Climbing Insider News Weekly: April 9


A personal note

To celebrate our 52nd weekly CBJ Insider newsletter I’d like to break from our usual messaging to pass you this personal note.

This year has been filled with challenge and tragedy. But I also have seen beauty and love all over. Personally, this year will be remembered for all the bonus time with my kids. It’s been a year to appreciate your privilege, and speak up for those with less of it. I think we are all stronger after what we have been through.

I’ve spent this last year watching climbing media and delivering to you the “best of” that I find each week related to indoor climbing, training, and our community culture. It’s always the latest stuff – the vast majority of these links are less than 7 days old. The process has been fulfilling for my own sake, but of course I hope you have found value. I’d like to ask – if you have enjoyed anything from Insider this year, or if you have suggestions, I would love your reply. I’ll get it and I’ll reply back.

I’d also like to take a moment to thank the team here at CBJ. It’s been a fantastic trip together these past two years since I took over the business. Our readers are probably familiar with the names John Burgman and Joe Robinson, they have been the heart of CBJ for many years. Jason Pill has long brought his legal hat, and Jamie Strong joined over a year ago to steer our marketing. Zoe Leibovitch has contributed articles and is helping a big new project (more on that soon) and Theresa Phamduy is evaluating our data reporting game (more on that soon too). Together we are CBJ. We each bring unique talents and perspective, but we are unified in our focus to deliver our best work to you, our readers. We all strive for excellence, bringing our combined decades of experience working in and around the climbing gyms to serve you.

Thank you for reading, and thank you to Team CBJ!

Scott Rennak

Community Conversations

Where’s Your Head At? Keep Mental Health in Check Post-Lockdown (Ruth Keeley, UK Climbing)
“We may not all be trained therapists or counsellors, but it might just take that extra level of vigilance and a simple conversation to help bring someone back from a very dark place and change their course of thinking until professional help is on the way.” – Ruth Keeley

Projecting Anti-Racism: American Mountain Guides Association Affinity Programs (Anaheed Saatchi, CWA)
“What Alvarez is doing is relationship-based and co-created. The assumption is not that everyone wants to be a Rock Guide ™ but that the way forward for the outdoor industry is to be in conversation with different groups and to be adaptive to each other’s needs.” – Anaheed Saatchi

How Climbing Helps One Young Woman Deal With a Rare Genetic Disorder (Climbing)

The Problem With Performance – Elitism in Climbing (Noah Walker, Gripped)
“If you get people from different ethnic backgrounds, different financial backgrounds, and different gendered backgrounds, you’re just going to get different routes. It’s not even that diversity is the moral thing to do, it’s also the strategic thing to do if you want a good crew.” – Devin Dabney

Stuff for Insiders

The Rough Guide to Climbing in the Solar System (Caleb Davies, UK Climbing)
“If we had the whole solar system as our playground and neither distance nor money nor technology were an object, where could we go climbing and what sort of fun could we expect?” – Caleb Davies

Olympic Climbing 101 – Everything You Need to Know About Climbing at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics (John Burgman, Gym Climber)
“Climbing will be included in the Olympics for the first time in history in summer 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. This is a huge deal for the sport, and anticipation has been building ever since the monumental announcement was made back in 2016.” – John Burgman

Purist Climbers From 1980s Thought Comps Wouldn’t Last. This Event Changed Everything (Alison Osius, Gym Climber)
“At Snowbird, most climbers and industry people had never seen a comp. Many observers were sure that comps would be duds. Like watching grass grow. Mostly they decried a loss of magic and obscurity, when we were but mavericks doing something rich and meaningful and opaque, up there in the far heights.” – Alison Osius


Routesetting & Training

Podcast: Chatting with Andy (Kasia Pietras, Routesetting Exposed)

Video: Homewall Routesetting – Simulator Boulders (Kegan Minock, DoughJo Setting)
“Today I talk briefly about Simulator boulders (boulders that are meant to recreate an outdoor climb, inside for training purposes) and attempt to recreate a boulder from Joe’s Valley, UT.” – Kegan Minock

Using Boards for Training – Mindset & Technique (Neil Gresham, UK Climbing)
“The biggest lesson we can learn from board training is that that our mind creates all the barriers and that we are often too quick to dismiss things as impossible.” – Neil Gresham

Are You Ready to Start Hangboarding? (Neil Gresham, Gym Climber)
“When we narrow things down, finger strength is the most important physical component of climbing performance. It doesn’t matter how strong your arms are if you can’t hang onto the hold, and thus hangboarding…is invaluable.” – Neil Gresham

Video: How to Train Contact Strength (The Power Company)

CBJ Originals

New Climbing Holds and Volumes of March 2021

Providing Climbing for Everybody: Behind the Desk with Emily Buckley and Lulu Rodriguez (John Burgman)
“We recognize the importance of what we need to offer to the local communities that we’re opening in. New York City is a true “melting pot” and we believe our gyms should be inclusive to all those who live in the city.” – Emily Buckley

The Cliffs Adds Large Bouldering Gym in Harlem
“We are committed to providing the best possible climbing experience in an inclusive and welcoming environment. We are excited to bring this amenity to Harlem and be an active part of the community.” – Mike Wolfert

Monument: Advocating for Gyms During Hard Times
“What Monument did just showed me that they’re as much a part of our community supporting us as the members who are physically here.” – Wes Shih

HWOW 51: Repurposed Garage Homewall