Welcome to the official Minnesota Climbing Cooperative blog. The Co-op blog was created for sharing information about the climbing community and starting positive conversation among climbers from around Minnesota.

If you would like more information about the Co-op, please visit our main site, mnclimbingcoop.com.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Climbing, Legos, Art, and Discount Passes!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, January 8th, from 4-7 pm as we will be hosting an open house event in the Thorp space. A number of local artists will have their work on display for sale at the event. Why the 8th you ask? Well the 8th just so happens to fall within the two weeks we are having our limited time sale for access passes at the $250 mark. That way you'll be able to purchase a pass, hang out with friends, check out the space, see if you can find any art that sparks your interest, and see the enormous lego collection!

What? Lego collection. Why yes! Our neighbors at Brick World happen to have a very large lego collection. Lynn made a video of the enormous collection while viewing our space a while back, and it is entertaining and impressive. The lego collection is open from noon to 4pm, which happens to be right before our open house event, which goes from 4pm to 7pm. So come early, check out the legos, and then head on over to the MN Climbing Coop space!

As there will be art, and climbing passes for sale, don't forget to bring your checkbooks! If you want to send your check with a friend, we'll update the post with all the information you'll need to send along.

A note regarding the purchase of access passes: All money from the sale of access passes will go into a escrow account and will only be spent on running costs once the gym officially opens it's doors. This means that if the Gym does not open by July 1st, 2011, all of your money you spent on your 1 year access pass will be returned to you by August 1st. Once the gym does open it's doors, your pass will be good for one year from the date the doors open.

If you are interested in contributing money to help us get our doors open, as this is not part of the 1 year pass sale, please use the "Donate" button on our blog, or on our website. If you have questions about contributing to the MN Climbing Co-op, please contact one of the board members, or send an email to info at mnclimbingcoop dot com and we can help you out.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

250 Bucks for a Whole Year?!

That's right folks. We've re-ran our numbers and boy-o-boy do we have a deal for you!

We will be able to offer one year passes for $250 for a limited time. If you miss the first deal, you'll be able to get a pass for $270 for a limited time after that. If you miss both of those, then you'll be able to get a pass at the standard rate of $350 per year, or $60 per month.

Just to make sure this is absolutely clear:
  • $250, 1 Year Access Pass on sale January 1st - January 16th 2011
  • $270, 1 Year Access Pass on sale January 17th - January 31st 2011
  • $350, 1 Year Access Pass anytime after that
  • $60, 1 Month Access Pass anytime after that
If you did not purchase a one-time membership for $20 (probably at the comp) you'll need to purchase one at the time you get your access pass. It's just like the one-time membership fee to REI. Buy it once, and you're good for as long as you frequent the Gym.

Because the access passes will go on sale before our build out is complete, we will hold all of the money in escrow and we will not spend it until the we pass inspection and the doors are officially opened. If anything should possibly happen where we are unable to open the gym, 100% of your money you spent on that access pass will be refunded to you. We certainly thought of everything, didn't we?

Where can you purchase your pass (and membership if you need one)? We'll have a few options for you. We are planning to have a showing at the new space during the first two week of the sale and you'll be able to purchase one in person then. We'll also be able to buy one from at least one of the board members in person, we'll figure out the details on that soon. We also will have an online PayPal purchasing option for those who would rather buy their membership in front of the warm glow of the computer screen. Now because PayPal charges us 3%, we'll be passing that fee on to you if you so choose to purchase your pass that way. If you don't want to pay the extra 3%, you can contact us and we'll figure out how you can get a check to us.

More details to come...

What We Learned About Zoning

Ah, this has been an long process of learning many new things. One thing we learned as of late is that of city zoning regulations. After talking with the city and our architect, we discovered that the space at Como and 280 could not pass the barrage of city regulations. It seemed we were more excited about the structure of the space than little things like sprinkler systems, bathrooms, and exit doors. We looked into renovating the space, but the costs quickly added up and we deemed it to be too expensive.

From this we realized that we needed to find a new location, and that we did!

The new location is actually in the same building that we looked at in the very beginning. This space is in the Thorp BOHM building at 1620 Central Ave and it is ready to go! Some of you may have seen pictures of similar spaces in this building previously on this blog. This particular space is not shown on that blog post, but is now being considered the primary choice for us to build in. At 2,660 square feet, we can operate out gym under much more lenient restrictions from the city. This means that all of our money can go into the gym itself, and not into infrastructure. This space also offers the best steel structure to build off of. It is very similar in construction to the 2554 Como Ave space, minus the first lower wing at the entrance, but adds huge bridge crane rails that can support any structure that we could imagine.

We are working with an architect, who is also a climber, to help us through the compliance process with the city. We may not open in January, but we are working hard to be waist deep in building materials by then! For those of you who are interested in helping during the build out, the time is coming, and we will let you know as soon as we are ready!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thanks to all who came to the Comp

Thanks to all who attended the comp on Saturday! It was a huge success. We were able to sign up the first of the members of the Co-op, and we raised some money to help us get on our way to opening day.

We couldn't have done it with out you. We also certainly lucked out on the beautiful weather. Everything turned out very well.

Congratulations to Chris Bolden dressing up as a Chicken and winning Best Costume

Congratulations to the Competition Winners:
  1. Clara James
  2. Brittney Peterson
  3. Amy Heairet
  1. Josh Buzice
  2. Sean Foster
  3. Ryan Cowel

For more pictures from the comp, please visit our web site. Thank!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Last minute information for the Comp today

If you are under 18, you will need to have your parent/guardian sign TWO waivers.
One waiver is for Lynn and Kris' backyard as they are hosting the fundraiser
The second is the waiver for climbing at a MN Climbing Co-op event

Both waivers are available on the web site (at the bottom)

If your parent or guardian will not be with you, you'll have to have them sign them both, and write their address, phone numbers, and relation to you on the waiver.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Closer to the The First F***'n Fantastically Fun Fall Flash Fest

It's almost time for the First F***'n Fantastically Fun Fall Flash Fest, and we some updates for you!

  • There will be a prize for best costume, so be creative!

  • The cost to get into the competition will be $20. Cash or check at the door.

  • Now that we have officially filed with the state, we will be able to begin selling memberships at the competition. The fee to become a member of the co-op is $20 per our bylaws. We are only able to accept cash, or checks at this time.

  • Alex Johnson, by way of 5.10 shoes, will be running a shoe demo for the soon to be released 5.10 Quantum climbing shoes. Awesome!

  • As is seems there will be a lot of people, we ask that you bring lawn chairs, camp chairs, or something to sit on so you can be comfortable when you are not climbing.

  • If you have a crash pad, bring it. The softer the landing, the better for everyone.

Be sure to check the facebook page for the latest, up to the minute information.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Co-op meeting at the new gym!

The Minnesota Climbing Co-op is meeting this Sunday, Oct 3rd, at 6:00pm at the potential location of our new gym (currently in lease negotiation now). All climbers and friends are welcome to come take a look at the space, find out more about the Co-op, and get on our members list.

We plan to share a summary review of the Articles of Information and the Bylaws, followed by a short question and answer/feedback session. There is still a ton of work to do and true member involvement is what will make this really succeed. Please come out and show your support, get info, and see our awesome gym space. Thanks and hope to see you there,
Your friends at the MN Climbing Co-opSunday, October 3rd
6:00 pm
2554 Como Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108
(in the parking lot behind Station 280)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The First F***'n Fantastically Fun Fall Flash Fest




Kris & Lynn's
2201 Lambert Ave
Mound's View, MN

Hey, remember that awesome bouldering competition we had back in July to benefit the Minnesota Bouldering Co-op? Yeah? Well, we're having another one! This one even has a name with lots of alliteration, isn't that just special?
All the proceeds from this comp will help us pay our lawyer and get started on finally building the gym.

As always, all levels of climbers are welcome-- our famously complicated half skill/half luck scoring system makes it possible for anyone to win, and we'll have sweet prizes for men's and women's divisions, as well as a random raffle.

$20 lets you spend this delightful fall afternoon brutally crushing phenomenal problems, and we'll be sure to keep your bellies full of refreshments and schwag. Well, we probably won't make you eat the raffle items. But we will give away tons of good stuff.

Come on out, bring your friends and lovers. Don't have any friends or lovers? Well, meet some new ones here!

Bring some warm clothes; this is an outdoor comp, donchaknow. Friction on plastic outside is good this time of year, right? We'll have tarps to string up, so this is happening rain or shine.

More @: facebook

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Countdown Begins!

Welcome, from the Minnesota Climbing Co-op!



Hey fellow climbers – if you haven't already heard, there's a new climbing Co-op forming in the Twin Cities. And we're so excited we just couldn't wait to tell you all about it!

First off, we want to thank all of you who have joined our mission on Facebook and become followers on the blog; and a special thanks to the climbers who came out strong for the Pension For Tension fundraising competition in July. Everyone's support has really been encouraging in this effort.

If you haven't heard about the Co-op yet...here's your chance!

Your gym, My gym, OUR gym...

This won’t be your typical climbing gym. The term Co-op stands for cooperative; that means everyone working together for the greater good. That is the core foundation of our group. Every member will own a share of this gym's success; and every member will benefit from the great climbing atmosphere.

Our goal is to create a climbing gym, built by climbers, run by climbers, that caters directly to climbers. Initially, this will be a bouldering gym, but we intend to expand to ropes as the popularity of the gym grows. We want to establish a positive environment with a great sense of community that really builds the sport, and provides the opportunity to train and develop alongside some of the best climbers around.

Some of our gym’s highlights will include:

· Convenient, centralized location near the U of M

· 24/7 access for members

· A say in how your gym is run

· Membership dividends

· 4000+ square foot facility

· All levels of climbing offered (beginner to advanced)

· Open hours to bring friends/non-members climbing

· Positive, inspiring and fun social scene

Co-op, here we come!

In September, we will formally and legally establish the Co-op.

Right now we have an interim board of directors, made up of committed climbers that meet regularly, who are working out all the details so that we can build the best climbing experience for you. We've written a comprehensive set of bylaws and laid the groundwork for the organization of the Co-op that will soon be approved by our lawyer and ratified by everyone who decides to become a member.

We just found a great space right near the U of M that we think is perfect! After the Co-op is officially entitled, we can lease the location, start building the walls, and prepare for our anticipated January 2011 grand opening!

Make a commitment, make a difference...

Since this is a Co-op, we need people who are committed to building something great together, and that means we need everyone to consider making a financial commitment to the Co-op. We need an estimated $35,000 to build the gym. And until we know how much you can contribute, we can't move forward.

If you are interested in this one-of-a-kind gym experience, we ask that you take an earnest look at your personal finances and make a conscientious investment in your climbing future. If you can only afford to become a regular member and buy the annual membership (the cost of which will depend on the number of people who join), that's great! We're excited to have you!! But if you can also be an investor in the Co-op, you'll be the ones who make this vision a reality.

The beauty of the Co-op structure is that those who invest in it will have their investment returned as the gym grows. We want to be honest with you, so that you understand the risk involved in pursuing an endeavor like this. But we will do everything in our power to pay back your investment in a timely manner, as long as it's financially responsible for the Co-op to do so.

Think about it...if just 35 of us could commit to investing $1000 each, we could build an awesome wall 60' wide by 12' tall in a great location.

Climbing + Sharing = Co-op!

...that's our motto. This Co-op is going to be a great place where you can climb strong and share the experience with others in a unique gym that is built specifically for you!

Does this sound like the kind of place you want to climb? It’s easy to join…

Membership – To be added to our members list, please send your name, address, and phone number to mnboulderingcoop@gmail.com. This is a non-binding list, but we want to know if you're on board today! This way we can keep you up to date on important meetings and happenings within the Co-op. Membership dues are still being calculated, but we're estimating around $50 a month to start. It all depends on how many of you want in - the more who join, the cheaper it gets!

Investment – There is absolutely no obligation to invest, but remember we can't build this Co-op without your help. Along with your membership info, please include a dollar amount that you could pledge to this cause (again, non-binding) so that we can determine how much total investment we have. The amount you pledge is completely confidential and will not be shared with anyone else. The Co-op has already gotten $11,000 pledged, but we need to hit that $35,000 mark!

Stay Connected

Check out our blog: http://blog.mnclimbingcoop.com and become a follower or visit our Facebook page: http://tinyurl.com/mnclimbingcoop

Stay Tuned!

Occupation in October – the next Co-op fundraising competition is slated for Saturday, October 16th. Check the blog soon for more details!

Get ready for our January 2011 grand opening!

Thank you so much,

The Minnesota Climbimg Co-op

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Co-Op, Here We Come!

We just finished up our bi-weekly board meeting and we have a set of Bylaws ready to bring to a lawyer! We are so close to becoming a legal official entity. If you have any last minute legal contacts, please let us know by email as we are about to finalize our list. Stay tuned for more details...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Woo Tank Tops!!

Hey everyone! The Minnesota Bouldering Coop is now offering these awesome American Apparel Tanks with our Climbing + Sharing = Coop Logo. Unisex tank sizes, so girls may want to go 1 size smaller than usual. Red Melange in X Small & Small, and Navy Blue Solid in Sm, Med & Large! $20 lets you show your support for the Coop and will help us reach our goals of a shiny, new, climber owned & operated climbing gym! Thanks so much for everyone's psych and support!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pension for Tension!

Come support the Co-op...
Click on the burly image for more info!

Naming Rights

At the last board meeting, we narrowed the list of names down for the gym. The name of our gym is important for several reasons...it's what you call it when you're telling someone else about how cool it is to climb there...it becomes slang and interchangeable with the Co-Op...and it looks damn good on a t-shirt!

So take a look, here's our top 10, in no particualar order. Pretty soon there's gonna be a way that you can vote for your top three here. Then the board will verify all the legal crap and you will be able to tell all your friends to climb there. Check back soon...

* House of Problems
* The Factory
* City Crag
* The Crash Pad
* Betamax
* DropNE
* The Rockery
* The Projects
* Twin Cities Climbing Center
* MN Climbing Co-Op

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What's in a name?

We are looking for a name for the new gym, and decided to open this up to the public. It seems to fit with the spirit of the co-op!

We will narrow the list of names down at the next board meeting (June 15th), and then it will be put to a vote. If you don't want to publicly offer up your suggestion for a name, you may email send it in an email here: mnboulderingcoop-board@googlegroups.com

Some ideas so far are:
  • Beta Max
  • Crash Pad
  • Sweat Shop
  • The Factory
  • Juggernauts
  • Project Flash
  • House of Problems
  • Crimp Corner
  • Hold House
  • Sending Station
  • United Sending Service
  • ... and your idea!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Our first board meeting

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010, the newly elected board of directors got together to bring us one step closer to the formation of our climbing co-op. All 7 members of the board were present, and we recorded the meeting for future reference.

Our first order of business was to officially vote in Matt Hainley as Membership Officer as he was unable to attend the campfire meeting the Saturday before, but he had phoned in his request for the position. Congratulations Matt!

Lynn had some T-Shirts made up that say "Climbing + Sharing = Co-Op", and they would be ready before "The Core" movie preview on Thursday at the Riverview Theatre. Thanks Lynn! The plan is to have everyone on the board wearing the T-Shirts so that when Glen makes an announcement about the Co-Op he can let people know to ask one of the people wearing a "Climbing + Sharing = Co-op" t-shirt about the co-op.

We decided to meet bi-weekly until the gym is up and running. We will start with every other Tuesday at 7:30 PM until further notice.

We made some adjustments to the duties of the various membership roles to more evenly distribute the tasks. Details of these duties can be provided if you are interested. Just send us an email.

Insurance costs were discussed, but we still have quite a bit of phoning around to find an accurate estimate.

Our timeline for having the co-op up and running is January 1st, 2011.

Kris wanted to remind people that if they have any questions or need help with wall issues, just let him know.

We elected Liz Horn as our official Fund Raising Director, and it was decided that we would like Micah to be present at the meetings if he would be so inclined as he has been very helpful thus far.

Some possible start-up fund raising ideas were passed around, but nothing specific was decided upon yet.

The next meeting is slated for June 1st, 2010 at 7:30 PM!

Campfire Democracy

At the open meeting held at Lynn and Kris' house March 15th, it was decided that the best course of action to get the co-op up and running was to form a board. A board of 7 members would be chosen, each of which would be delegated specific tasks, would meet on occasion to keep everyone else informed, vote on topics and keep the process rolling.

7 members was decided to ensure there would be no ties when voting occurs. It was also decided that at least five members must be present for a vote to occur.

This board will streamline the process of forming the Co-op to help us get up and running faster. When the co-op is officially formed and the gym is opened elections will be held to decide who will be on the board who will make guiding decisions for the operations of the bouldering co-op. This makes the current board, the “Association for the Formation of a Rock Climbing Board”. Catchy, huh?

The 7 members chosen on the 15th were:


Jacob Gerber

Vice President

Jim Merli


Aaron J. Zirbes


Joe Moskowitz

Wall Officer

Kris Johnson

Site Officer

Lynn Johnson

Membership Officer

Matthew Hainley

If you have any questions or concerns you wish to send to the board, you can contact the board by sending an email to: mn bouldering coop dash board at google groups dot com.

We will do our best to post meeting notes on this blog to keep you informed. Stay tuned for more information!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Meeting Location

The May 15th meeting will be hosted by me & Kris in our backyard. We'll be voting on some very important issues, so if you want a say in things, you'd better be there! We'll be deciding if we want to be an LLC or actual Co-op. We will then be nominating a "board or directors" to continue the process through some of the finer, legal issues. We will also be spending some time talking about our bylaws and what they should be. If you need directions, please email me @ lynnj13@gmail.com or call my cell 651-208-6318.

If it's not raining, we'll climb on our wall after the meeting!

Bring a lawn chair to sit on, we only have about 6 of our own!!!

Time to get this train out of the station!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Next meeting Date Set & Overview of Spaces

Hello there! We are having our next meeting on Saturday May 15 @ 7pm. Location to be determined! Any suggestions? Perhaps, we could have it in one of the other spaces. So on that note, I'm going to list out the 4 different spaces we've viewed with potential so far, and their pros and cons. Please comment if you feel I've overlooked something very positive or negative about any of these!

Bolger Building Space 1
Stats: 900 sq feet, ___ feet clear ceiling height, $900 a month(suggested price)
•CHEAP! About a buck a square foot gross!
•Tall ceilings
•Private Bathroom & Kitchen area
•Private entrance off parking lot w/ lots of parking
•Right across the street from a bar
•Close to Campus & NE Minneapolis
•AC (air conditioning)

•Cinder block construction/may need to build all of the walls supportive structure $$$
•Uncertain of ceiling truss strength & ability to hang any structure from it.
•Group consensus felt it was a little small
•We have to keep our bathroom & kitchen clean
•Someone saw a rat during our meeting in the space

Bolger Building Space 2
Stats: 2500 sq feet, ___ feet clear ceiling height, $1200 a month(suggested price)

•CHEAP! Same deal as the other space!
•Private GARAGE DOOR entrance & potential for "person" door as well!
•Plenty of parking
•Public(building) bathrooms, (we don't have to clean them!)
•Lots of space, room for some growth
•Right across the street from a bar
•Close to Campus & NE Minneapolis
•AC (air conditioning)

•Cinder block construction/may need to build all of the walls supportive structure $$$
•Uncertain of ceiling truss strength & ability to hang any structure from it.
•NOT directly off from parking lot, (Like the other space in this building) but has back door w/ interior corridor to the space.

Thorpe Building Space 1
Stats: 2,496 sq feet, 14-16ft clear ceiling height, 3 room-spanning bridge cranes, $1325 a month

•Amazing existing steel structure strong enough for our needs,(WAY cheaper to build our walls)
•Directly across the hall from a bathroom we DON'T need to clean
•Windows along one whole length of the space (the long one too!)
•2 Huge window fans installed at 2 points down wall, excellent ventilation.
•Room to grow
•Coffee shop (and it's a good one) attached by interior hallways!
•Just within our price range
•In NE Minneapolis

•No direct/designated entrance (though they are willing to give every member a key or a keycard)
•We would likely be paying for all/most of the keycard system & install
•No AC, but big ass window fans
•High voltage line attached to I beam on one side
•Costs more than either Bolger space

Bridge Cranes

Thorpe Space 2
Stats: 4,11o sq feet, 21.5Ft clear ceilings, 1-3 room-spanning bridge cranes, $2,182 a month

•Gorgeous space with windows along top 3 of 4 walls!
•Perfect shape for maximum usable space
•PLENTY of room to grow & grow & grow
•Existing steel structure provides almost limitless wall design possibilities (free standing boulders/stalactites/arches)
•Ceiling is tall enough for vertical or "roped" climbing
•Directly across from bathroom, (that we are not responsible for cleaning)
•Connected by hallways to awesome coffee shop
•In NE Minneapolis

•TOO Expensive, unless we get a sweet deal
•No direct/designated entrance (though they are willing to give every member a key or a keycard)
•We would likely be paying for all/most of the keycard system & install
•No AC, NO big ass fans(yet), but good potential for easy ventilation install thru windows
•Expensive! But that's before any negotiations...

•••The bridge crane rides along the top of the I-beams that are half way up the wall. They sit @ 14 feet at the top. The one you can see in the other space is easily rolled down, and there is the possibility of getting 2 more!

Please comment below or email your thoughts to me @ lynnj13@gmail.com


Thursday, March 25, 2010

2nd Meeting @ Station 280

Our second meeting of The Minnesota Bouldering Coop is April 3rd at 7pm. We will be meeting near a potential gym space, at a bar called Station 280, at the intersection of Hwy 280 & Como Ave. We will gather at/in the bar until 7:15, at which time we will move across the street to view and meet in the space. If you miss the group, give me a call (651-208-6318) and I can hopefully talk you over. We will be discussing many things, including the coop structure, and of course, the space itself. We're also excited to welcome everyone who is just maybe interested in possibly being part of the coop. Come see for yourself what you may want to be involved in!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Co-op Membership

Well, if you've made it to this blog then you are probably wanting in on this historic undertaking. We are currently compiling a list of potential members who are serious about joining the Co-op.

The Co-op plans to unite the bouldering community by providing a world class training facility that will boast a positive, inspiring and fun social scene. Expect to climb with the best boulderers around and to have 24/7 access to the space. Design has not yet begun but it is safe to say we are looking to create walls that will make your jaw drop. We plan to inhabit at least 2000 square feet and be located in Northeast Minneapolis near the U of M. Membership is tentatively priced at $450 annually or $40 a month(with a year contract.) Doors are projected to open January 2011!

So, one of our earliest steps is to determine the number of members we will have at opening. This will obviously help determine much of our operating costs for the year and in turn gives us the actual numbers that we can pass on to you. This in no way locks you in but we do want to know your level of interest.

Sound good- want in? Contact mnboulderingcoop@gmail.com

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Google Groups

Anyone interested in becoming a founding member should join the mailing list.

You can sign up to join the group at the following page:


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Notes from Meeting at Kris an Lynn's

Proposed Goals:

  • To Build a Bouldering community

  • To find a common goal for MN boulders and stick to it

  • To build a wall to climb at that is not VE

  • A place to climb in Minneapolis

  • 20-30 Founding Memebers

  • 40-60 Co-Op Memebers

  • 2000 Square Foot space

  • Estimated cost to members is $40 per month with a 12 month minimum

  • Founding members will help with startup costs

A 2nd Meeting for April 3rd, 2010.
Location T.B.A.
Submit ideas for name of the Co-op.
Please find more people interested in the co-op.