Love for Bouldering and Recycling Guides Family-Owned Gym

Pure Bouldering main room
Pure Bouldering has stayed in the Youngwerth family’s hands since its founding in 2013, and the aptly named gym is still guided by a passion for bouldering and a grassroots ethos. (All images courtesy of Pure Bouldering)

Pure Bouldering
Colorado Springs, CO

Specs: In 2013, renovations to a former church in Colorado Springs were completed and the city’s first bouldering-focused gym opened for business. Lisa and Pete Youngwerth, Pure Bouldering’s founders, wanted “a friendly environment where both expert and beginner climbers could climb together,” said daughter Tyler Youngwerth, who has helped operate the gym with twin sister Jesse over the years and is now one of the co-owners. Residents of Colorado Springs for nearly 20 years, the family-owned facility has been in their lives for half of that time.

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“[It] was the perfect building that fell into their laps at the perfect time,” Tyler explained, noting how the building’s 17-foot walls matched their vision for the small bouldering hub. The building was also large enough to house Gearonimo Sports, a mountain sporting goods store with new and used gear that has been run as a separate business by the Youngwerth family under the same roof. “It really created the one-stop-shop experience,” described Tyler.

Spread across multiple levels, the gym’s 6,500 square feet of climbing includes a horizontal 45-foot-long bouldering cave, a training-style basement area, as well as outdoor walls. In fact, the gym’s principal outdoor boulder is the mushroom-like feature used in the 2007 Teva Mountain Games that the owners had heard was left in pieces at a dump. According to Tyler, “With some extreme Google Earth searching, they eventually found it and brought it down to the gym,” where it was put to good use alongside climbing walls previously used at a Dicks Sporting Goods and other various climbing features.

Pure's mushroom and ark boulders
The 2007 Teva Mountain Games boulder (left) has been a staple at Pure since its revival, although the wall looks much different today following the recent upgrade (right).

During the temporary closures of 2020, the owners took the opportunity to give the outdoor area a makeover. The pebble-covered landing zone was replaced with blue chips of recycled tire rubber, and the storied mushroom boulder received fresh panels and a new nickname (“the Ark”). With the addition of tarps overhead, the heated and covered outdoor boulder can now be climbed on in all seasons. “Their love for recycling triggered their idea for the outdoor area,” recounted Tyler. “They incorporated shipping containers and recycled billboards to enclose a year-round experience and have really enjoyed reusing different materials.”

Other features of the facility include a 24/7 membership, campus boards, a kids climbing room, fitness equipment, and private lessons. As for community programming, Pure holds social events throughout the year, monthly women’s climbing nights and game nights, and this summer is hosting a block party. “All are welcome, both members, non-members, and all dogs too,” Tyler said. “There will be live music, climbing fun, and food and drinks.

Pure Bouldering basement
Pure’s downstairs climbing area has served as a multi-purpose space, the site of yoga classes and the kids climbing room (visible in the background) in addition to hard climbing.

Walls: Vertical Solutions
Flooring: Vertical Solutions and Asana
CRM Software: RGP
Instagram: @Pure_Bouldering

In Their Words: “What sets Pure Bouldering apart…is the community that has been built. Not only has Pure changed the lives of its members, but it has created and changed the lives of the people who run it. We are very thankful for the people who support us.” – Tyler Youngwerth, co-owner

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