Yann Genoux

Yann is one of the most sought-after competition setters currently operating, setting for national competitions and World Cup lead and bouldering events. He uses his extensive experience outdoors, leading routes up to 8c and bouldering 8A, to set exciting and challenging routes of international standard.

Yann, who is from Burgundy, France, started climbing at the age of 18 when he was working as a carpenter.

My boss at the time was the father of climbing champion Francois Lombard,” explains Yann, “and Francois got me into climbing. A great introduction… I got instantly hooked!

Not long after that he moved to England to work in traditional oak frame carpentry and Yann started climbing more and more. He also started developing an interest in route setting, helping out occasionally at his local wall.

I met a friend there who wanted to make a bouldering wall in London,” says Yann. “He asked me if I wanted to go and work for him and I made the snap decision to give up carpentry to work for him there.

Yann started route setting more, using his experience of climbing around Europe and applying it to create routes and boulders for his local wall. It wasn’t long before his setting was getting him noticed and requests starting flooding in from walls wanted him to set for them on a freelance basis.

I started to set fun competitions and quickly got myself to a level where I felt confident to take it to the next step and move into serious competition setting,” says Yann. “I attended the National Competition Route Setting Course with the legend Jackie Goddoff provided by the FFME (Federation Francaise de la Montagne et de l'Escalade) in my home country of France.”

Yann has since set in many national championship competitions in countries all over the world and has set at seven of the International Federation of Sport Climbing Lead World Cups and one Bouldering World Cup, which he describes as a “dream come true.

I prefer routes to boulders,” says Yann, “I guess I get more satisfaction, and it lasts longer! I am a big fan of technical dynamic movement involving timing and coordination, but also technical climbing with knee bars, heel and toe hooks and all sorts of tricks.”

Yann is based in London with his wife, fellow route setter Evie Cotrulia, and their daughter Emily. When he’s not route setting or too tired to go climbing he loves to go fishing.

Yann on Mecca Extension (8c) at Raven Tor. © Ben Bransby
Yann on Mecca Extension (8c) at Raven Tor. © Ben Bransby