Let's Set the Tone

I've never been able to keep a blog.  I always have something to say, but never found the right time and place to say it.  I always have something to share, but never thought that anyone cared to listen.  I guess there was never a time or a place in my life that my contributions to the climbing world, or the routesetting world, or even the Internet, seemed relevant.  Let's try this yet again.

This blog, Setting the Tone, is designed to share my personal insights and experience in my climbing and routesetting career, but it is also built to share thoughtful information, market research from others, advice to all who care to listen, and at some point, some other nifty tidbits such as contests, promotions, and news in the industry.

First, here's a little background on me:

My name is Aubrey Wingo.  I grew up in Winter Springs, FL (outside of Orlando) and I've always been driven towards everything that isn't girly - fishing, hunting, skating, football... I think that almost ten years of softball was about the girliest activity I ever participated in.  It wasn't until college that rock climbing took over my life, changed my career path, and brought me to where I am today.  My cousin worked at Aiguille Rock Climbing Center in Longwood, FL where I climbed my first 5.7 and I couldn't finish it.  I hated it - it was the most frustrating thing I'd ever tried.

I attended Florida State University from 2005 to 2009.  I wanted to go to art school, but I had a full ride and I wanted college football in my life (I bleed Garnet and Gold).  Rock climbing was the last thing on my mind, but my friend Chris encouraged me to go climbing again at the Tallahassee Rock Gym, which was at the time half the size, covered in the traditional shredded tire rubber, and in a uninsulated warehouse.  I made my friends around the propane heater in the fall of 2006 and by next spring, I was climbing outside at Horse Pens 40.  It wasn't necessarily the act of climbing, but the community that brought me out of my shell.  For the next 3 years, the gym was my home more than my dorm room.  Here, I got to set my first boulder problems in an informal setting, which typically involved me saying '"Hey Rich!  Can I tape a route I made up?"'.  At that point, it was just fun.

I started my employment in the climbing industry with the recommendation from my cousin at Aiguille every summer until my graduation, to which I became a full time employee - from summer camp counselor, to camp coordinator, shift manager, and then finally assistant routesetter and operations manager.  Routesetting wasn't exactly a part of the plan - of course, it was fascinating to watch Mark and Charlie and their team work, especially around competition time, and everyone eventually got a turn to turn the wrench if they so desired.  But my first opportunity to set for a competition was in 2011, a 5.11 slab route that really put the wheels in motion and started me on the adventure I'm taking now.

With a heavy heart, but a yearning one, I left Aiguille after 6 years of employment to move to Colorado to continue my career as a routesetter and climbing gym "enthusiast" and to join the love of my life.  I am currently a routesetter at the Boulder Rock Club (as well as instructor) and am just taking in everything that this industry and the people who built it has to offer.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and continue to read and comment throughout the years.  I plan on keeping this one a while.


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