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First Ascent Climbing & Fitness Chicago Area Routesetter in Chicago, Illinois

First Ascent is seeking a routesetter for its Chicago, IL locations. As a routesetter, your role will be to create enjoyable and challenging climbs for our diverse customer base. As such, we are seeking to build an equally diverse team of routesetters who will bring different styles, abilities, strengths, experiences, and perspectives to the table.

This is a part-time hourly position ranging from 16 - 30 hours worked per week, with starting pay commensurate to experience. This position requires someone with a strong work ethic and initiative, and who maintains a solution-oriented mindset and thrives when challenged. You will receive direction and support from the Routesetting Supervisor and your peers, and will be an integral part of the First Ascent team.

Previous experience routesetting is not required. Risk management training will be required for all candidates and additional training opportunities will be available for all levels of experience.


  • Set routes or boulders at the productivity level designated by the Headsetter or Routesetting Supervisor.

  • Work with the Headsetter and Routesetting Supervisor to meet facility turnover and grade distribution goals

  • Assist with other routesetting-related tasks (hold-washing, hold-stripping, wall maintenance, etc.)

  • All other tasks as assigned by the Head Routesetter or Routesetting Supervisor

  • Must be able to receive direction and constructive feedback well

  • Must conduct oneself with a professional and courteous attitude

  • Work at height and on ladders, adhering to best risk-management practices

  • Learn and improve routesetting, forerunning, and related skill sets


  • Ability to climb 5.11 on lead and V3

  • Must be comfortable working in a fast-paced and highly variable environment

  • Must adhere to routesetting and work-at-height risk management practices, and enforce these requirements with other routesetting staff to maintain a risk-averse workplace

  • Must be comfortable working closely with others in a small team environment

  • Enthusiasm for learning and sharing knowledge, and love of climbing

  • Ability to lift heavy loads (50lbs or more) and complete strenuous physical labor on a daily basis


  • At least 1 year of climbing experience

  • Lead climbing experience preferred


  • Starting hourly pay based on experience

  • Training opportunities available to increase pay rate

  • Free membership to all First Ascent location, free add-on membership for significant other or family member available to all First Ascent locations available

  • Access to pro-deals

  • Standard 9:00 am to 5:00 pm schedule, Monday through Friday

  • Some infrequent weekends or nights may be required dependent on setting for competitions or assisting with other events

ABOUT FIRST ASCENT CLIMBING & FITNESSAs a locally grown business, funded by Chicago area rock climbers, First Ascent is focused ongrowing a vibrant community that shares a passion for climbing and fitness. For more information, please visit, or


First Ascent is an equal employment opportunity employer and is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all applicants and employees. First Ascent does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, marital status, protective order status, military status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information, ancestry, pregnancy or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local law. First Ascent prohibits harassment of any individual on any of the protected characteristics listed above.