Large climbing gym opens in Eagle County
EAGLE — Eagle County now has a climbing gym that can stand up to any in the nation.
Eagle Climbing + Fitness, a 10,500 square foot gym located on Chambers Avenue in Eagle, opened on Saturday to rave reviews.
The gym is the brainchild of local Larry Moore, Rick Patriacca and Dave Dantas. Dantas and Patriacca built the facility, while Moore provided the concept.
Moore said he was most inspired by the Movement Climbing + Fitness gyms on the Front Range. Nationally-recognized rock climber and Boulder architect Jamie Logan, who designed those gyms, was a consultant on Eagle Climbing + Fitness.
“We worked with some of the best people in the industry to create something that would be world class,” Moore said.
8 YEAR EFFORT
Moore has been coaching climbing in Eagle County for 16 years. In that time he got a sense of what the community needed, and over the last eight years sought to create a facility like Eagle Climbing + Fitness.
The 10,500 square foot facility has 8,500 square feet dedicated to climbing, with the remaining areas dedicated to yoga and fitness areas.
The smallest space for climbing, an area known as the jungle gym where kids as young as three can come and take lessons, is actually bigger than the space the Moore’s climbing team used to occupy in their former training location.
Their training area at the Vail Athletic Club was the smallest in the nation, but it served the team well for many years.
“They’ve done exceptionally well, we’ve been taking kids to the national championships for the last 15 years.” Moore said.
In the new space, the possibilities are immense.
“We have more climbing surfaces, more variety, a modern climbing wall, an amazing custom training area with one-of-a-kind adjustable training devices where you can change the angle of the wall from 15 to 45 degrees, incredible climbing and training opportunities that we’ve never been able to experience,” Moore said.
The local climbing team, once capped at 75 kids, can now accept new members.
Nevertheless, the new gym will be shared with the community, so the climbing team could still see a cap if its size starts to effect the guest experience for members of the general public.
Hundreds visited the facility for its grand opening on Saturday, Nov. 10. The idea was to put the facility to the test, and see how it stands up to crowds. With free climbing, free food and free swag, the community turned out.
“At one point, we may have had 250 people in here at once,” Moore said. “It may have felt a little crowded because we didn’t have all of our spaces open, but it went smoothly and we had great experiences going on all around. We were pleasantly surprised by home many people we were able to accommodate.”
Moore gave away swag including shirts that bore the Kind Design “Live Like Logan” logo, an homage to local Logan Jauernigg, one of Moore’s star students who was killed in a kayaking accident in 2015.
A close friend of Jauernigg’s, local climber and kayaker Garrett Funk, attended the grand opening on Saturday. Funk, who grew up in Eagle-Vail, called Eagle Climbing + Fitness a dream come true for Eagle County.
“Heading into winter it’s going to be an amazing way to keep yourself in shape for the upcoming season outdoors,” Funk said.
USA Climbing will hold a bouldering competition at Eagle Climbing + Fitness on Nov. 17, and on Nov. 30 the gym will host the local premiere of The North Face’s film Reel Rock 13. The event will double as a fundraiser for the Live Like Logan foundation, which seeks to help children with financial need to explore non-traditional sports like climbing.
For more information about Eagle Climbing + Fitness, climbing lessons or membership opportunities at the new gym, visit eagleclimbing.com.
Rita’s two closest peers have climbed the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak 21 times each, but both of them have retired from mountain climbing.