Colorado Gyms Announce Historic Membership Collaboration

Climb Pass graphic
The new Climb Pass went into effect yesterday and grants access to several independent climbing gyms along the Front Range of Colorado. (Image by Boulder Rock Club)

What began as a temporary way for multiple Colorado gyms to keep patrons psyched during a pandemic recently became a permanent collaborative membership perk.

Labeled the “Climb Pass,” the perk allows members of G1 Climbing + Fitness, Ascent Studio, Boulder Rock Club, Eagle Climbing + Fitness, Whetstone, Gripstone and Übergrippen (Castle Rock and Denver) to climb at any of those respective gyms for one day per month. In essence, this means that a membership at one of those gyms now includes a once-a-month pass to the other gyms.

While “member trade days” have long been a common membership feature at climbing gyms around the country, they have typically specified which single calendar day allowed for patronage at a nearby gym. Similarly, gyms have previously allowed employees at a nearby gym business to climb at each other’s gym, but such ventures have been exclusively limited to gym staff. And, of course, many climbing gym businesses with multiple facilities offer memberships which include access to the other facilities that are part of that business’s gym chain. But this new collaboration from the various Colorado gyms is unique and historic in that it’s a more formal partnership at a sizable scale that allows the patrons to select any day per month to climb at a different business’s gym. A total of eight separate facilities are included in this membership collaboration.

Retail chalk from Chalk Cartel

Jason Haas, founder of G1 Climbing + Fitness, elaborated how the “friendship” between the independent Colorado gyms originated during the COVID pandemic. Group Zoom calls between climbing gym operators from various facilities were common and often included some brainstorming of ways that the facilities could support members—at a time when sudden facility closures due to COVID outbreaks were common. Haas explained that the idea of sharing memberships was spawned during those brainstorming sessions, although it was not necessarily intended to be a long-term offering. However, those same climbing gyms in Colorado began communicating again more recently as a result of collective pushback to USA Climbing’s proposed National Training Center plans. As a result, the idea of sharing memberships was renewed, and eventually the gyms decided to formalize the collaborative venture as the Climb Pass.

Websites of the gyms say of the Climb Pass: “We collectively believe in adding as much benefit to your membership as possible. Here’s to growing our communities together.”

Haas also explained to CBJ that the Climb Pass is partially an outgrowth of requisite gym operations during competition season, when certain gyms typically close temporarily to prepare (and set routes) for a comp; members thus seek out climbing at other nearby gyms amid the closures. The Climb Pass will theoretically make hosting competitions “easier” for the participating gyms, as members will now have access to alternative gym options included in their membership during a single gym’s closure.

Elevate Climbing Walls

Of note is that the Climb Pass collaboration currently consists of climbing gym businesses with one or two gym locations. Access to the larger climbing gym chains in Colorado which operate several open or planned gyms in the state—Movement (6), The Spot (5), Colorado Climbing Collective (3), Denver Bouldering Club (3)—is not included in the Climb Pass at the moment.

More information about the Climb Pass, including terms and conditions, can be found on the aforementioned websites of the gyms or by contacting the gyms’ front desks.