold company, Level Climbing. But fortunately, we’re able to welcome Eddie Morillas as our new Head Routesetter! After four years shadowing and learning from Mike, Eddie is more than prepared to fill his shoes. With 10 years of routesetting experience under his belt, Eddie brings a ton of solid insight and expertise to his new job.
We sat down with him to talk about his climbing, what it’s like working at The Front and his favorite crag snack.
The Front Climbing Club: When did you first learn to climb?
A friend of mine invited me to a climbing gym one day right after I finished high school. I got the bug and immediately started belaying kids at birthday parties for a membership. A year later, I started setting.
What certifications do you have?
I’m a Level 3 certified routesetter through USA Climbing.
What other gyms have you set for?
Boulderdash and Pacific Edge in California. I’ve also set for USA Climbing events around the country. I set my first national competition last year at collegiate nationals in Tennessee. It was a good opportunity to meet new people and learn how others work.
Why do you like climbing and setting at The Front?
I think The Front has a super rad community! It’s awesome that there’s such a large number of really strong climbers in Salt Lake City, which gives us the opportunity to set really cool, hard and fun problems for people.
At the same time, with The Front’s new location, we can expand and build the climbing community. It’s a unique challenge to introduce people to climbing and get them hooked the same way it got me.
Some other gyms feel like a box and are in grey buildings with grey walls and pads, which is super bland to me. I love The Front’s aesthetics, from the building’s architecture to the wall design, it’s all super rad.
Do you have a favorite type of climbing?
I primarily boulder. It’s the one that gets me most psyched. It’s fun to mess around with friends and bouldering is less committing. There’s less gear involved and it’s easy to climb with people at varying levels and abilities.
Do you have a preferred type of rock or climbing area?
I love granite! With granite climbing there’s very subtle intricacies that make moves go from feeling impossible to feeling easy – it makes you a good climber, not just a strong climber.
Bishop used to be my favorite area, but my new favorite is Castle Rocks State Park in Idaho. It’s a nice sleepy climbing area, but it can get busy with trad dads when the weather is nice. As soon as bouldering conditions come around, though, it clears out and you have the place to yourself.
How do these things contribute to your setting style?
People at the gym know me for setting vicious crimp lines, which comes from climbing on granite a lot. But as I get more involved in the comp scene and think more about setting style, I like to diversify and learn new things.
What else contributes to your style?
I always try to look at a hold and figure out how to make it work in the way it wasn’t intended to be used. And setting at events with other people opens my eyes to new styles, too.
Have you thought about how your team will approach the setting at a completely new gym with 25,000-square-feet of climbing?
Wall terrain dictates a lot of how difficulties will be spread throughout the gym. One thing I’m excited to try out is introducing more people to comp style boulders. I’d like to keep the density on the third-floor bouldering area lower and have more world-cup style setting up there.
Besides that, I just want to have climbs for every person and all ability levels as soon as they walk in the door.
What are some of the routes or problems you’re most proud of sending or establishing?
Blue Steel in Little Cottonwood is one of my favorite boulders I’ve ever done. It’s so prominent along the trail, and beautiful. It’s kind of a mental test piece.
I established one that wasn’t very hard, maybe a V6, but it was in the Wind River Range in Wyoming. It’s a 25-foot boulder seven miles in the backcountry. It’s a heady experience because you’re highballing deep in the backcountry, which adds another element to the commitment … there’s sick boulders out there!
Do you have a favorite crag or bouldering snack?
What tunes get you stoked to send?
I love 90s hip hop, like Moment of Truth from Gang Starr.
Next time you see Eddie in the gym, be sure to congratulate him on the promotion and thank him for helping to make The Front’s routes the best in Salt Lake City and Ogden!
This interview has been edited for brevity and grammar. If you or someone you know has an interesting story to tell, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.