Monthly Archives: June 2010

Photography Display at RJ1

We’ve begun showing different work from local artists at RJ1, and our first artist is Susan Winn. Following is a short bio and description of the work we have up right now.

I began studying photography in 1999 and received my B.F.A from the
University of Colorado at Denver in 2004 and my M.A in 2008 from Adams
State College. I am currently doing freelance photography as a wedding
and portrait photographer and I am studying for the PLACE test, to teach art.

I work at Starbucks Coffee Company as a Shift Supervisor and I am the Art Coordinator for our store. I am active in the art community and earlier this year had a successful show at Flash Gallery in Lakewood called Pin-Up’s. I have received many art awards such as the Teaching Assistantship and have received an Art Grant from ASC.

This particular group of flower portraits are part of the series called “Capturing a Smaller World.” These photographs are to demonstrate the beauty of the world around us. Often we are too busy to notice the smaller things in life. If we do notice them we are unable to have time to enjoy these wonders of the world and are left we a mild feeling of their beauty.

These images we are able to look at the flower closer and see what they
really are. We are able to absorb the flowers and get a sense of what we
are missing. The feeling will never be the same at that moment we first
encounter the flowers of our life, but possible having captured these
images of them, we are able to recreate some of that beauty and feelings
we would have felt encountering the flowers for the first time. I believe
Georgia O’Keefe, who is a strong influence in this art work said it best
when she said: “Everyone has many associations with a flower-the idea of
flowers. Still-in a way-nobody sees a flower-really-it is so small-we
haven’t the time-and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”

All of Susan’s photos are for sale, just ask our counter staff if you would like to purchase one. You can also contact Susan through her website www.winnphoto.com. We hope you enjoy them!

Survey Responses

A few months ago, we posted a survey on Facebook that several of y’all were awesome enough to take the time to fill out for us. Since you took your time to give us your feedback, we thought we’d address some of the ideas and questions that we received.

Route/problem quality

Boulder problems are tweaky and uninteresting.

RJ Response: What type of moves would you like to see in the boulder?

Always seem to have a lot of good variety of difficulty. I would like to see more numbered boulder routes though.

RJ Response: I’m not exactly sure what this means, but if it is referring to how we number the holds for our Bouldering League point system, we will be starting another League in the fall. I will post it as an event on Facebook when we start it back up.

Many routes don’t feel like they have a real crux. Just sort of sustained for the grade. A fun crux can really make a route great.

RJ Response: Our setting philosophy includes setting routes that improve fitness and climbing skills to make you better prepared to climb outdoors. We set routes of sustained difficulty to enhance endurance so that when you reach a rest outdoors it is a bonus and not a practiced requirement.

I personally miss Paradise Rock Gym.

RJ Response: Lots of people do. Try climbing LA’s routes. He used to set at Paradise, it’s as close to home as we can get you.

Have only climbed boulder problems at RnJ1 – I found the difficulty on intermediate and below problems to primarily come from high feet / big moves. More incorporation of clever footwork – drop knees, flagging, etc would be greatly appreciated.

RJ Response: Great feedback, we will strive to keep setting diverse styles in the boulder.

Route turnover

It’s between entertained and bored. Especially in the 5.10-5.11 range. A few more in that range on the TR routes would be nice.

RJ Response: The top of our bell curve of route distribution is already the 5.10-5.11 range. To add more would be unfair to the rest of our customers. Visiting both gyms during the month may help a bit with this.

The boulder routes used to get a little stale after a while but looks like you’ve ramped up the change dates there.

RJ Response: We actually have increased the turnover rate in the boulder in the past year. Thanks for noticing!

Routes seem to all change at once, can they be spread out? The choose your own rating has been fun, but staff is usually right with their own ratings anyway.

RJ Response: We set routes at each gym about twice a week and boulders once every two weeks on average. We try to replace a mix of the oldest routes with a wide variety of grades. We’re glad you think our setters usually get the grade right, not everyone would concur.

General comments

Love you guys… just wish we could get the auto belays back.

RJ Response: We have put a deposit down on some Auto Belays that aren’t available to ship yet. No guarantee on when they’ll be here, but a solution to your auto belay woes are on the horizon.

Change the routes in the lead cave more frequently and add more moderates in that area.

RJ Response: We set the lead cave on the same schedule as the other walls in order to be fair to all our customers. Due to the angle of the lead cave, it is difficult to set many moderates which is why the mean grade is 5.11 on the cave.

I’m still not in love with the bouldering grading scheme – I understand that grades don’t mean much, but the scheme at, for example, the spot, is much more helpful. At the very least, adding a +/- to each category would help to differentiate the grades somewhat.

RJ: We went with this grading system because it is what the ABS uses in their competitions and we felt our bouldering community would already be familiar with it. It’s a good idea, but we’ll just stick with how we’re doing it for now.

Allowing occasional member setting of boulder problems would be nice. Setting boulder problems is a great way for climbers to think more about movement and body position, so letting people set their own problems occasionally can make them into better climbers.

RJ Response: Great idea, we’ll try to put together a route setting clinic in the fall & see if there’s any other interest in it.

One thing I would suggest is to spruce up the Men’s locker room a bit – fresh carpet or even freshen up the lockers somehow. The larger bench at #1 is nice.

RJ Response: We are always striving to improve our gym in every way we can. We will definitely look into this.

Renovate RJ1: Put the office upstairs somewhere and expand the bouldering area! Need more bouldering! It’s what RJ really lacks to make it an even better gym.

RJ Response: Awesome idea, but unfortunately not feasible. We would also have to move the lockers rooms as well and those should stay on the first floor. Expansion is a topic we constantly mull around in our heads, we’ll keep you posted with what we can come up with.

I love the new assisted pull up machine at RJ2. Thanks for adding it!

RJ Response: Thanks for noticing, glad you’re getting good use out of it!

Seems to me that the routes are becoming more awkward and reachy and that the grades are less consistent.

RJ Response: With the wide range of individuals who climb at our gyms it is impossible to address everyone’s wants and needs at the same time. Because of this, every route may not appeal to every climber. It is our sincere desire that everyone who climbs at our gyms finds a route that they enjoy at every difficulty.

I would like to see the routes take advantage more of the features of the wall

RJ Response: Use of gym features is at the discretion of the setter and we will take note of the interest in climbing routes with features and set more of these in the future.

Could you make all 5.7’s one color, all 5.8’s another color, etc. For example all 5.7’s are pink, all 5.8’s are blue, all 5.9’s are white, etc. so they are easily identifiable? I think it would make it easier to identify the routes.

RJ Response: It’s a good idea, but since we would have to use a different color for every + or – in each grade we have more route grades than we have tape colors.

More fundraising or “just for fun” competitions. They seem to get a lot of people involved

RJ Response: So glad you’ve enjoyed our comps, we will work on doing more community activities.

The music could use some improving.

RJ Response: In order to play music in a public forum, you have to pay ASCAP fees. We use Sirius Business for our music which includes ASCAP fees in our subscription price. Since we don’t pay ASCAP directly, we are not legally allowed to play ipods, CD’s or the radio. You are always more than welcome to select which channel you want to listen to as long as is doesn’t offend anyone else.

Some of the routes are up there for a long time (several months). Maybe consider changing them more often.

RJ Response: We balance the need for new routes and problems with the desire to red point those currently in gym. For routes this means a period of about 2.5 months. Boulder problems are usually left up for 4 to 6 weeks. We feel this time period best suits the demand of our diverse customer base.

A lot of the intermediate/easier routes are pretty much ‘straight up’ the wall without involving much thinking or clever route shifts.

RJ Response: We have a handful of wandering routes in each gym, but they are limited because they can be dangerous when the gym is crowded and don’t always allow was maximum efficiency of wall space. We will set more traversing and wandering routes during the summer when it is less crowded.

Thanks for all your help! And always, if you ever have a question or idea, please don’t hesitate to contact to us!