Thursday, June 11, 2009

DBC - In a word: Awesome

I have been bogged down with work and unable to get out on the rock for the time being, so I found myself in town yesterday evening for the grand opening of the Denver Bouldering Club. I was very psyched with how the place looks. They skillfully built what is basically the raddest home wall you've ever seen. One thing you won't see here is birthday parties and blind-date top-roping. This is a perfect facility for training to get better at rock climbing. It's a breath of fresh air for me after over a year of having to come up with the motivation to train at Rock'n and Jam'n, which, if you are a boulderer, is neither.

Over the last year I have proposed many ways to make Rock and Jam a better place to boulder, and all my suggestions were roundly ignored - even ones having to do with safety such as 'tighten the holds so I dont land on my neck... again'. But what do they care. I'm just a paying customer.

After seeing the DBC I was reminded of just how cool it can be to have big, simple plywood angles, and enough room so you're not always worried about someone falling on your head.

The only downside of the DBC is the cost. Whereas at Paradise the drop-in bouldering price was $6, the price at the DBC is $15, and you need to be invited by a member - which is basically pricing code for 'non-members are not welcome here'. The membership has an 'initiation fee' of $150 which mystifies me as to the purpose. What about me signing up for a membership costs you $150????? The monthly cost of a membership to the club is expensive compared to Paradise, costing about twice as much for a gym of about 1/6th the size. In the words of the Flight of the Concordes: "What are your overheads?!?!?"

That being said, I was overjoyed to plunk down my money and get a membership at the discounted $75 initiation rate. This simple gym will eventually become the focal point of the Denver bouldering community and I plan to spend lots of time there when I'm not travelling to climb and film.


sock hands said...

word. the pricing system is obviously designed towards membership rather than day-use. since it is a club, there will be no one there to sit at a counter to take day-use fees, so the cost of the facility, insurance, etc. will have to be floated by less sporadic revenue: dues.

my random word verification was: macho.

can u dig it

Werdna said...


Spinning holds happen everywhere. Honestly, you are valid in saying RJ has spinners, nevertheless, I spun two at the DBC today.

I can understand the safety concerns spinning holds presents, but at the same time, I feel this is nothing in comparison to the inherent risks of climbing outdoors. Would you agree?

I also hold the same reservations about the DBC and its' price. Before your money saving deals I think that standard price of the DBC, is about $750. Personally, I cannot afford the $750 a year for the DBC. Paradise had a $6 dollar bouldering fee, which was awesome. Nevertheless, I feel the lack of the problem turn over was a shame, considering their talented setters. The spot s $15 a pop, and RJ has half off bouldering days (similar to the entry for bouldering at paradise).

As for the birthday parties at various gyms, I find it weird that you of all people complain about new people wanting to enjoy the sport. It seems to me that you would want to encourage anyone starting climbing by any means necessary. Simply because, you as a pro climber need to have companies sell gear to climbers of all abilities; in hopes that you still have sponsors. Secondly, you as a producer of climbing movies (I assume) would like to have a large consumer base to purchase your movies, so that you can continue your passion and art. Finally, as a climber, do you not want people to try to do something you find totally rewarding and challenging?

Just some various thoughts, thanks Charles, you have a lot of talent in a lot of areas. I wish you the best.

Andrew V