It’s always exciting to walk into a new gym for the first time, not knowing at all what to expect. On a rainy, cold, and miserably gray day in the final hours of what would finish our incredibly warm and dry March(the driest on record for Colorado), I couldn’t help but notice the thick and luminous clouds that hovered over the sky. Looking off into the distance, a mere 10 miles to the west, you could see the bottoms of the Flatirons covered in a light dusting of snow. It was a Saturday and for lack of better words, the weather just plain sucked. It was a perfect day to check out the new Evo Rock Gym in Louisville.
Nestled in an industrial complex near the Colorado Tech Center, amidst a sea of giant buildings, Colorado’s newest state of the art climbing facility has been contructed and opened its doors to the climbing community. When you walk inside, it’s quick to see the modern architecture looking above you. The colorful and brand spanking new holds littered the wall like a sea of wildflowers in a freshly blooming spring meadow. Thick concrete floors lay beneath my feet and above my head hung GIANT exposed metal piping used for ventilation. It was clear this was going to be a fun day checking out a new gym.
I spent nearly the entire day in the gym and got a good feel for what this climbing facility was all about. I showed up without a partner and focused more on bouldering for the day. Despite running in to several groups of friends that were doing some sport climbing on the main lead walls, I decided to stick to my original plan and do some pebble wrestling, on plastic. Afterwards, I hit the weight room upstairs and finished the session with a run on a treadmill. Below is my critique of the gym. The good, the bad and my overall thoughts. Hope this helps make your decision easier the next time you head out for that training session!
-New state of the art facility
-Lack of Crowds
– Another gym to add variety to your training
-Main lead wall is about 50 feet tall and a good angle for training for outdoor routes
-Lots of campus/systems board options upstairs
-Weight room has entire rubber floors
-Main boudering cave is steep and fun(similar to The Spot)
-Free standing boulder in the middle of the bouldering section
-Gym is much smaller than anticipated
-Lead walls could be steeper in sections
-Too many Top Ropes
-No top outs on any of the boulder problems(including the freestanding boulder in the center of the room)
-Too many vertical walls in the bouldering area
-Very inconsistent setting and grading(common with all new gyms)
-A little too “family focused”
-Diffculty of boulder problems and routes should be higher(Max Sport Difficulty- 5.13b and Max Bouldering Difficulty V10)
-Very Expensive : $20 day pass and you only save $1 per visit when you buy a punch pass($190 for a 10 punch pass)
I thought the gym was fun but certainly not worth the $20 day pass attached to the session. Even with a punch pass, popping in for a quick workout is almost NOT an option since it’s still $19. As for the gym, I think it’s a great family oriented spot but for the serious boulderer or sport climber, it might not be what your looking for. In my opinion, there is a lot of wasted space in the gym and everything could have been made bigger, steeper and harder. I think it would be perfect for the people that live in the area(Louisville, Broomfield, Westminster) who want to get into climbing or who already climb but don’t take it too seriously. This is NOT a gym for the “diehard” climber who want to train super hard. The bouldering was much better at Earth Treks in Golden or The Spot in Boulder. The route setting was much better at the Boulder Rock Club and the lead walls were more impressive at either Movement facility. Bottom line, the climbing gym scene here in Colorado has become more competitive than ever and in order to get me to spend my hard earned money on a membership or day pass, the gym has to deliver. But don’t take my word for it, check it out on your own and decide for yourself if you like the gym. I think in any other area of the country, this gym would be a top-notch climbing facility, but, remember that we live in what many would consider one of the top climibing areas in the entire world.
There are 10,000 routes within 60 miles drive from Boulder. Endless boulders are not even accounted for on this list and there are literally a dozen gyms within 40 minutes drive from my doorstep, the two closest being Movment Boulder and the BRC just a couple minutes drive(or bike ride) down the road. And, if the gym scene wasn’t dense enough, I heard Movement beat Brooklyn Boulders to the punch and will be opening yet another gym in Denver, this time a bouldering specific gym. And let’s not forget about Jason Haas opening a $6 million/20,000 square foot facility in Broomfield, which as the crow flies will be a stones throw away from Evo. I wish the best of luck to all these climbing gym owners and hope that there are enough people to support these places. By the looks of how busy crags have been over the last year, there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of climbers getting their “climb on”!