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New (big!) gym opening in Golden - Earthtreks
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Nov 27, 2013
Viking helmet cover, yep.
Pretty much everything that Monomaniac said—this gym is freakin' awesome.

The only thing he didn't get to was the routesetting, which I really enjoyed. It's *definitely* harder than your typical Colorado gym, but I think it's much more in line with grades on real rock. A lot of it was just the style of setting; when a route's hard it's hard because it's technical and interesting, not just smaller holds that you have to pull harder on.

We had a blast, and it seems too good to be true that this amazing facility is now 5 minutes from my house. Awesome!

Also, I only heard through a friend, but if you're an AAC member and you ask when you sign up, you get 50% off the initiation fee.
Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
Joined May 23, 2009
43 points
Nov 28, 2013
I went there tonight and came away impressed. The place is huge, and tall. The upstairs training area and kids area has lots of easy lead routes for a new leader while the main floor has plenty of options for very steep stuff. Lead certification was well organized, although leading with a toprope backup was a nuisance. The twenty-something guy certifying us seemed to be hitting on my 50-plus year old climbing partner, which was pretty funny.

A little expensive, especially since I've gotten spoiled by off hours rates at R&J, but definitely good value for the money.
mark felber
From Wheat Ridge, CO
Joined Jul 30, 2005
58 points
Nov 28, 2013
RRG, 2012
EarthTreks textured walls will wear shoes quickly. I had that problem years ago back in KY at RockSport and their walls where half as textured. ( In addition to causes abrasions )

Holds were spinning day 2, but with the abundance of staff, they were fixed quickly.

The quicklinks were more prone to flipping sideways than previous encountered.

It's a big beautiful facility with nice staff.
JenH
From Denver, CO
Joined Feb 5, 2013
92 points
Dec 2, 2013
What will the opening times be this week? AaronPugmire
Joined Mar 8, 2012
71 points
Dec 2, 2013
Hey Aaron

We are starting with regular hours this week. Here you go!

Monday and Friday 6:00 am – 10:00 pm
Tuesday – Thursday 6:00 am - 11:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
EarthTreks
Joined Dec 5, 2012
0 points
Dec 2, 2013
Hanging out with some scooter trash.
I've climbed at ET 3 times so far. Loving it. As others have said, the facility is amazing. The "world cup" wall is amazingly overhanging. The route setting is refreshingly unique, and I feel does a better job of mimicking the outdoors than I have seen at other gyms at least in the roped-climbing area. It seems like the setters have uber-endurance, in that endurance is not always accounted for in the grading. The longest climb on the wall I found to be about a number grade off. Still an awesome climb tho :). I cannot yet comment on bouldering since I've not done a boulder session yet (but will soon!)

I agree that some of the route setters sandbag a bit, up to a letter grade. If you look carefully tho, I think you will find that the setters are consistent, so you can get an idea of how close a route will be to what you expect by looking at the setter. Complainers need to get on sendspot.com and log/grade their climbs so that we can help ET get in-line with the grading here in CO. The climbing on the east coast is about a number sandbagged from what we consider standard around here. Remember that ET is based in Maryland.

Grading. Blah!

Overall the gym experience has been great. It's good to see that the gym is careful about their belay testing, but they are also adapting to our climbing-oriented culture here in CO. Yesterday my 10 year old was turned away from taking his belay test by one staff member based on a 13 and up policy. Shortly after one of the managers sought us out and had him take the test (which he passed no problem). It was nice to see that they are being flexible with these rules for those families who have been climbing since before the little ones could even walk. I found it impressive that the gym staff actually found us to let us know of the flexibility in policy, instead of waiting for an email inquiry from me or otherwise. This actually happened again regarding their bouldering policy later in the day as well. It's clear to me that the gym cares about its members and is willing to work with us to create a safe and appropriate environment for our family to climb.
percious
From Bear Creek, CO
Joined Nov 9, 2006
1,232 points
Dec 3, 2013
View from the first belay ledge on The Staircase (...
Is this new gym ANYWHERE near the new light rail that runs out there? My work gives me a pass and Id love to ride out there (and back) from downtown...

Can't imagine I would come there after work if I had to battle 6th Ave or Colfax...
Matt Pierce
From Denver, CO
Joined May 11, 2010
141 points
Dec 3, 2013
Viking helmet cover, yep.
Matt Pierce wrote:
Is this new gym ANYWHERE near the new light rail that runs out there? My work gives me a pass and Id love to ride out there (and back) from downtown... Can't imagine I would come there after work if I had to battle 6th Ave or Colfax...


Right next to it! Probably <5 min walk.
Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
Joined May 23, 2009
43 points
Dec 3, 2013
It's across the street. JonW
Joined Apr 30, 2010
8 points
Dec 4, 2013
Does this gym have auto belays? I like being able to do tall routes when I have no one to climb with. Andrew Mundon
From Lakewood
Joined May 31, 2011
0 points
Dec 4, 2013
Viking helmet cover, yep.
Andrew Mundon wrote:
Does this gym have auto belays? I like being able to do tall routes when I have no one to climb with.


No auto belays, and no plans to add them.
Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
Joined May 23, 2009
43 points
Dec 4, 2013
Stabby
JonW wrote:
It's across the street.

Sort of. Probably a 1/4 mile hike around to the west, across 6th, and then back around that gas station to get there. 10-15 minutes.
Mike Lane
From Centennial, CO
Joined Jan 21, 2006
839 points
Dec 4, 2013
Abram Herman wrote:
No auto belays, and no plans to add them.

It this is true, how lame!
Norse Force
From Nederland, CO
Joined Nov 6, 2012
1 points
Dec 4, 2013
I'm way psyched on earth treks its about time we get a badass gym closeish to Denver. My impression of the climbing was that it's well set thought provoking and difficult. The bouldering grades seemed relatively on par with outdoor problems. The routes on the other hand i thought were very sandbagged (2 to 3 letter grades) even when comparing them to outside. 5.10 is usually a casual warm up for me outside, at earth treks im fighting hard for the onsight. Leave your ego at the door. Jack Sparrow
From denver, co
Joined Jun 28, 2010
740 points
Dec 5, 2013
Cocaine Corner
Mike Lane wrote:
Sort of. Probably a 1/4 mile hike around to the west, across 6th, and then back around that gas station to get there. 10-15 minutes.

Not sure how long before its open but they are constructing a pedestrian overpass over 6th Ave. The bridge is up but it looks like they are still working on the west side access.
Derek Lawrence
From Bailey
Joined Jan 1, 2001
590 points
Administrator
Dec 5, 2013
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
Regarding the grades, I was in there earlier this week (the climbing was awesome, BTW) and there were a number of routes/problems with grades, but zero chalk (like, none). So it would seem some problems/routes have been graded from rappel. I'm sure pro route-setters will tell us that this is very common or something, but it certainly is not conducive to accurate grades, so I would suggest you just throw the grades out the window for the first few months.

I suspect they are doing this simply because they are frantically trying to get routes up and forerunning everything would seriously slow down the process. Even so, I would suggest another approach would be to just give an approximation ("5.12?" or "VHard?") on the route tag until the route gets climbed, then let the users post their opinions on Sendspot.

Anyway, the climbing was rad, the route-setting was thought provoking, and they had a lot of variety, so if you wanted something crimpy/slopey/juggy/vertical/overhanging or whatever you could find it. The staff was super friendly and patient as I asked countless questions about their rates and whatnot. We had the place completely to oursleves, which I did not expect.
Monomaniac
From Morrison, CO
Joined Oct 26, 2006
16,864 points
Dec 5, 2013
At the BRC
Monomaniac wrote:
Even so, I would suggest another approach would be to just give an approximation ("5.12?" or "VHard?") on the route tag until the route gets climbed, then let the users post their opinions on Sendspot.


The BRC and Movement both post a little tag at the base of new routes so climbers can vote on rating and quality. Folks who care about the number grade seem to appreciate the chance to weigh in. After a couple of days the final grade is chosen and posted.
I can't imagine anyone caring enough about the grade of a plastic route to bother going online to comment.
Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Joined Nov 29, 2007
204 points
Dec 5, 2013
Just a teaser
Abram Herman wrote:
No auto belays, and no plans to add them.
Norse Force wrote:
It this is true, how lame!


I like that they don't have auto-belays. Their philosophy is that Earth Treks will provide more community in the Golden climbing scene. Auto-belays don't promote a social atmosphere. If you ever need a catch, just ask :)
Monty
From Golden, CO
Joined Mar 13, 2006
3,019 points
Dec 5, 2013
My dogs got ups yo!
Monty wrote:
Abram Herman wrote: No auto belays, and no plans to add them. I like that they don't have auto-belays. Their philosophy is that Earth Treks will provide more community in the Golden climbing scene. Auto-belays don't promote a social atmosphere. If you ever need a catch, just ask :)


IMHO this is either dumb, or cheap. Auto-Belays are expensive so I get it, but RJ just got (3) new Auto-Belays at the North and (3) new ones at the South. Totalling (6) at each gym.

I can understand that they want to create a community, but some people are either anti-social, come during the off hours when belayers are hard to come by, or if you're smart (or cautious) you won't trust just anyone to give you a belay. Just because you've watched someone for a few minutes climbing 5.12, or greater and that person appears to give a good catch doesn't mean jack. I personally broke my back trusting a belayer that I hardly knew, why in the HELL would I ask some random person to give me a belay?!?

However on the plus side the bouldering is so damn tall, and long it doesn't really matter whether, or not they have auto-belays because you'll get a good pump in the end anyway.
jarthur
From Westminster, CO
Joined Mar 23, 2008
322 points
Dec 5, 2013
Hanging out with some scooter trash.
Matt Pierce wrote:
Is this new gym ANYWHERE near the new light rail that runs out there? My work gives me a pass and Id love to ride out there (and back) from downtown... Can't imagine I would come there after work if I had to battle 6th Ave or Colfax...



Right now it's a bit of a walk, but there is a new pedestrian bridge under construction that will make it very easy to get over Rt. 6 and up to the gym. The bridge is in place, but the lead-ups are still getting finished:

"The project should be complete by mid- to late November, according to Steve Glueck, Golden community and economic development director."

denverpost.com/golden/ci_24217...

Does anything in golden go up on time?

cheers.
-chris
percious
From Bear Creek, CO
Joined Nov 9, 2006
1,232 points
Dec 5, 2013
percious wrote:
Does anything in golden go up on time?


The gym did. Government projects...not so much.
JCM
From Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 9, 2008
53 points
Dec 5, 2013
Auto Belays: There are strong feelings about Auto Belays, and everyone is right. I personally agree strongly with the "Community" aspect already brought up. As the owner of Earth Treks, I'd like to share our experience with them. A few years ago we had 4-6 per gym. We had orientation programs and barriers (4 ft vinyl triangles with STOP signs on them, covering the starting holds). Sadly we still had several accidents from climbers failing to clip in, climbing around the barriers, then dropping to the floor. Miraculously no one died and no one was hit by a falling body. But the impact was still catastrophic. Climbers were hospitalized and their climbing careers were ended. Those who witnessed the falls and responded first dealt with powerful emotional responses (as these were not pretty sites).
When we analyzed the accidents the themes were similar: experienced climbers were either distracted or "spaced out" or in the zone. They all thought they had clipped in. When you google auto belay accidents you will find that story repeated time and time again. Just a few months ago, an experienced climber died when she failed to clip into the auto belay and fell from the top of a relatively short climbing wall.
We realize that it is an inconvenience to many that we do not have auto belays. We realize that potential customers will choose to climb elsewhere. But we also realize that we are avoiding a likely scenario, one that is too ugly for any of us to experience.
We also realize that risk management and personal responsibility are essential to the sport of climbing. Bouldering and roped climbing involve a constant state of heightened awareness. We back off, down climb, etc when we have to and we double check ourselves and each other before climbing. Even the best of climbers make mistakes. In our experience mistakes happen with greater frequency with auto belays (the devices don't fail, but the climbers do).
While I applaud Nicros for developing what is possibly the best system for limiting auto belay accidents (a lights and siren system), I wonder if that, too, will be ignored by experienced climbers being distracted, spaced out or in the zone.
Please double check yourself, every time you climb. Having fallen for 450 feet when a rappel anchor failed, I can tell that the few seconds you spend in the air, knowing the impact is really going to hurt, are the least fun seconds of your life.
CBW
Joined Nov 11, 2010
21 points
Dec 5, 2013
Just a teaser
I haven't been in yet (finally just got the OK to start climbing from the doc after a foot injury), but I'm super excited to become a member. Thanks again for bringing this wonderful facility to Golden. Monty
From Golden, CO
Joined Mar 13, 2006
3,019 points
Administrator
Dec 5, 2013
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.
Will Anglin wrote:
In regards to the forerunning. Almost every route and boulder problem was forerun before opening. The lack of chalk on many routes is because they were done with work gloves on. Climbing over 300 routes and boulder problems on fresh holds in about 2 weeks is not kind to the skin.


Dude, nobody really cares about the grades. It's just that its -6 degrees outside and there's nothing else to argue about! Rather than climbing through Snowpocalypse you could just start an Obamacare thread and all this grade nonsense would be forgotten :)
Monomaniac
From Morrison, CO
Joined Oct 26, 2006
16,864 points
Dec 5, 2013
Mother #1 on the Nautilus at Vedauwoo. Rob is calm...
CBW wrote:
Having fallen for 450 feet when a rappel anchor failed, I can tell that the few seconds you spend in the air, knowing the impact is really going to hurt, are the least fun seconds of your life.


Thread drift. I'm glad you're still here, but I'm curious to know how you managed that after falling 450 feet.

rob.calm
rob.calm
From Loveland, Colorado
Joined May 2, 2002
606 points


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