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Local gym takes fitness and community to new heights

Longmont Climbing Collective’s vision for Longmont is to get fit, have fun and make friends.

Longmont Climbing Collective’s vision for Longmont is to get fit, have fun and make friends.

Set beside the Pratt Street Bridge, Longmont Climbing Collective, or LCC, is a little different than the usual suspects, with a focus on community and fitness to support climbers. And not a rope in sight.

LCC is a bouldering gym, with shorter routes up the mock faces a safe distance from the ground. Thick mats, called crashpads, cover the floors around the climbing structures to make falling safer.

“We wanted to be in the heart of Longmont, and this space made the most sense. We also like the set-up of a bouldering gym for training, not just for bouldering but for sport climbing as well,” said Taylor Rimmer, membership and fitness coordinator for LCC.

Rimmer said the social and customer service aspect has been a fundamental aspect of the gym’s development. LCC wants to be a welcoming place for newcomers.

“You’re going to feel welcome, and not like the person at the front desk is some local crusher that’s looking down on you,” Rimmer said. “And what I love about this town, our members sell the gym for us. People will interact with you, they’ll talk to you and help you.”

Jo Williams, a member of the LCC for around two-and-a-half years, climbs and practices yoga at the gym five days a week.

“The community is great and there are plenty of programs to get you started with yoga and climbing,” Williams said. “It is intimidating, and that’s okay. I’m scared of heights but I still do it.”

The Collective has worked hard to earn its 5 Star Certification through Boulder County, to make sure the gym could remain a healthy environment for its membership.

“Our member base was really pleased by how we handled the COVID pandemic, and how we took it seriously right from the beginning,” Rimmer said. “We got masks (for our staff) before the county or state mandated it, and maybe it’s a chicken or egg situation but when we got the certification we also saw our business building back up to the point before the pandemic.”

LCC opened in 2018, having celebrated their third anniversary this past March. The trifecta — yoga, fitness and climbing — are practices they take seriously. The gym offers instruction and classes for all levels, from beginner to expert. Rimmer said their Intro to Bouldering class has been one of LCC’s consistently popular offerings over the years, along with the yoga classes. In addition, they offer strength and skills training, a competitive bouldering league and a variety of social events.

“A lot of new climbers join (the league) because they realize it’s chill, it’s not that competitive and people just have fun,” Rimmer said.

“I had my first yoga class ever (at the Collective), about a year and a half ago. Now I come to at least two classes a week, it’s been great,” said Pat Hinterberger, a LCC member.

“We’ve become a staple of the community,” said Mack Maier, one of LCC’s owners. “Membership is higher than it’s ever been since the pandemic, we’re amazed at the new faces we see every day.“

“Think about the social aspects of a climbing gym too. With a rope gym, every few feet there’s a rope hanging down. The two climbers will claim it, it’s theirs, and you sort of leave them alone,” Rimmer said. “Whereas in a bouldering gym you jump on and off, everyone’s taking turns, interacting while they’re resting on the pads. It’s way more social, more of a fun group dynamic for a gym.”

LCC is family-friendly, encouraging kids of all ages to learn climbing. There are bouldering summer camps, youth clubs and even a parent’s night out on Fridays. 

“We’ve got plans for a full-service gym with ropes and the works out near Sandstone Ranch, we’ll break ground in October and have it open in a couple years,” Maier said. “We want to embody even more of the community, since not all climbers want bouldering, they want the ropes too.”