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 are still figuring out what works and what you, our readers, want to see.  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 authentically and generously inform and connect the professionals and organizations of indoor climbing.

Editorial & Advertising Manager

Joe RobinsonRead articles by Joe Robinson Joe Robinson, Editorial & Advertising 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 and advertising. 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 Burgman 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

Legal Analyst

Jason PillRead articles by Jason Pill Jason Pill, Legal Analyst
Jason Pill is a longtime climber and an attorney with Phelps Dunbar, LLP in Tampa, Florida. He practices in the area of labor and employment and assists clients in handling unique issues that arise at the intersection of law and technology. Additionally, Jason managed a climbing gym before embarking on a legal career, and he currently serves as the Chairperson of USA Climbing’s Risk Management Committee.

Marketing Coordinator

Jamie Strong Jamie Strong, Marketing Coordinator
Jamie Strong has been working in graphic design and marketing for nearly a decade and climbing for about 5 years. 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.


Zoe LeibovitchRead articles by Zoe Leibovitch Zoe Leibovitch, Contributor
Zoe Leibovitch has been a climbing competitor on the national and international level since 2006. She has traveled the world competing in IFSC events, has been on the Evolv athlete team since 2014, and continues to spread her passion for climbing as a guest setter and coach. She has written for Climbing Magazine and works at The Spot Bouldering Gym coordinating their events and marketing. In addition to climbing, Zoe enjoys snowboarding, surfing, and all things adrenaline-pumping.

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

Scott RennakRead articles by Scott Rennak Scott Rennak, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
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 Mike Helt, Founder
Mike 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. Mike is also Head Routesetter at Mesa Rim Climbing – Reno.

CBJ Alumi

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

  • Marlowe Kulley
  • Jon Lachelt
  • Leif Coopman
  • Noah Rezentes
  • Theresa Phamduy
  • Madeleine Eichorn
  • Chris Ryan
  • Austin Lokey