A new indoor rock gym is scheduled to open Nov. 1
SILVERTHORNE – Summit County’s climbers are about to gain 5,000 square feet of rock wall.
Since the closing of the last rock gym in Silverthorne about four years ago, there has been only one indoor climbing option for locals – the wall at the Breckenridge Recreation Center.
Janet and Mike Wolfson have revived the idea of an indoor climbing gym in Summit County, and it will be much bigger than anything the county has seen before.
The public will get its first glimpse (and climb) of the facility – located off 13th Street in Silverthorne – on Nov. 1. A grand opening ceremony, with a raffle and climbing demos, is planned for Nov. 2.
All the angles and aspects of the gym are in place, awaiting a rock facade and handholds. The space holds a 30-foot high top-rope section, a bouldering area with 12-foot walls and an overhanging lead-climb section for advanced climbers.
There also will be a small kids wall, some climbing-specific exercise equipment and a party/meeting room.
All levels of climbers, from never-evers to experts, should be satisfied with the set-up.
Gym climbing, although originally conceived as a simulation of the outdoor sport, has become a sport in itself. There are people who climb almost exclusively indoors, and there is even an indoor competition circuit.
“A lot of people see it as its own separate sport,” said Red Mountain owner Janet Wolfson. “But inside is also a great training ground for the outside. It’s a great way to build skills and and a great way to learn new skills.”
Summit County is not known for it’s outdoor rock climbs; serious local climbers must travel for challenging routes. But with the long Colorado winters and the increasing popularity of the indoor sport, the Wolfsons think both outdoor and indoor climbing enthusiasts will get something out of the gym.
“We’d like to bring people in and instruct them in such a way that they can comfortably climb outdoors,” Mike Wolfson said. “But we also want to provide a challenging situation for those that are indoor (climbers). We want to make it enticing for them to come here and be challenged all the time.”
The gym also will cater to children. It eventually hopes to sponsor a local kids climbing team. Beginner and advanced instruction will be available.
Nate Love, the climbing coordinator at the Breck Rec Center wall, is excited about the energy the new wall should infuse into the local climbing community.
“It gives us an opportunity to get a larger community involved,” Love said. “I’d like to get the two gyms collaborating and working toward the same goals. As long as we can get as many people as we can climbing, it will be great.”
Mike Wolfson said the current climbing scene in Summit County consists of scattered groups. He hopes the gym will help change it into a truer community.
“There is a climbing community in the county, but it’s pretty fragmented,” Wolfson said. “There’s not a lot of good natural climbing in the county, so there’s a bunch of climbers, but they all travel out of the county. We can bring more climbers together and make them more aware of each other so people can start to climb together and travel together.”
Red Mountain plans to become involved in the competition scene as soon as it feels it can pull one off. The Breck Rec Center started having competitions last year and plans to start a series this winter on the second Friday of every month. The first contest is scheduled for Oct. 11.
The Wolfsons met in Gunnison and moved to Summit County about two years ago. Mike had lived here previously for six years. Both have backgrounds in outdoor education, and Mike coaches ski racing for Team Summit.
The gym will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Saturdays will be 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Annual, monthly and daily rates are available with a 10 percent discount from now until a week after the opening (Nov. 10). Call (970) 468-1248 for more information.
The Red Mountain Rock Gym will open Nov. 1 with a grand opening ceremony Nov. 2. Hours will be: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. Annual, monthly and daily memberships are available with a 10 percent discount from now until Nov. 10. Call (970) 468-1248 for more information.
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