Changing How We Think about Discovering Climbing

Changing How We Think about Discovering Climbing

In the Beginning

When Treadstone opened three years ago, we knew we were entering an untapped climbing market. Columbus is not Denver or Salt Lake City, where people have built a culture around the mountains and the cliffs. And Columbus isn’t Atlanta or Orlando, where there is a large melting pot of residents who have experienced outdoor climbing elsewhere, and who know how important it is to have a climbing gym as major part of their fitness lifestyle … even if mountains and cliffs are faraway places to which they still travel. In short, we knew we would be creating a climbing culture nearly from scratch in Columbus.

Our answer to that was what we call the “Discovery Climb” (or “Disco Climb”). It was a term borrowed from aviation, where new flight students take a “Discovery Flight” with an instructor. Little teaching occurs on most of those flights. It’s just a fun way to discover the joy of flight while the instructor held the controls most of the time. That was in keeping with what we wanted to do with our Disco Climb. Our concept in the beginning was: “because you don’t know how to belay, you can rent an instructor to belay for you for an hour.”


As we went on, though, the Disco Climb became a catch-all. We started using that format to address several “New Client” needs at once. We would ring up nearly any such visitor as a “Disco” if they just wanted more help – with pretty much anything. For example, one new visitor might need a “Belay Squire” for an hour. Another might want to learn how to belay. Another might want some technique or training help. And still another might need some help in learning to operate a climbing gym – reading the tape and the start cards, understanding how to strategize their training, etc. All of this, we would ring up as a Discovery Climb, and put them with an instructor. In fact, we got to where we were trying to pack in to one hour quite a lot of information. Our Climbing Pros are up to it, but it could be pretty overwhelming for visitors.

In addition, one of the key things we started to realize was that – because Columbus has a lot of people who are unfamiliar with climbing – most people viewed us as either a “bucket list” activity, or as an activity that you do infrequently … such as zip lining or rafting. Many people didn’t know that – when used correctly – a climbing gym is a daily fitness answer. They didn’t know that the fun factor makes climbing one of the easiest regular fitness plans to stick with … and sticking with fitness is how you spell Resolution success.

A new visitor can look around and see people climbing, but without a context for what they’re watching, all they can really be expected to see is a bunch of people moving around on the walls. They might well recognize that this is healthy, but wouldn’t know how to read the multi-colored tape, or the route cards, or the separate bouldering cards; how to cardio climb; how to climb for fitness; how to master Treadstone’s Three Essential Climbing Techniques; how to climb for power vs. endurance vs. stamina; how to start training for climbing vs. climbing; what it means to onsight or redpoint or send a route or a boulder problem; or even how to strategize a methodical approach to working one’s way through the grades; and so much more.

If they didn’t know any of that, then they were likely to still feel like they were floundering on subsequent visits – lacking direction. Clients need from us A Path to climbing and fitness success. And here it is …

Our Level I Classes for 2017

We have broken down what new climbers need into three distinct services. They are all on our Classes Page and you can Book Them Online Here Right Now

    • Discovery Climb: This service is for people with little or no experience. Make an appointment to rent a Crew Member to handle the ropes (belay) for you and up to two other people for one hour. Prereqs: None. Drop-ins welcome but are subject to Crew Member availability.
    • Belay Class: This is how we teach you and your climbing partner how to handle your own ropes to safety each other (“to belay”). Your belay training opens up all of the top ropes in The Gym to you, and you will be self-sufficient on all your subsequent visits. All gear is included. Prereqs: None. Ability Levels: All
    • Intro Class: Intro level climbing techniques and general knowledge. Put the climbing gym into context. Learn Treadstone’s Three Essential Climbing Techniques. Learn how to read the colored tape scheme and route cards. Learn the difficulty grades – and the difference between bouldering vs. route climbing. Learn how to train methodically in a climbing gym so that you can integrate it into your daily fitness lifestyle. Become conversant in the culture and lingo that make climbing the adventure that it is. Learn why it’s so important to know the difference between climbing vs. training for climbing. Learn what to focus on for where you are on The Path. And most importantly, find out how climbing is a perfect fit for your entire family. Prereqs: Belay certification. Ability Levels: All. Most 5.12 (expert) climbers even have several gaps that this class addresses.
    • Other Classes Too many to list here, but some example include:
      • Mondays with Marc: Climbing and Fitness Classes
      • Tues / Thurs Coaching: For Youth or Adults
      • Morning Fitness Classes
      • Too Many Other Classes to list here

Resolution Membership Packages are Always the Best Deals of The Year

Click here to buy our 2017 Resolution Membership deals online now. They are only going on until January 15. They include additional free months tacked on, free “First Time Friend” passes, AND free Class Passes! So we are making it a no-brainer to get started, get you plugged into these classes, bring friends in, and equip you to succeed long-term. Regular pricing and packages return January 16, so be sure to get your Resolution Membership today.

On tomorrow’s blog post we will be talking about the Level II classes … and the Everest Club that will give you some tangible goals to keep you on The Path.

Y’all have a Blessed day!

– Marc sends

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.