How did you get into climbing?
always wanted to climb. I started climbing in New Hampshire, at Rumney.
I was on campus one day and saw this kid walking to the dorms with a
climbing rope over his shoulder. A few days later I asked him if he
would take me climbing. He was glad to have a partner, and I was amped
to climb. I actually started by bouldering at Ďthe Poundí for a few
weeks. Basically, it started like that.
FRB: How long have you been
Dan: I guess that was April
FRB: What have you sent lately?
Not much. I mostly have been getting beaten up, although I did have
a great trip to Little Cottonwood Canyon on Memorial Day weekend. Dan
H., Jess and I went to Little Cottonwood Memorial Day weekend. I was
able to do Butt Trumpet in a few tries and then walked over and flashed
Mr. Smiley from the low start. And it was nice to just get away from
Boulder with friends. Dan and Jess are a lot of fun. LCW is a blast,
with lots of hard problems. I also did ĎMidnight Lightningí in Oct.
That was a high point for me.
FRB: Favorite bouldering area
in the Front Range?
Dan: Thatís hard. The Front
Range has so many different types of bouldering; crimpy, sloppy, intricate,
powerful, steep, bizarre. So it really just changes week to week. Rate
now, Iím enjoying granite. Anything granite. Gross, Lumpy, Boulder Canyon,
and waiting for the park. But really itís just where I can have fun
with my friends. Bouldering sometimes is about seeing what I can hold
onto, but it is mostly just about screwing off with my friends. Where
ever I can have fun with my friends is my favorite bouldering area.
FRB: Favorite area in Colorado?
Dan: I think Crested Butte
is my favorite area in Colorado. If it had twenty times the boulders,
it would one of the best areas in the country. It doesnít matter what
level you boulder at, there is a climb for everyone, the rock quality
is amazing, camping by the creek, good coffee and pastries (makes me
strong), and in the fall, when the aspens are changing and the ground
is covered in gold, I donít think you could find a prettier place to
climb. For me itís the best in Colorado.
FRB: Have you done any first
Iíve put up a few problems in the FlatIrons, and one
in Eldo on the Gill Boulder, but most recently, I did a few on a trip
to Hueco Tanks in Feburary.
As a group we put up eight new problems, three of which I did. One was
on the Warm-up Roof Wall, and the cool one was on the Double Vision
Boulder. It starts sitting down on the left side of the wall that Double
Vision is on, and follows up the steep arÍte to a good Hueco, then up.
Some where in the range of V6 to V9. Iím not very good with grades.
I did a trad line at Animal World a few years ago also, but I think
some one bolted it.
FRB: Favorite partners?
Dan: I have a few people that
I climb with mostly; Dan Howley, Sasha (my favorite spotter) Jessica,
Jeff. But mostly I climb with anybody that is around. Itís hard for
me to climb with people that are too serious. If I canít have fun, itís
not worth doing.
FRB: Favorite routes/boulder
Country Club Crack and The East Slab on the Dome are tied. Boulder Problem: Midnight Lightning (simply perfect).
FRB: You work at Neptune Mountaineering,
what climbing shoes do you sell most of?
FRB: Why do you think that
brand sells more?
What is the best chalk?
Dan: The chalk that keeps you
dry, doesnít leave a trace on the rock, doesnít crack you skinÖthere
is no good chalk. Chalk is a necessary evil that I wish I could do without.
FRB: What is the best pad?
Dan: Cordless sells the fastest,
that is for sure. They make a real nice one, but mine is a home job.
My friend Jeff made this monster pad a few years ago out of the foam
from his Aikido Dojo. Itís has five inches of close cell foam and an
inch of open, 4íx 5í. I did Cadis (not small) last year using Jeffís
pad, and if I had anything else I think I would have been to afraid
to finish it. So I guess Jeff does.
FRB: Got any cool road trips
Dan: Just weekend stuff really.
Crested Butte, The Park, and a secret stash Iím going to check out tomorrow,
plus a little crack climbing in Vedauwoo, and the RMNP.
FRB: Going to the Valley this
Dan: If I can talk my partner
into talking a week off working on the gym, I would love to take another
crack at the Force, Thriller and Tangerine Trip.
FRB: I heard you got a bouldering
gym opening up soon what can you tell us?
Dan: Dan Howley and I are putting
a business plan together for a bouldering gym. Actually, it will be
90% bouldering and 10% top ropes. The gym will have 3-6 free standing
boulders that can be topped out at 12 to 15 feet, plus the exterior
walls will be paneled. We will be using three different types of texture
on the boulders and the walls to simulate Yosemite, Hueco, and Font.
We may even put up a classic problem from each area, like the Dominator.
FRB: How big is it gonna be?
Dan: 8,000-12,000 square feet,
depending on the building we end up using.
FRB: What is the name gonna
Dan: ĎThe Bouldering Gardení
is what it says on the company seal, but it can still change if need
FRB: What price are you gonna
charge for admission?
Dan: Rate around $30 per month.
FRB: What made you decide to
open a climbing gym?
Dan: If I donít, someone else
will. I just want to make sure it is done right.
Who do you think makes the best
Dan: I find that when I'm bouldering
in the gym, Iím almost always making up problems with E-grips and Pusher
holds.†Iím not sure what makes a hold good for bouldering, but what
ever it is E-grips and Pusher has it. I also want to say that I am ecstatic
that Jessica Franco is breathing life back into E-grips.
FRB: What do you think of†
'The Family' (Pusher Inc.)?
Dan: I never really thought
about ĎThe Familyí before doing research and writing the business plan.
Just the fact the ĎThe Familyí exists speaks to the fact that bouldering
is huge, and getting bigger. From what I understand, the owner of ĎThe
Familyí is a, if not the, major investor in the new bouldering gym,
ĎThe Frontí, being built in Salt Lake City. When we get the gym off
the ground, we hope to work closely with ĎThe Familyí.
FRB: What don't you like about
Dan: To be honest, the main
reason for Dan H. and I to open our bouldering gym is that there just
isnít enough indoor climbing space in this area. The climbing population
of Boulder is massive and growing every year, especially in bouldering.
Space definitely is the issue at the BRC. When the BRC was built I donít
think they realized how much bouldering was going to take off. Matt
OíConner (GM of the BRC) has done a fantastic job, but there are just
too many of us for one facility. We have actually already spoken with
Matt, and he was very receptive to the idea, and right away, we started
talking about how we could help each other. Air quality and environmental
control is another thing that could use some work at the BRC.
FRB: What do you like about
Dan: The route setting is great,
the holds are cleaned frequently, you can fall on your head and be O.K.,
and I like the natural features.
FRB: What are you gonna do
in your gym that the†BRC doesn't do?
Dan: .We have a great opportunity
to learn from others mistakes here, and plan on taking full advantage
of it. A major one is going to be the existence of an Air Filtration
System and Air Conditioner. On top of that; later hours, Nautilus equipment,
taller walls, boulders you can top out, more organic curves with fewer
angles, more consistent angels. We will also put one of the boulders
against a wall to create a Ghetto type slot. This will make the shortest
problem on this wall some were between 30 and 40 feet straight up, depending
on the angle we use. Also in the plan is to buy two vans to take weekend
and longer trips to Indian creek, Wild Iris, Joes, Hueco, Bishop etc.,
whatever is in season. These are only a few of the things we have going
on, and suggestions are welcome too
FRB: What is the best gym in
Dan: Right now, The
BRC, because I know my friends will be there. Come the end of the
year ÖIíll have a new favorite gym.
FRB: Do you think being a gym
owner will ruin your climbing.
Dan: My home woody is going
to be 12,000 square feet of the most high tech bad ass walls in the
country, if not the world, campus board, two system boards, with the
pounding stereo to boot, I think Iíll be O.K.
FRB: Well Dan, thank you for
your time. We're looking forward to the opening of your bouldering gym.
Dan: Thank you.