About Climbing Business Journal

Climbing Business Journal is an independent news outlet dedicated to covering the indoor climbing industry. Here you will find the latest coverage of climbing industry news, gym developments, industry best practices, risk management, climbing competitions, youth coaching and routesetting. Stay current on the latest trends that are shaping indoor climbing.

We created CBJ to fill a gap in the climbing media universe.  While there are many magazines, websites and film companies covering the exciting and photogenic world of outdoor climbing, we wanted more information about the growing indoor climbing community.  We wanted one place that offered news and advice for people that work in the industry or just love climbing on plastic: owners and managers of climbing gyms, routesetters, hold shapers, wall builders, pad designers, equipment retailers and climbing geeks. Since that place didn’t exist we decided to create it. CBJ launched in July 2013.

Our goal is to provide breaking news, in-depth coverage and just plain fun stories about the indoor climbing industry. We welcome your thoughts, suggestions and gentle criticisms, so why not drop us a line? We would love to hear from you.

Climbing Business Journal’s mission is to inform, connect and empower the professionals of the climbing industry, with integrity and generosity.

Core Values

We strive to embody the values below in all our interactions, initiatives and relationships with every stakeholder, including our staff team, our advertisers and members, and our readers and followers.


We do our best to use our leadership position and voice to care for the ever-changing climbing industry, delivering on the needs of the businesses, professionals and climbers, honoring the past, present and future.


We aim for high professional and editorial standards across all our platforms, stories and tools, working hard to be accurate, thorough, independent, and minimize harm.


We do our part to create an environment and produce resources that inform, connect, uplift and inspire climbing industry professionals, supporting thriving gyms and workplaces.


We cherish how the sport of climbing is a fun, beneficial and social activity, and give back to the people and organizations who make our industry better and bring joy to their communities.

Editorial Manager

Joe RobinsonRead articles by Joe Robinson Joe Robinson, Editorial Manager
Communications specialist and poverty economist, Joe has been contributing his expertise to the global climbing industry for nearly a decade and currently manages CBJ editorial. He traveled around the world as the IFSC’s community manager during Olympic inclusion as well as across the US while writing for Alpinist, Climberism, DPM and CBJ. He worked in local climbing gyms of the Pacific Northwest and West Michigan and advanced economic empowerment, educational equity, youth development and diversity programs alongside national non-profit organizations.

Senior Editor

John BurgmanRead articles by John Burgman John Burgman, Senior Editor
John is the author of High Drama, a book that chronicles the history of American competition climbing. He is a Fulbright journalism grant recipient and a former magazine editor. He holds a master’s degree from New York University and bachelor’s degree from Miami University. In addition to writing, he coaches a youth bouldering team. Follow him on Twitter @John_Burgman and Instagram @jbclimbs, and read our article about him: Meet John Burgman, U.S. Comp Climbing’s Top Journalist

Marketing Coordinator

Jamie Strong Jamie Strong, Marketing Coordinator
Jamie has been working in graphic design and marketing for about a decade. She is a co-owner of a climbing gym, a youth climbing coach, and a certified yoga instructor. Jamie holds a master’s degree from University College London and a bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University. She spends her weekends and vacations traveling to climb throughout the US.

Associate Editor

Naomi Stevens Naomi Stevens, Associate Editor
Naomi is a personal trainer and a routesetter who has also worked at climbing gyms as a youth team coach. After starting college at Colorado State University in 2017, she wanted to make new friends and found climbing, fell in love, and now climbing dictates most of what she does. Naomi earned a bachelor’s degree in Ecosystem Science & Sustainability, and when not climbing she enjoys baking, gardening and crafting.

Legal Analyst

Jason PillRead articles by Jason Pill Jason Pill, Legal Analyst
Jason is a longtime climber and an attorney with Phelps Dunbar, LLP in Tampa, Florida. He practices in the area of Employment Law by advising clients, including climbing gyms, on workplace issues and representing clients in state and federal court when litigation becomes unavoidable. Additionally, Jason managed a climbing gym before embarking on a legal career, and he currently serves on USA Climbing’s Board of Directors and as the Chairperson of USA Climbing’s Ethics Committee.


Louie Anderson
Read articles by Louie Anderson
Louie Anderson, Contributor
Louie has been climbing since 1974 and routesetting for over 35 years. He’s a big proponent for education in the setting world, having written The Art of Coursesetting (re-released as Fundamentals of Routesetting). Anderson has also been shaping holds and consulting for gyms for decades. His holds are available at Legacy Ascension, and more information about his services is at louieandersonclimbing.com.


Jonathan Littauer
Read articles by Jonathan Littauer
Jonathan Littauer, Contributor
Jonathan is a writer and head routesetter currently based out of Stavanger, Norway. He has worked as a magazine editor, a corporate storyteller, and his fiction is represented by Jabberwocky Literary Agency. He spent the last five years setting for climbing gyms in New England. When he’s not writing or bolting plastic to plywood, he’s outside somewhere, hiking, climbing, or surfing.


Holly Yu Tung Chen
Read articles by Holly Yu Tung Chen
Holly Yu Tung Chen, Contributor
Holly is a journalist and routesetter based in Denver, Colorado. She kick-started her career in climbing with an internship at the American Alpine Club; now, her writing has appeared in Climbing Magazine, the Alpinist, the AAC’s annual Guidebook to Membership, Sharp End Publishing, and more. Holly has traveled to routeset at gyms all over the American west. Her home gyms are the Spot and Boulder Rock Club. Holly’s motto has always been: “keep it interesting.”

Publisher & Owner

Scott RennakRead articles by Scott Rennak Scott Rennak, Publisher & Owner
Scott has been promoting indoor climbing since 1997 when he bought Climb Time of Cincinnati and started what would become the American Bouldering Series. Since then he has helped hundreds of small businesses grow including climbing gyms and manufacturers. He is available for projects through Reach Climbers. In his free time he still scours nearby hills for fresh boulders, skis all year, and is a dedicated father to his two young children.


Mike Helt Mountain Helt, Founder
Mountain has over 20 years experience working in and with climbing gyms all over the country. He’s a USAC Level 5 National Chief Routesetter with setting experience that ranges from locals to international World Cups, and he sat on the USAC Routesetting Committee, which created USAC’s routesetter clinic and certification system. In 2007 he founded Routesetter.com and ran the site until its closing in 2009. Mountain is also Head Routesetter at Mesa Rim Climbing – Reno.

CBJ Alumni

Over the years many others have served on the CBJ team or contributed heavily to our development, including:

Harness Consulting