When looking at reasons to love Boulder, the list revolves around climbing: Places to shop for climbing gear (MontBell, Neptune Mountaineering), outdoor climbing (The Flatirons, Eldorado Springs, Boulder Canyon, Flagstaff Mountain), climbing gyms (The Spot, Boulder Rock Club, Movement Climbing + Fitness), and places to go after a climbing session (Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery, Twisted Pine, Illegal Pete’s, Leaf, Foolish Craig’s). There’s a reason it’s referred to as the Mecca of North American climbing! Needless to say, I was as excited for great climbing, great food and great beer as I was to spend a weekend with other climbing gym owners from across the world at the Climbing Wall Association Summit, learning about new products, programs, and sharing ideas for growing our businesses.
After a weekend full of classes and meetings, we all met up at The Spot Saturday night for some climbing, pizzas and beers (climbing first…responsible consumption of pizza and beers second). While we were there, I had a little bit of a Bieber-fever moment. I looked over my shoulder and saw that the party had been crashed by not one but two of my favorite pro climbers – Matt Segal and Jason Kehl. Both of the guys were super cool and, despite what you might gather from seeing them in climbing videos, a little reserved and shy. I took a moment to introduce myself and say thanks for what they do for the sport, and then got back to working problems that they could climb in greased flip flops holding sticks of butter in each hand.
On Sunday morning, my wife, Brooke, and I met up with fellow Cragger John Schirmer for some bouldering. John happened to be in town for work and, since we’d both left our harnesses at home and therefore couldn’t climb the Flatirons, he rented a pad from Neptune and bought a guidebook for Flagstaff Mountain. The trip from the hotel to the parking lot took all of 10 minutes and, after just a few minutes to get the lay of the land, we were unfolding the crash pad and popping into our shoes.
Even for a couple of old men Flagstaff had plenty of climbing to offer. We spent most of the morning and early afternoon working fun problems in the v0-v2 range on the Pebble Boulder, One Arm Rocks, Pratt’s Rock and Tree Slab. One of my favorite things about climbing is that, even if you aren’t an elite climber, when you’re climbing with friends who share the same spirit, any day spent climbing is a good day. John grabbed a few more sends than me, but we both had a great time working the glassy pebbles, thin crimps and blank slabs that we found in our day there.
If you ever find yourself in Boulder, be sure to swing by Neptune for a guidebook and crash pad, grab a friend and head out to Flagstaff Mountain for a day of adventure and climbing. And if you’d like to check out pictures from our trip, head over to our Facebook page.