Construction has Started and Members are Joining!
Following last month’s reported groundbreaking ceremony, we have finally passed through the gauntlet of the Denver Building Department and have our building permits in hand. Construction has already started with fences going up and earthwork being the first task at hand. There is quite a ways to go of course before we open, but the light at the end of the tunnel is now visibly in site. For regular updates and photos of our progress like us on Facebook or Instagram.
In parallel with construction, we continue to offer our First Ascent Membership to all that want to be there the day we open. Our Price for Life membership benefit that is offered to just our first 250 First Ascent Members is selling quickly, but there is still opportunities to join and receive some other pretty incredible benefits! First Ascent members pay their initiation fee at time of enrollment and won’t be billed for their first month’s membership dues until we have our Grand Opening in Spring 2017. You can attend one of our membership signup events or by contacting us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Member Spotlight: Simpson Family
In mid-June, James Simpson and his 12 year-old-son Owen, climbed Cathedral Peak, just to the east of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Following a 3-mile approach through Tuolumne Meadows, they roped up to ascend the 1,300 foot granite spire, surrounded by stunning views of the high Sierras. In preparation for Cathedral Peak, this father and son duo climbed the 1st Flatiron, Owen’s first and only multi-pitch climbing experience before California.
As they ventured higher up the rock face and their backpacks became tiny specs below, Owen slowly warmed to the idea of being suspended hundreds of feet off ground. Understandably tense, James eased his son’s nerves by ‘keeping Owen focussed on the process, making sure that he checked his knots, communicated, kept moving. Yes, the summit is way above us, but all you need is to focus on is the next 80 feet. Climbing a 1,500 foot spire feels insurmountable if you try to digest the whole experience at once”, says James. He adds, “the beauty of climbing is that it forces you to ‘be in the moment’, nothing else matters, only what’s happening right in front of you. Being engaged like that, it’s a beautiful thing.” When they topped out on the summit, they were both ‘over the moon’.
This experience was two decades in the making, many years before James’ son was born, back when he was a new student at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. As a freshman, James met a great climbing community where, “everyone was very inclusive, whether you’d climbed for 20 years, or it was your first day at the crag, you were looked after.” James reflects, “it was a safe place to learn and to push yourself, to achieve breakthroughs, if you knew someone who was heading to the crag, you could join them, it wasn’t elitist or competitive.”
Now that spontaneous trips to the mountains are more difficult to pull off, James is looking to re-create an ‘inclusive’ climbing community right here NE Denver. James hopes that Übergrippen will renew his passion for climbing and build on the confidence his son has gained from trips to Boulder and Yosemite. Most important to James are connections made through a climbing partnership. “Climbing is different than biking, skiing or anything else. You’ve got someone on the end of the rope, the only way to climb is do it with someone else. It’s such a great way to spend time as a family, with my son, my wife and hopefully to meet people in our community.”