Earth Trek’s Founder Retires


Chris Warner climbing in one of his gyms. Photo: Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

In a letter addressed to “Friends”, Earth Treks founder, Chris Warner announced his retirement from the indoor climbing company.


I want you to be among the first to know that I have retired from Earth Treks and sold the remainder of my ownership. With a new leadership team firmly in place, it is the ideal time for me to quietly slip away.

Retirement doesn’t mean that the adventure is over. In the coming months I will be climbing (Antarctica in December), biking and skiing as much as possible (I am not going to waste the chance of getting after it, while my body is still capable). The calendar is already loaded up with keynotes and leadership workshops and the entrepreneurial bug will always make my skin itch. In fact, I’ve already made some investments in outdoor brands and imagine that someday I will run another consumer facing company.

Nearly thirty years ago I left Outward Bound to start Earth Treks. Traveling full circle, I am now on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Outward Bound School: hoping to inspire the staff and serve the students in the same way that my five day outdoor adventure, at age 15, kicked my ass into gear.

The deepest satisfaction that I had teaching in the outdoors and running Earth Treks was helping staff and students grow toward their potential. I am grateful that so many people trusted me to guide them on that journey. Earning and honoring that trust is the greatest reward I’ve had.

“Don’t reach the peak, but miss the point.” I’ve used this quote to keep me focused on what is truly important in this often confusing, fast paced, summit at all costs, world. Hopefully that simple saying will guide you, too, as you are out there crushing it.

Thanks for your friendship,

Earth Treks, along with it’s brand partner Planet Granite is the largest climbing gym company in the United States. Earth Treks also opened the country’s largest climbing gym in a Denver suburb earlier this year.