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New (big!) gym opening in Golden - Earthtreks
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By Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
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.


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By mark felber
From Frisco, CO,USA
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.


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By JenH
From Denver, CO
Nov 28, 2013

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.


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By AaronPugmire
Dec 2, 2013

What will the opening times be this week?


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By EarthTreks
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


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By percious
From Bear Creek, CO
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 www.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.


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By Matt Pierce
From Morrison, CO
Dec 3, 2013
View from the first belay ledge on The Staircase (5.5)

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...


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By Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
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.


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By JonW
Dec 3, 2013

It's across the street.


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By Andrew Mundon
From Lakewood
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.


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By Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
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.


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
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.


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By Norse Force
From Front Range CO
Dec 4, 2013

Abram Herman wrote:
No auto belays, and no plans to add them.

It this is true, how lame!


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By Jack Sparrow
From denver, co
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.


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By Derek Lawrence
From Bailey
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.


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Dec 5, 2013
Pulling a small roof at 2/3 height on Mission Impossible.  Adam Sanders photo.

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.


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Dec 5, 2013
Sure, I can belay

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.


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By Monty
From Golden, CO
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 :)


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By jarthur
From Westminster, CO
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.


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By nicelegs
From Denver
Dec 5, 2013

Once my winter/spring training kicks off (I'm a few dozen pies away from that for now), I'll be hitting a noon or early afternoon time slot. Without autobelays, that would be tricky. I love them and hate them. Lots of training, by myself is good. I prefer steeper routes though, so I'd still need a belayer I suppose.

Once it's crowded (it's probably too big to ever be crowded), I bet it's easy to find partners. Probably starting around 4-5pm, just like all the other gyms.


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By percious
From Bear Creek, CO
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."

www.denverpost.com/golden/ci_24217333/pedestrian-bridge-goin>>>

Does anything in golden go up on time?

cheers.
-chris


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By JCM
From Golden, CO
Dec 5, 2013

percious wrote:
Does anything in golden go up on time?


The gym did. Government projects...not so much.


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By CBW
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.


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By Monty
From Golden, CO
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.


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Dec 5, 2013
Pulling a small roof at 2/3 height on Mission Impossible.  Adam Sanders photo.

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 :)


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