Category Archives: Community

True Grip 14′ Results


Thank you to everyone that came out to compete! Without you events such as this would not be such a success.  It was a very competitive event with over 180 participants over the course of the day.  Results are listed below starting with the female divisions.

First Name Last Name Team Name Gender Category Total Points Place
Leah Bell-Johnson Team BRC Female Junior 18,000 1
Sasha Rubenfeld Team BRC Female Junior 17,600 2
Julia Casey Team BRC Female Junior 16,500 3
Caroline Walton Inner Strength Female Junior 16,300 4
Jordan Hartnett Team Sik Bird Female Junior 16,100 5
Maren Stubenvoll EarthTreks Golden Female Junior 7,100 6
First Name Last Name Team Name Gender Category Total Points Place
Maggie Boyer Team BRC Female Youth-A 18,600 1
Lisa Kilmer Team BRC Female Youth-A 17,600 2
Madeline D’Amato Team BRC Female Youth-A 17,600 3
Rachel Cohen Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-A 17,000 4
Jessica Hawkins Vail Athletic Club Female Youth-A 16,800 5
Nadine Wong Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-A 16,800 6
Hannah Gibbs Inner Strength Female Youth-A 16,800 7
Jahna Walls Team BRC Female Youth-A 16,800 8
Abby Wilson Team BRC Female Youth-A 15,500 9
Camille Olson Vail Athletic Club Female Youth-A 15,400 10
Sara Denhoffer Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-A 15,300 11
Sarah Sarno Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-A 14,900 12
Camille Garcia Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-A 14,800 13
Annabelle Pasnau Team BRC Female Youth-A 14,300 14
Emma Binder Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-A 13,800 15
Kacie Palmer Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-A 13,300 16
Mackenzie Whitehead-Bust Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-A 11,500 17
First Name Last Name Team Name Gender Category Total Points Place
Brooke Raboutou Team ABC Female Youth-B 20,400 1
Ariana O’Brien Team ABC Female Youth-B 20,200 2
Ravelle Nelson Team ABC Female Youth-B 19,500 3
Lillian Friefeld Team ABC Female Youth-B 19,000 4
Madison Larson EarthTreks Golden Female Youth-B 18,000 5
Katy McCutchan *None/Not listed Female Youth-B 17,600 6
Izabela Nowak Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-B 17,600 6
Kamawela Leka Team BRC Female Youth-B 17,600 8
Kate Soulliere Lakewood Female Youth-B 17,600 9
Ari Alpert Team ABC Female Youth-B 16,900 10
Aran Sullivan Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-B 16,600 11
Caroline Petterson EarthTreks Golden Female Youth-B 16,000 12
Mia Greene Team BRC Female Youth-B 15,700 13
Tali Maximon Team BRC Female Youth-B 15,200 14
Alena Holbert Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-B 14,500 15
alexis hull Sport Climbing Center Female Youth-B 14,500 16
Gray Freeman Team BRC Female Youth-B 14,100 17
Amanda MacDonald Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-B 13,800 18
Sydney Wanner Sik Bird Female Youth-B 13,800 19
Mia Baud Lakewood Female Youth-B 13,500 20
Katherine Austin Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-B 13,300 21
Melina Michie Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-B 13,000 22
Zoe Hopkins Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-B 12,700 23
Madison Cyr Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-B 12,500 24
Chloe Kim Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-B 12,500 24
Allison Riley Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-B 12,400 26
Margo Salyers Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-B 12,400 26
Anna Vertun Team BRC Female Youth-B 10,900 28
Grace Kelly Team BRC Female Youth-B 10,000 29
Terra Gallegos Lakewood Link Female Youth-B 7,400 30
First Name Last Name Team Name Gender Category Total Points Place
Mia Manson Team Sik Bird Female Youth-C 20,200 1
Corinne Otterness Team ABC Female Youth-C 20,200 2
Phoebe Dolan Team ABC Female Youth-C 19,600 3
Emily Herdic The Spot Female Youth-C 18,000 4
Cadance Hurt Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-C 18,000 5
Ashley Fisher Team ABC Female Youth-C 17,600 6
Mya Ormsbee Team BRC Female Youth-C 15,800 7
Taylor Berry Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-C 15,500 8
Grace Remmert Team BRC Female Youth-C 15,400 9
Caroline Bechtel Team BRC Female Youth-C 14,600 10
Margarite Ford Team BRC Female Youth-C 14,600 11
Grace Ryan EarthTreks Golden Female Youth-C 14,300 12
Olivia Day Team BRC Female Youth-C 14,200 13
Ella Aizeki Team Sik Bird Female Youth-C 14,100 14
Ella Perington Team BRC Female Youth-C 13,900 15
Ona Melvin Lifetime Fitness – Centennial, CO Female Youth-C 13,300 16
Melissa Caid Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-C 12,400 17
Grace Martin Team BRC Female Youth-C 11,800 18
Lauren Choi Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-C 11,300 19
Guilia Leubben Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-C 10,700 20
Ryan Ganjon Female Youth-C 9,500 21
Kayleigh Evans Female Youth-C 8,500 22
Chloe Kusser Female Youth-C 8,500 22
Peyton Roeder Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-C 8,500 24
Kaelyn Harris Team ABC Female Youth-C 6,700 25
Maya Miserlian Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-C 1,100 26
First Name Last Name Team Name Gender Category Total Points Place
Lydia Dolan Team ABC Female Youth-D 18,000 1
Olivia Kosanovich EarthTreks Golden Female Youth-D 18,000 2
Emery Jansen Team Sik Bird Female Youth-D 13,800 3
Kiera Johnson Lifetime Fitness – Centennial, CO Female Youth-D 13,500 4
Klara Meymaris Team ABC Female Youth-D 13,500 4
Kalia O’Brien Team Sik Bird Female Youth-D 13,500 6
Mae Sterner Team ABC Female Youth-D 12,900 7
Isabelle Link Team ABC Female Youth-D 12,400 8
Ceri Evans EarthTreks Golden Female Youth-D 11,500 9
Taryn Chase Rock’n & Jam’n Female Youth-D 11,000 10
Brooklee Baybeck EarthTreks Golden Female Youth-D 10,700 11
Katrina Canfield Team ABC Female Youth-D 10,700 12
Margaux D’Amato Team ABC Female Youth-D 10,020 13
Cate Sarinopoulos Team ABC Female Youth-D 9,800 14
Harper Staunton Sik Bird Female Youth-D 7,400 15
First Name Last Name Team Name Gender Category Total Points Place
Courtney Brown Female Adult 14,800 1
First Name Last Name Team Name Gender Category Total Points Place
Remi Arata Team ABC Male Junior 24,000 1
Ben Lindfors EarthTreks Golden Male Junior 23,500 2
Juan Montoya *None/Not listed Male Junior 22,500 3
Stefan Lavender Team ABC Male Junior 22,300 4
David Bonan Team Sik Bird Male Junior 22,100 5
Brendan Boyd Rock’n & Jam’n Male Junior 20,500 6
Jasper Pont Team BRC Male Junior 20,200 7
Brett Maytubby Team BRC Male Junior 19,700 8
Jacob Kibbee Rock’n & Jam’n Male Junior 19,400 9
Patrick Bodnar City Rock Male Junior 19,200 10
Nick Lyon Male Junior 19,000 11
Thomas Kalina *None/Not listed Male Junior 18,500 12
Wesley White Rock’n & Jam’n Male Junior 18,300 13
Alexi Lainis Team BRC Male Junior 17,700 14
Forrest Denham Male Junior 16,100 15
Tully Henke Male Junior 15,700 16
Bryce Kelly Team BRC Male Junior 15,500 17
Asher Blackburn Team BRC Male Junior 15,500 18
Caleb Vacura Male Junior 14,200 19
Seth Parker Inner Strength Male Junior 11,800 20
Charles Losche EarthTreks Golden Male Junior 11,800 21
First Name Last Name Team Name Gender Category Total Points Place
Jess Walker Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-A 22,400 1
Skyler Bol Inner Strength Male Youth-A 22,400 2
Ryan Mike Team CityROCK Male Youth-A 22,300 3
Max Donovan Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-A 20,400 4
Beckett Aizeki Team Sik Bird Male Youth-A 19,900 5
Raphael Angoulvant Team CityROCK Male Youth-A 19,600 6
Christopher Tomaschow Inner Strength Male Youth-A 19,000 7
Cole Myers Team BRC Male Youth-A 19,000 7
Brian Dalke Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-A 19,000 9
Timmy Dolan Team ABC Male Youth-A 18,500 10
Spencer Platt Team BRC Male Youth-A 18,500 11
Hunter Allen-Bonney Team Sik Bird Male Youth-A 17,800 12
Nathan Dalke Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-A 17,600 13
Kaden Weston Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-A 17,300 14
Skylar Drakos Team Summit Male Youth-A 17,100 15
Chino Davis Team SCC Male Youth-A 15,700 16
Vincent Smith Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-A 14,900 17
First Name Last Name Team Name Gender Category Total Points Place
Daniel Martins Sport Climbing Center Male Youth-B 18,700 1
Mateo Gallegos Team ABC Male Youth-B 18,600 2
Connor Jansen Team Sik Bird Male Youth-B 18,600 3
Devin Wong Team Sik Bird Male Youth-B 18,400 4
Ethan Pitcher Vail Athletic Club Male Youth-B 18,000 5
Will Sharp Team Summit Male Youth-B 17,600 6
Jack Mason Team BRC Male Youth-B 17,600 7
Aspen Sivey Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-B 17,600 8
Hagen Hall EarthTreks Golden Male Youth-B 17,500 9
Austin Leech Team BRC Male Youth-B 17,300 10
Max Manson Team Sik Bird Male Youth-B 17,200 11
Tommy Pasnau Team BRC Male Youth-B 17,200 11
Owen Dehmler-Buckley Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-B 16,600 13
William DeMartino Inner Strength Male Youth-B 16,200 14
Davis Wuthrich Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-B 15,900 15
Henry McGowan Team BRC Male Youth-B 15,900 16
Wilson Schultz EarthTreks Golden Male Youth-B 15,300 17
Mason Smith Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-B 14,600 18
Joel Waits Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-B 14,400 19
Robert Strong Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-B 13,500 20
Damian Ho The Spot Male Youth-B 13,000 21
Sebastion Melendez Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-B 12,400 22
Matthew Lyndon Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-B 11,900 23
Caleb Rider Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-B 11,500 24
Caden Sader Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-B 11,200 25
Damien Moore Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-B 9,600 26
John Fillion Team Evergreen Male Youth-B 9,100 27
Ford Adams Team BRC Male Youth-B 8,600 28
Jack Ganjon Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-B 8,100 29
Gabriel Dupon Miramont Crushers Male Youth-B 5,600 30
First Name Last Name Team Name Gender Category Total Points Place
Colin Duffy Team ABC Male Youth-C 21,500 1
Luke Davison Team ABC Male Youth-C 19,400 2
Brody Nielsen Vail Athletic Club Male Youth-C 18,700 3
Noah Morton Team BRC Male Youth-C 18,600 4
Chris Deuto Team BRC Male Youth-C 18,000 5
Tanner Bauer Team Male Youth-C 18,000 6
Callum Coulson Team BRC Male Youth-C 18,000 7
Jordan Fishman Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-C 17,700 8
Ashtyn Bee Focus Male Youth-C 17,200 9
Noah Rand Team BRC Male Youth-C 14,400 10
Kaedyn Woodard EarthTreks Golden Male Youth-C 14,200 11
Henry Meadows The Spot Male Youth-C 13,900 12
Boston Dunlap Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-C 13,800 13
Liam Sullivan Male Youth-C 13,500 14
Lewis McGowan BRC Male Youth-C 13,500 15
Ben Bicknell Team BRC Male Youth-C 13,300 16
Jack Petterson EarthTreks Golden Male Youth-C 13,000 17
Luke Lowe Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-C 11,200 18
Sergio Delgado Male Youth-C 10,100 19
Christopher Mentzer Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-C 9,600 20
First Name Last Name Team Name Gender Category Total Points Place
Benjamin Dantas Vail Athletic Club Male Youth-D 18,000 1
Sam Kuepper Team BRC Male Youth-D 17,700 2
Lukas Bergsten Vail Athletic Club Male Youth-D 15,800 3
Kaitek Johnston Team BRC Male Youth-D 15,700 4
Austin Reitz City Rock Male Youth-D 15,200 5
Patrick Dobranowski Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-D 13,800 6
Jackson Turner Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-D 12,400 7
St. John Tsuno-Wayne Team BRC Male Youth-D 11,900 8
Finn McDaniel Team ABC Male Youth-D 11,600 9
Dawson Bauer Team BRC Male Youth-D 11,600 9
Connor Falk Vail Athletic Club Male Youth-D 11,600 11
Evan Kuepper Team ABC Male Youth-D 11,100 12
Tyler Corcoran BRC Male Youth-D 10,300 13
Calvin Meymaris ABC Male Youth-D 8,400 14
Zachary Hurd Rock’n & Jam’n Male Youth-D 3,600 15
First Name Last Name Team Name Gender Category Total Points Place
Zach Vose Male Adult 19,800 1
Jeffrey Miller Male Adult 17,200 2
Justin Doss Male Adult 13,800 3
First Name Last Name Team Name Gender Category Total Points Place
Matthew Dalton Male Open 21,200 1

We Are Climbing

After months of work we are psyched to go live with our new video. Peep it here:

Shooting the video was fun and it was awesome to see so many of our customers show up to be a part of it. The folks at Mind Frame Cinema ran the show like the well-oiled movie-making machine they are, and pizza and PBR were enjoyed by all. The number of hours that went into creating a one minute clip is staggering, though hard work paid off and the final result is something we can all be proud of.

Why did we make the video? We wanted to show everyone how much we care about climbing, how much it permeates our lifestyle and way of thinking. Most of all we wanted to highlight the community that has both built our gyms and been built by our gyms, as well as other facilities across the Front Range. The Mind Frame Cinema brain trust have a long history with RJ, as do all the climbers, employees, and former employees featured within the video.

Co-owner Anna Parker puts it best:

“I wasn’t quite sure what the end result would be. But, now that it’s said and done, it really came through with a clear message. Every time I watch it, I feel humbled and proud at the same time. I would assume that some people go a lifetime not being part of a close-knit community. That being said, we came to Colorado following a dream and what we found was a group of really awesome people. And that group isn’t just limited to R&J staff and members and friends, but also everyone we’ve gotten to share a story with. The video reminds me of who we are, what we do, and the passion for a sport that we all love: climbing. I want to thank everyone again who were involved in making it.”

Well said, Anna. Well said.


How Not to Look Like A Newbie, Volume One

Perception is everything. No matter what you were told by your first grade teacher, books are always judged by their cover. Sure, that initial judgement is subject to change when more information is gathered, but a first impression is still a very powerful thing.

With that in mind, here is the first installment of an ongoing series designed to help you not look like a total dweeb at the gym or crag.

Exhibit A: the chalk bag

There is a reason all chalk bags have a belt loop, and that reason is not so you can clip it off to the side on a random gear loop. The chalk bag should be worn around the waist, secured by some sort of belt device (accessory cord, shoe string, nylon belt, etc.) and positioned at the small of your back, providing an equal opportunity for each hand to reach it. And for crying out loud, make sure the dang thing is open!


Exhibit B: the bare feet

This should be a no-brainer, for several reasons. Number one, no one else wants to see your nasty climber feet. Gross. The floors are dirty enough as is, pal, so put those things away. Number two, you don’t want your own feet co-existing with the unidentifiable communal funk that inhabits the surface of every floor. Number three, you need to stand on your toes to climb well, so why increase the risk of bashing your feet on a rock or dropping a quickdraw on your freshly pedicured phalanges? Think of shoes as stylish foot helmets that have the added benefit of protecting future significant others from the sight of your gnarly tootsies.


Exhibit C: the bling

Rings, watches, droopy necklaces and hoopy earrings…take ’em off! The only thing a watch can do while you are climbing is break and any other fashionable accoutrements can only get stuck/pinned/caught/pinched/crushed and cause grievous bodily harm and/or disfigurement.

Exhibit D: the harness

First of all, a harness should never be worn while bouldering. Never ever. This is cardinal sin. Second of all, the harness is not where you keep all your climbing crap; that is what a pack is for. A harness should only carry the tools necessary for the task at hand. So if you are in a gym, there should be NOTHING on your harness. Not a nut tool, not a roll of tape, definitely not a chalkbag clipped to a gear loop (see Exhibit A), not a daisy chain girth hitched to your belay loop, not three prussiks and half a rack of quickdraws…


a thought occurred to me as i was driving away from a local climbing area today: are certain climbing areas really good because they truly are that good, or are they only good because you live within a close proximity to them?

there are a few places that pop into my head as being truly amazing climbing areas. first on my personal list is the red river gorge, in eastern kentucky. when i lived in west lafayette, indiana, going to school at purdue university, i would skip class and drive the four hours just for a day of climbing. i’ve driven solo from denver to the red (18 hours drive time, with a two hour “power nap”), for a 10 day trip. i climbed 9 of those 10 days, and it was worth every minute and every mile. i have never regretted going there and i doubt i ever will.

another area that sticks out in my mind is yosemite. trad, sport, bouldering, big wall, “the valley” has it all! everything you could want is there, and people come from all over the world to sample the rock. lucky are the ones that also happen to live close by…or luckier still, the dying breed of the “valley rat” finding ways to squat and survive living within the park. but you plan big trips around yosemite, most people don’t just “pop in”. the few trips that i took there, i drove many hours with friends in a haze of cigarette smoke and coffee just to have a shot at climbing those monolithic granite domes.

also near and dear to my heart is rifle. i feel lucky to be so close to it, but i would gladly drive long distances to spend a good chunk of time there. in fact, every summer there is always an influx of strong dirtbag climbers from all corners of the country that live in the canyon. hell, in 2011 i was one of them. as far as sport climbing is concerned, it’s one of the best places to really test your mettle (as long as you climb under 5.15a). there is such a high concentration of difficult climbs, and such varied styles within the small and narrow canyon, that you shouldn’t get bored. everything is crazy convenient, with no approaches or hikes. you get to climb hard and be lazy at the same time. win-win situation if you ask me.

on the flip side, there are areas that are good because you live so close to them. the first one in this category that i can think of is clear creek canyon, just west of golden. i love clear creek. i have climbed more times there than probably any other area. but let’s be honest, if it wasn’t 30 minutes away from denver, it wouldn’t be a destination. not by a long shot. however, it allows you to get after-work sessions during the summers, quick training sessions on real rock, and offers hard enough routes to allow us normal climbers to push our limits. it’s a great place to have in our backyard, but world class?

now i know i’m going to take a lot of heat for this next one (DISCLAIMER: i am a wiener of a trad climber, and if given the choice, i will always choose to clip a bolt before i plug gear. i do plug said gear from time to time, more for an active rest day than to push my limits. take the following with a large grain of salt and a bit of humor), but another area that falls within the “good by proximity” category (for me) is eldorado canyon state park. i know that it is very historically significant, and don’t get me wrong, 9 times out of 10 i do have a lot of fun there. but i personally don’t think it’s as good as it was hyped up to be. the rock quality and overall size just didn’t live up to the mythical expectations i had in my own head. if it was any further away, i don’t know if i’d ever go. i’ll put it this way, if i had to drive the same distance that i drive to rifle (three hours worth), eldo wouldn’t be a thing to me. but being right outside boulder, it’s very convenient, and you can climb a lot of different terrain.

so i’m curious to know if you agree or disagree with any of my picks. or comment with your own favorites. or local haunts that wouldn’t be worth a sizable drive. we want to know where and why! and what’s the longest you have driven or would drive just to get your outdoor rock fix?

Hardest Moves: Part One

Essentially there are five climbing grips and four grip positions. Those would be crimps, jugs, slopers, pinches, and pockets for the grips and sidepull, downpull, gaston, and undercling for the grip positions. In today’s blog, Jamie and I will focus on the grip positions and provide examples of the hardest moves we have done off of said positions. When you are done reading, leave us a comment with the hardest moves you have done off these various grips!

RM: European Human Being has a difficult move off a poor left hand undercling crimp to a minuscule right hand crimp. Success is reliant on posting hard on the left foot and accuracy hitting the right hand. For me this is the crux of the boulder and a move I can do occasionally at best.

JG: ‘tunnel vision’ (13b) at the industrial wall on eldorado mountain has a shoulder-wrecking dynamic move from okay-ish crimps and poor feet to a 1.5 pad gaston undercling (picture here). this move was fierce (much harder for us shorties), and it left me with a crazy sore shoulder (one full week out of commission) after i sent. you have to follow this crux with 12c crimping to the anchor.

RM: The crux move of The Automator, a long-standing project of mine, involves a perfectly flat, full pad, three-finger edge that you would clip off of on a vertical 5.11. Except it is not on a vertical 5.11, it is guarding the finish of a relentlessly steep, fifteen move V13. My friend Flannery does this move on command, but I struggle to get enough push off the high right foot and am looking at a 25% success rate, if I want to be generous.

JG: see above…shoulder wrecker.

RM: Trent’s Mom has given me fits over the years. What I find to be the crux is a big move of an okay left hand sidepull slot to a decent right hand edge. The right foot is very high, the left foot is very low on a dismal smear, and it is hard for me to summon the giddy-up to achieve the right hand. I have done this move twice, in a row, on the first day I tried the problem. The first time was in isolation and the second time was on link, though I managed to fall a few moves later in easier terrain. Four or five days have been spent on this rig since then and I haven’t been able to do the move again. Chalk it up to a gigantic mental block, I guess. Sometimes mental difficulty trumps physical difficulty.

JG: my current project, ‘kinky reggae‘, at the new river wall in clear creek canyon has, by far, the hardest sidepull move i have encountered to date. you come off of a good resting jug (unfortunately the feet here are less than ideal and the angle is so steep, that i don’t really get a good rest…at least not yet) and cross your left hand over, full extension, to the kinda poor 1/2 pad, three finger, greasy, sidepull pocket. in this compromised position, you have to build your feet up stupid high then cross your right hand back over to a 1/3 pad, 2.5 finger, crimp pocket. you then have to unwind and catch a bad sidepull sloper with your left hand. these are some of the hardest moves i have ever done on a rope (if not the hardest). i have linked from the jug through these moves three times, and i don’t even want to hazard a guess as to how many times i have tried…

RM: This particular grip position is so common that it is difficult to recall the hardest move I’ve done off it, but the first that comes to mind is the last move of Clear Blue Skies. In isolation I can square up easily and the dynamic lock off is not unreasonable, but on link I find myself farther to the left than I’d like, which makes it harder to shift over and drive off of the right foot. This climb pains me in the fingers.

JG: this one is definitely tough. looking back, it was perhaps on ‘anarchitect‘ (12d) in clear creek canyon. you’ve gotten through the “true” crux already, but there’s no good place to rest. all the feet face the wrong way, and you’re taxed the entire time. if memory serves, you get set up on two “not so good” slopey holds and have to make a long lunge/dyno to another “jug” sloper. i was always so pumped by the time i got to this point, that the dyno seemed impossible. somehow i got through it once (not without shrieking and try-hard screaming) and took it to the chains. despite its “modest” grade of 12d, i don’t know if i could actually repeat this one.

the 1%

climbing grades. so subjective. so arbitrary. yet so important, even though no one wants to admit it. it’s one way of gauging our progress and validating ourselves as climbers. no one wants to climb strictly for the numbers, but let’s be honest, who doesn’t relish in the accomplishment of breaking into a new grade?

and there are definitely milestone grades. if you have sent 5.10, you probably remember the first one you did. same thing with 5.11. then there is the mythical grade of 5.12.

i still remember the first 5.12a i sent after coming back from my shoulder injury. it was a level of climbing that i didn’t think i would get back to. i would have been happy being able to project that grade. in fact, that was my goal back then, to be able to do the moves. but i found a climb in boulder canyon that suited my style, worked it for a little while, then one day i sent it. i couldn’t believe it! i thought that i had broken through some imaginary barrier…that i had accomplished something. i had reached a level that, in my head, many people don’t reach. which brings me to the question: how many people in the united states that call themselves “climbers” have climbed 5.12? what is the percentage?

let’s kick up the difficulty a notch. i remember when i sent my first 5.13a. i had been on “sonic youth” (a clear creek canyon classic!) three times previously and went down there again to work out some moves. even though i was carrying a forearm pump the likes of which i had never encountered before, i screamed and grunted my way through the final crux boulder problem and somehow clipped the chains. 5.13 was never on my radar, and i was just as surprised as anybody else that i actually sent one. it was unbelievable to me, and it took a while for this accomplishment to set in. but it again begs the question: how many people in the united states that call themselves “climbers” have climbed 5.13a? what is the percentage?

being here in the front range of colorado definitely skews our perspectives. everyone knows a lot of people that climb 5.12. everyone knows probably a handful of people that have climbed 5.13. everyone knows at least one person that has done 5.14. but we live in one of the american climbing meccas. there are so many crazy strong climbers here, that our percentages are off compared to the rest of the country. so when looking at all the “climbers” in the united states, at what grade does the “1%” apply to? in other words, what grade have only 1% of all u.s. climbers sent?

i’ll end with one final note…because we do live in an area with such a dense concentration of strong climbers, it is very important to not let your own personal accomplishments get overshadowed. climbing is hard. climbing 5.10 is, in the grand scheme of things, hard. so just because the person next to you is warming up on 5.11, don’t let that discourage you from being proud about your sends or trying hard. feel free to spray about it, because you know you did something.

And the Winners Are…

First, a big ‘thank you’ is in order for everyone who made it out to Winter Wonderland despite the frigid temperatures and frosty driving conditions. So, thank you. Second, here are the top three finishers (sometimes referred to as ‘winners’) from each category:


Colin Duffy (2168)

Mikey Lowe (1775)

Aliza Nishke (1754)

Women’s Recreational:

Jenna Park (2384 + Moonboard Climb-off)

Chelsea Battan (2384)

Men’s Recreational:

Emilio Espinoza (1627)

Women’s Intermediate:

Charise Denavit (3561)

Men’s Intermediate:

Walter Wood (4820)

Patrick Radecker (4660)

Daniel Hayes (4562)

Women’s Advanced:

Jacinda Maurer (5180)

Rochelle Rocha (3026)

Men’s Advanced:

Osiris Graves (6779)

Kevin Rust (6611)

Jamison Burt (6591)

Women’s Open:

Mercedes Pollmeier (5412)

Men’s Open:

Seth Lytton (8118 + 33 pullups)

Asher Shay-Nemirow (8118 + 24 pullups)

Jamie Emerson (7826)


Silvia Luebben (4485)

Gary DeGroat (4203)

Hillary Nitshke (2089)

Photos of all the sports action are posted on our Facebook page. Thanks again to everyone who came!

Coming Soon to an RJ Near You

Bouldering League!

Yes, fall Bouldering League is right around the corner. Starting in October, the League will be taking over the boulder at both gyms. Sign up, hang out with friends, meet some great new people, and enjoy the delectible boulder problems prepared fresh each week by our top movement chefs.

Look for more details in the coming weeks, including times, scoring format, and info on the end-of-League party!

A Red Carpet Event

It’s official, the Colorado Premiere of The Scene is September 6th at the Boulder Theater! With special guest appearances from athletes Kilian Fichhuber, Anna Stöhr , and Cody Roth. Plus, The Sheriff himself, Mr. Jamie Emerson, will be on-hand selling new copies of his RMNP and Mt. Evans Bouldering Guidebook. This is one show you can’t miss!

Doors at 7, movie at 8. Tickets $15 at the door, or $13.50 pre sale at Rockn’ & Jamn’ 1.

Check out the trailer:

East Bound and Down

According to most people I’ve talked to, I will be plunging off the edge of the world at the end of February, which is to say I’m moving to Florida. And yes, I’m aware that the only thing to boulder there are alligators. My husband and I are moving by choice, I do not have a job waiting for me there (there’ll be a homemade cookie waiting for anyone that can put in a good word for me in the Jacksonville area), and I am truly wondering how much I will miss Colorado. I have of course made friends I will never forget and had experiences that seem incomparable. But due to the condition of my feet, my interests have changed over the years and Colorado no longer offers what I feel like I need out of life. I am hoping that Florida does. Let me expound.

I recently asked several climbers in the gym why they climb. What do you get out of this? Why do you keep coming back? I got some great answers:

I climb for the adventure.

It gives me a rush.

My body craves the movement.

I am not myself without climbing.

It makes my back look good.

I don’t want to let my climbing buddy down.

And possibly my favorite –


We are all motivated by different things – health, adrenaline, spirituality, ego, peer pressure. But there’s got to be some connection we all have that keeps us doing a sport that hurts like hell, is super boring to watch, and generally gives you more days of failure than success. I don’t know what that connection is. It is the difference between people who come in the gym for an intro lesson, climb once or twice more, then never come again versus the people who come in for their first time, say nothing, but leave with what I can only describe as an aura. It’s nothing but cliché after that – something clicked, she got bit by the climbing bug, he got a case of climbing fever, etc. All the clumsy expressions amount to one thing – another climber has been added to our mix.

So while I can’t answer what unites us all, I can answer what my motivation to climb has been. For me, it’s all about being able to overcome fear. I moved to Colorado from the south as a weak, asthmatic musician with a few profoundly awkward athletic experiences under my belt (I scored a goal for the opposing soccer team once). As if moving to Boulder and being surrounded by the most physically active people I’d ever seen wasn’t scary enough, one day I was asked to go climbing in Boulder Canyon. I took to it like paisley to a bedspread. I finally found something that not only my mind but my then puny body could conquer. I stuck with routes for years, but once I started to shun ropes for crash pads, I discovered that I could put myself in far more fearful situations through bouldering than I could on a rope. Top roping was the gateway drug that eventually led to my full blown addiction to top outs. Thuggy top outs, high ball top outs, techy slab top outs, I loved them all. I loved them because I was terrified of them, but each one I completed brought me the enormous satisfaction of using my fear to succeed instead letting it dictate my life.

39Of course, the down side is when I didn’t succeed, I fell. A lot. And the falls have taken their toll on my feet. But that craving for fear that climbing created in me is still wanting to be fed. I think it was this part of me that eventually attracted me to kiting.

I have spent the majority of my hours of kiting truly frightened. The strength of a power kite is awe inspiring and intimidating. Furthermore, seeing as how I have never snowboarded, wake boarded, or even done anything that requires going fast with your feet strapped to a plank for that matter, kiting is a sport I should have no business getting in to. And yet, here I am, relishing the fear kiting produces in me and determined to overcome it. Just like climbing did for me 17 years ago. And now it’s time to move to a place where I can focus on kiting.

40Hence the move to Florida. I plan on throwing myself at kitesurfing with the same obsessive flair that I attacked climbing with. And while I will never stop climbing, it may take a backseat for a little while. The important thing is that I will never quit searching for new challenges and never give in to my fears.

41Rylan will be taking over the blog from now on and will continue to furnish you with interesting tidbits to keep you entertained and informed. Rocknamy is signing off. Keep trying hard and stop chasing your dreams – live them instead.


New RJ1 Ladies’ Night Commander-in-Chief

Hailing from the home of the first McDonald’s, Ronald Reagan and Superman, we bring you Chrissy, our new Ladies’ Night hostess with the mostess at RJ1. Please take a moment to get acquainted with her – you may never meet anyone with more enthusiasm.

Hey everybody! So you’re probably all wondering who I am and why I’m qualified to work and teach at an awesome gym like ROCK’n & JAM’n. Do I have what it takes? Will I be able to contribute? The short answer is HECK YES! Why? There are just too many reasons to mention, so I’ll try to focus on a few.

1First, I was born and raised for almost my entire life in one of the flattest, most featureless, and most corn-filled places in the entire US– you guessed it, the Land of Lincoln (and lobotomies)– The Great State of Illinois!! The entire state has less climbing gyms than the city of Boulder and for the majority of it’s citizens the closest outdoor experience they’ll ever have is a trip to the outdoor strip mall.

2Naturally, my passion for climbing and all things related THRIVED! I’m just kidding – until I got in to college I spent all of my days running and doing practically nothing else. When the climbing gym opened at my university all of my pent up desire to get involved in outdoor things was finally unleashed upon the world. I began to spend every weekend making the 3 hour drive to one of the only climbing crags in Illinois (Jackson Falls) and learned to get comfortable with ropes, carabiners, giant whippers, and sleeping on the ground (what the heck!!?).



3When I got a job working at our climbing gym at the university, I was so enthusiastic that I was awarded the “Employee of the Season” award, so don’t worry- you’re in good hands! Soon, the trips to Jackson Falls weren’t enough to satisfy my love for rock and I began making trips to more distant crags, sleeping as little as possible on the weekends in order to make that 6 hour trip to “the Red” or that 10 hour trip to “the New” and get back on time for my environmental chemistry class at 8 am Monday morning (A-!!!).

4Everyday I logged hours in the gym just waiting for the weekends when I got to get back on rock. When I graduated I was supposed to start attending medical school in Saint Louis, but instead I broke my parents hearts, packed up my Toyota Corolla and headed for greener pastures and the wild west where I have been told there are far more people who are familiar with the term “belay”. After a month long road trip to various climbing crags with my boyfriend, a route setter at ROCK’n & JAM’n, I settled in Colorado to start my awesome new outdoorsy and athletic life (Colorado don’t let me down!), because that’s how I roll.

5Now I’m just looking forward to exposure to people who climb far harder than me and I am looking to learn as much as possible and get STUPID strong. By the way, there weren’t many chick climbers in Illinois, so on that note, I am totally psyched to start leading “Ladies’ Night” to work with other women who are passionate about climbing.


Chrissy promises big things for Ladies’ Night from bouldering to routes to training. Come and let her passion for climbing infect you while meeting other fantastic ladies to climb with as well. Starting Tuesday August 31st at RJ1 from 7:00-8:30pm.

Summer Camp Recap

boy-smilingEach summer we run 3 different types of Summer Camps for kids. The first 2 levels spend a week working on learning safe belaying techniques, knot tying, basic climbing footwork, and other climbing techniques. You would be amazed at the mileage these kids put in over 5 days. Our summer camps culminate with our indoor/outdoor camp.
little-boyThe indoor outdoor camp spends the first 2 days indoors learning about the differences between indoor and outdoor climbing. They talk about things like anchors, general trail and climbing etiquite, using a grigri, rock falls, and how to stay calm when you cannot figure out your sequence, etc. For the remainder of the week, the kids spend 5 hours outside baking in the sun but having a great time at areas such as Table Mountain and Castlewood Canyon. This year the kids bravely battled 90+ degree days with little complaint. They climbed with determination in spite of the oppressing conditions. Assuming they keep that “try hard” level up, we look forward to seeing some exciting things from these kids.

Now that our summer camps are over, we will be starting our Youth Programs back up at the end of the month. Kids Can Belay Too (8-11 year olds) will kick off on Friday August 20th and our Youth School (12-18 year olds) festivities will commence the week after on Wednesday August 25th. For more information, call 303-climb99. Class sizes are limited, so call and reserve your space today.

Christopher Palmer Pratt – Setter and Strength Trainer

While we are sad to see the Pizem’s go, we are equally excited that Chris Pratt (affectionately referred to as Chrispy) will be running our circuit training on Tuesday and Thursday nights. You may have met him in the boulder already, but in case you haven’t, he wrote a little something about himself for you:

I was born in De Smet, SD but have lived in the suburbs of Denver since I was two. After graduating from Northglenn High School in 2007 I worked a few jobs here and there when I got introduced to climbing. I was hooked instantly after a few visits to ROCK’n & JAM’n and a mind blowing experience in Eldorado canyon. I took to climbing very quickly. I climbed at ROCK’n & JAM’n for two hours a session three to five days a week working the problems till my bones were bruised. Flapper after flapper, move after move I worked my way into more difficult problems.

red-cliffAfter a about two years of building my love for climbing, R&J’s head route setter, Brendan Aiken, asked if I had an interest in setting for them. The flexibility of the schedule couldn’t have been better for school and the opportunity to learn more about the sport was more than enough. My first position at R&J was “hold refurbishing and conditioner”. In spring of 2009 I started setting routes full time. My skill in route setting slowly developed and, over time, I believe to have become a fairly adept setter. I was recently involved in a setting clinic lectured by Chris Danielson, a well venerated setter from Boulder, CO, and he has set for comps all over for regionals and nationals. Some of my biggest structural thoughts about climbing and setting really changed with what he had to show and say.

chispy-climbR&J always offers a very welcoming atmosphere and a strong community of climbers from all different levels of experience. Watching people grow and develop from the problems and routes we set has made quite a positive impact on my life – one that I hope to see continually grow. For the last few months, Rob and Jane Pizem have been running a training and conditioning program through the gym at a very fair price ($5 for 30 minutes). They will be relocating next month due to new job opportunities and will no longer be able to run the training classes. I have been working with Rob and Jane closely and will be taking over the circuit training from now on. This style of training is a terrific way to get stronger and climb harder. I’ve personally seen myself and others gain leaps and bounds in climbing through circuit training and I’m eager to help others realize their full potential in climbing.


Come check out Chrispy’s circuit training – 6:30 & 7:00pm at RJ1 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Only $5 will get you in shape and climbing stronger. Check it out!

Ladies Night at RJ

The ladies have been crankin’ at both gyms! If you haven’t checked it out, our Ladies Night is every Wednesday from 7-8:30pm at both gyms. In this hour and a half we aim to encourage one another, develop our skills and crush as many routes and problems as we can. The only cost is entry into the gym and no experience is necessary!! An evening of fun, friendly, female fortified climbing awaits you!