Meet your routesetter: Tucker Black, routesetter and crew boss for Summit Gyms

Say hello to Tucker! He is a routesetter here at Summit, as well as the crew boss for the routesetting crew responsible for keeping Grapevine, Denton, and now Fort Worth, full of fresh and cool sets! Tucker first came to us from Dyno Rock, a climbing gym in Arlington, and we are so happy to have him! His unique setting style is so fun to climb on, and will always make you think. Tucker is famed for his legendary flexibility - so his setting will usually have many options for high crazy feet if you're bold enough to use them! (Probably a good time to plug Summit Yoga! Come stretch with us and get more flexible and GET ON TUCKER'S LEVEL.) So here's a little more about Tucker, our strong AF vegetarian routesetter!

How long have you been working at Summit?

I started on June 1st, in 2015. So about 2 and-a-half years.

How did you start climbing?

I started climbing at Dyno Rock when I was 10. My sister had started climbing at Dyno Rock before me — since she was doing it, I wanted to do it too. So I joined the team there, and then I got better than her ... and then she quit. But I kept doing it. I competed from the age of 12 or 13 to 17 or 18.

What was your start in routesetting?

I first started routesetting at Dyno Rock. One day I went to Summit Carrolton and Kyle Clinkscales was there — and he asked me if I was looking to do anything different? Since I competed as a kid, I had been coming to Summit since I was like, 11, so Kyle kind of knew me. At the time, I really wanted to routeset full-time, because at the time I was just doing mostly desk stuff at Dyno Rock. So I contacted Kyle, and Kyle was like, “Actually, I don’t have anything to do with route setting ... talk to Chris!" So I contacted the gym's Head Routesetter Chris and I came in for an interview and got the job right away. I set a flip move on the first lead route I set, and Chris was sold. He loves flip moves.

Favorite climbing area?

I went to Rocky Mountain National Park over the summer and it was really cool!

Favorite climb?

I did Dirty Martini on the Rocks a few months ago at Hueco. It was my first outdoor V9 and it was really cool. 

Tucker bouldering at Hueco Tanks.

Tucker bouldering at Hueco Tanks.

Why routesetting?

Ummm ... I really wanted to put holds on the wall.

Routesetting goals?

I like to set stuff that’s fun, stuff that everybody wants to do. Stuff that is accessible — that anyone is gonna have the same experience on, even if you’re small, really tall, a girl or a guy — it's going to be the same difficulty for everybody. I really like techy stuff the most - I'm really flexible, so I like high feet or really crazy flexy stuff. 

Favorite Summit memory?

Probably when we got that giant delivery of 360 Holds to Denton. Opening boxes of new holds with the homies is always fun.

Little known facts about Tucker:

He only wears one contact, in his left eye. His right eye has perfect vision, while his left eye is nearly blind. Yes, you can suggest that he wear a monocle, but just know that he has already heard it and it probably stopped being funny awhile ago. Besides ... routesetting with a monocle would probably be the worst. As would doing anything outside of going to the opera with a monocle, really. 

Tucker used to have long, luxurious hair. During his Dyno-Rock days, he as his fellow co-workers all rocked the long hair look. He cut it soon after he started with Summit, cuz he was looking for a change! He apparently likes to change his appearance a lot - so what's next? Shaved bald? Mohawk? Back to long hair? Bleached tips?!!!!??

Actually, during his Dyno Rock days, not only did he and his co-workers all have similar hair, but they all lived together. It was a two-bedroom apartment, so they had a bunk bed in each bedroom. So pretty much every night was a SLEEPOVER! Childhood me is very jealous. Just think of the bed-fort possibilities. 

Tucker has not eaten meat in 3 and-a-half years. He first became a vegan during his Dyno Rock days, cuz his roommates / co-workers were vegans. They would cook meals together, and Tucker thought it made the most sense to convert to veganism with them. There was one time early on in his veganism that he was making dinner for him and his roommates, and he decided he wanted to add some extra protein to the meal, to give him and his bros a BOOST. The only vegan protein they had was vanilla protein powder, though, so he threw that in with their pot of cooked broccoli, carrots and black beans. He said it was legit the grossest thing he had ever eaten, but none of his roommates said anything about it until he was like, "Yeah ... is this gross?" and they were like, "Yeah ... it's pretty bad ... but thanks for cooking!" He has since become a vegetarian - he said maintaining a meat-free diet while climbing and routesetting every day has taken some fine-tuning, but he's got it pretty down. He said he is constantly eating, and can basically eat however much of whatever he wants, because he never seems to gain any weight. Meanwhile, I thought about nachos and now my pants don't fit. 

He must be doing something right - Tucker has never sustained a climbing injury, throughout the 10 years or so he has been climbing. He has sprained his ankle three times since he started skateboarding with the other routesetters, but he has been so far indestructible when it comes to climbing. He did once slice the bottom of his foot open on a climbing trip, but it was because he was walking around barefoot like a dingus.

He can't play any instruments, but he did have a phase of trying to learn to play the pan flute. So that's pretty neat. 

So there you have Tucker! He has been an awesome addition to the routesetting crew these past few years. We're a little bummed he cut off his hair, but we could also see it being a liability when you work with power drills all day long. We hope you learned some more about Tucker, or at the very least, gotten a newfound interest in our yoga classes because being flexible is NEVER a bad thing in climbing! Just ask Tucker!