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.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Soft Tissue Demo at the Co-op!

Fellow Co-op member and doctor of chiropractic Dr. Chris Hanson will be providing a demonstration of his unique instrument assisted soft tissue therapy on Monday, January 16. Dr. Hanson specializes in treating overuse and athletic injuries such as ankle sprains, tendinitis of the elbows and fingers, plantar fascitis, rotator cuff injuries, scar tissue and neck and back pain. If you have any of these injuries and would like an example demonstration as well as a chance to ask questions of a chiropractor, join us on Monday, January 16 from 7-8 pm.

Additional Notes:
  • Soft tissue demonstration is FREE and open to everyone.
  • Dress appropriately as the area being worked on will need to be exposed.
  • Each person will have 5-7 minutes of time to meet with Dr. Hanson D.C.
  • Each person will be seen one at a time.
  • For more information contact info@mnclimbingcoop.com

Monday, November 28, 2011

Welcome to our new interim board member Jake!

Hello members and friends,

The MNCC recently held an exhaustive global search for a new, interim board member to replace the recently departed Matt Hainley. Matt had to step away due to time demands from his day job and the soon-to-arrive little climber he and his happy wife are expecting. We greatly appreciate all the hard work he put in helping get the Co-op up and running! Don't worry, Matt will still stop in to climb when he has time and he promised to bring the new young'un along.

We are happy to announce that after interviewing several candidates Jake Ingman has agreed to step in as an interim member of the board of directors! Jake is a freelance designer living in St. Paul and you may have seen him pulling down with his crew on Wednesday nights (he's the one with the inspiring facial hair). We sat down recently to get the lowdown on what makes Jake tick;

So Jake, describe yourself, what you do, and who you are?

I freelance from my home in Saint Paul, designing and building things for the internet. I live with my wife, Anne, and our Border Collie, Judy. I enjoy coffee, beer, and meat. I'm @jingman on Twitter.

How long have you been climbing?

I started climbing at Iowa State in 2001 when they built a wall in one of the racquetball courts. When I moved to Saint Paul in 2006, I started climbing at VE with Matt, Joel, Logan, Scott, and Tokyo. Almost immediately, we called it the "Climbing Club (CC)" and made attendance mandatory two nights a week.

Why did you join the co-op?

We (the CC) were really tired of having to climb around/over kids at VE. When we heard about the co-op, and who was behind it, we were all interested in climbing at a place where would have more ownership (and influence). When early-access passes were made available (and before there was even a wall to climb on), CC met over burgers and beer, and the decision was unanimous - we would join the co-op. Zero regrets.

Your beard; awesome or awesome?

When I wake up, I have only two goals for the day:
  1. Get coffee.
  2. Live up to this beard.
Any climbing or personal goals for 2012?

I just want to climb as hard/strong as I can, and encourage my friends and fellow co-op members to do the same. I have far too much enthusiasm for me alone, so I like having people to cheer for. I think being a member of the board will give me more opportunities to do the same.

Ginger or Mary Ann?

Mary Ann, every time.

There you have it. Next time you see Jake introduce yourself and let him know your ideas for making the Co-op even better!

There are lots of opportunities for volunteers at the MNCC from serving on the board to setting routes to hosting open hours for the public. Send an email to volunteer@mnclimbingcoop to find out how you can help support your co-op!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Drytooling at the Co-op!

That's right, the rumors are true. It's mixed climbing season at the Co-op. There are a couple training circuits up with more to follow in the next month. Before you pull your tools out there are a few rules you need to know,

  1. Drytoolers can only use designated drytool holds. Nothing else, including T-nut holes.
  2. No crampons or fruit boots, only rock climbing shoes
  3. Do not spot a drytooler, you are more likely to be impaled than they are
  4. Helmets and eyewear are not required but are recommended
  5. In order to drytool you must be certified and checked out by one of the designated officers. Open drytool nights will occur once a month and be on the Co-op Calendar. Additional appointments can be scheduled by emailing drytooling@mnclimbingcoop.com
  6. Be respectful of other boulderers and take your turn. If you have to ask yourself if it’s too crowded to drytool, it’s too crowded.
  7. Use the designated drytooling pad (blue vinyl covered) so you don’t puncture the other gym pads or the floor
  8. Do not place or hook tools on the top out rails or top out surface, designated holds only. Drytool routes don’t top-out. They either return or traverse to the ground.
  9. Just like outside, holds can break and tools can slip. Stay under control and be ready for the unexpected.
  10. Routesetters must follow regular routesetting and stripping rules

The first open drytool night will be this Friday November 18th with regular nights scheduled after that. We also hope to add some clinics on training and basic movement for those who are interested. If you have any questions or just want to try it out contact me at drytooling@mnclimbingcoop.com. Hope to see you there!

-David P.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thank you to all the volunteers, competitors, members, and spectators for making our first comp great! If you didn't get a chance to check out the comp, stop by and test your mettle with 70 new boulder problems plus the men's and women's final problems. We have extra comp scorecards.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

FREE Climbing Injury Clinic

Andrew has been a climber for over ten years. He has climbed grades of V9, 5.12D sport, and 5.11D trad. In that time he has suffered and recovered from many climbing injuries. COOP members will learn how to heal from and prevent climbing injuries. Exercises and therapies will be discussed to increase strength, power, and endurance!

Andrew Rostenberg is currently a student doctor of chiropractic at Northwestern Health Science University and will graduate on November 18th, 2011. He specializes in applied kinesiology, clinical nutrition, and functional neurology which gives him a powerful set of tools for dealing with today’s chronic health challenges. He enjoys working with athletes, the chronically ill, and patients of all ages and walks of life. Andrew is currently an intern at Synapse in Eagan, MN, where is seeing patients under the guidance of Dr. Troy Spurrill.”

See you there!

Getting Ready

The CATC is this Saturday.
It's getting close...only 4 days, so sign up now! We've been getting the co-op ready; drinking water, sink, large volume, and cubby cushions, check. Thursday we're going to start stripping the 50 and 60. Can't wait to put up the volumes. We'll be starting at 5:30p, so, stop by. Then Friday, we're setting and forerunning all day!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pre-Registration Deadline

Don't forget, pre-registration deadline is tomorrow by midnight! Sign up and save $10!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Power outage Thursday Sept. 15th!

Hey MN Co-op members,

Excel Energy will be shutting off power to our building from 5-8pm on Thursday the 15th for transformer maintenance. Since the door access needs power your key-fob may not work. We have a backup battery in case of power failure but it may not last a full three hours so plan to come early or after 8pm that night. This also means the lights and fans won't be on during the outage but you can still climb by the daylight coming in the windows until 7:00 or so.

My recommendation? Check out the Reel Rock Film Tour at the UofM Cowles Auditorium starting at 7pm and then stop back for a late night power session!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September Student Yearly Pass Sale

Only 23 days left to take advantage of this remarkable deal! Get it before it's gone! Where else can you get 24/7 electronic access to a climbing facility?!

Friday, September 2, 2011

3 weeks and a day

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Grand Opening and Rock Art showing!

Hello MNCC members and friends,

Please join us on May 20th for a Grand Opening reception from 5-10pm during Art-A-Whirl. Food and beverages will be provided and you can view our first annual MNCC Rock Art photography show. We are still taking submissions of photography through May 13th at midnight and you can find more details here. Open Climbing is in effect during the reception and all weekend during Art-A-Whirl if you aren't a member (Saturday noon-8pm, Sunday noon-5pm). Of course if you are a member you can always climb regardless of Open Hours! Hope we see you there,

-The MNCC Board

Monday, May 9, 2011

Kettle Bells!

Hey! Who else wants to know how to use those things? Marie Nelson happens to know what's up, and she has offered to show us! Come in this Wednesday night @ 6pm for an introductory clinic! If you really like it, she teaches classes at the Kettle Bell gym down by the coffee shop! Get your little stabilizing muscles strong and safer from injury!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Parking lot closed Saturday May 7th

Hello Members and guests,

When you visit the Co-op this Saturday May 7th the parking lot will be closed for re-grading. Sorry Liz, no more fun wheel-eating potholes. Street parking is available on 18th Ave or the neighboring residential streets. Or, ride your bike, yeah! See you there,


Friday, April 15, 2011







Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Good, The Bad, And the Beautiful

To the Members and Friends of the Minnesota Climbing Co-op

The good – Sprinklers are going in today.

The Bad – We have to put in sprinklers.

The Beautiful – We plan on opening this Saturday, April 16th.

Unfortunately, the City of Minneapolis has put its foot down and is requiring that the Co-op install sprinkler heads to protect the areas under our overhanging walls. There will be four in total. The good news is that only two will be on actual climbing surfaces and those heads will be recessed and out of the way for the most part. We still believe that this is an unreasonable and overreaching request by the City, but after running it way up the totem pole, we feel that it would be far more costly and time consuming to get into a legal battle (with no certain outcome), than to comply with the City’s demands.

So the sprinklers are going in today and we see no reason why we won’t pass inspection come this Thursday/Friday. This means we will be opening on Saturday April 16th! We are still working on figuring out the exact hours we will be open to the public (and for those of you who have already bought passes to come in and pick them up) but rest assured, we will be open plenty for the first week or so. After that we will have open hours listed on the web site and non-members can always sponsor up to three personal guests (for a day pass fee of $10.00 each). And remember, if you buy a full access pass you get 24 hour access! How sweet is that!?!

The members of the Board and some dedicated volunteers have been feverishly working on the build and have been left with little time to communicate effectively. We would like to apologize for this and ask your forgiveness. We will be updating the website in the coming days and weeks to help you better understand the Co-op’s policies and how it will operate. Please be patient with us in our infancy. As always, we are open to suggestions. They can be voiced to board members directly or by emailing us at info@mnclimbingcoop.com.

We have a good amount of holds available to use, but more can never hurt. If you have holds you would like to donate to the Co-op, please let us know. We are also open to taking in loaner holds. We are currently drafting a loaner hold policy and/or agreement, but the gist of it will be that loaner holds need to be distinctly marked, we ask for one months notice before reclaiming any holds, and the Co-op will not be held responsible for any damaged, broken, lost, or stolen holds. If you have some holds sitting in a box at home, please consider putting them to use.

We would also like to put together a used shoe bin that guests can use (free of charge) during open hours or when they accompany a member. It is my understanding that the University of Minnesota has something like this at their climbing wall and that it works well. We all know that a heavily used climbing shoe is better to climb in than a pair of street shoes, so if you have some old shoes that you don’t use anymore, please consider dropping them off at the Co-op. Even shoes with blown toes or separating seams are ok if the damage isn’t too bad.

And lastly I would like to reiterate that due to the completely unexpected cost of installing sprinklers, our build out budget has been stretched to the max and then some. Many of the board members have chipped in more, and a friend of the Co-op in Alaska even donated $100.00, but we aren’t there yet. If you like what we are doing and believe it is a good thing, please consider donating a few bucks or even buying some stock (Disclaimer - In order to buy stock you must be a member of the co-op and a resident of Minnesota or Wisconsin. Stock should not be considered an investment as there will be no financial gain, but it is a goal of the Co-op to someday buy back the stock that helped to get us started). You can donate via PayPal (follow the link at our website www.mnclimbingcoop.com) or you can contact us at info@mnclimbingcoop.com if you are interested in purchasing stock. Shares of stock cost $25.00 per share and there is no minimum purchase required. Every little bit helps. Even 5 bucks, so please consider chipping in.

Remember that this is a Climbing Gym run by its members for its members. Everyone gets a vote. We can only do this together.

Thank you

Jacob A Gerber – Vice Chair

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

To the Members of the Minnesota Climbing Cooperative,

I am sure you are all wondering when The Co-op is going to open and I would like to start off by offering our sincerest apologies for keeping you in the dark. The first reason for our lack of communication, as of late, is that we on the board, as well as a handful of dedicated volunteers, have been furiously working on the build-out. Until last week, we were on track to open April first. Unfortunately, it now appears that we will be unable to make that date.

The main reason for this is that severe mistakes were made by of The City of Minneapolis. The City of Minneapolis literally( and I mean literally- we can show you the plans with the stamp on them) gave us their stamp of approval to go ahead and build. They did so with the assurance that we did not need to provide detailed structural diagrams, and that we did not need to worry about fire prevention- given that the space is already sprinkled. Upon completion and inspection of the initial structure, The City did a complete 180 and asked for an engineer's approval, as well as, a fire inspection. We have since received approval from an engineer, but we have been unable to discern whether or not we will need to add sprinklers to the surface of our climbing walls.

This is the other reason we have been silent as of late- we too are in the dark.

As of the time I write this email, The City of Minneapolis contends that we must install sprinklers on the surface of our climbing walls. We believe that they are wrong in their initial conclusion and we are not alone. No less than four fire professionals have expressed their opinion that The City is overreaching in its assertion that we must sprinkle our overhanging walls. Furthermore, we have had a conversation with a St. Paul fire inspector who agreed that walls such as ours (which are very similar to those in the B2 cave at VE) should not need to be sprinkled beyond the existing fire protection. As the saying goes, we are not reinventing the wheel. There are 3 existing gyms in the state of Minnesota, which all have overhanging walls, and which are all subject to the same Minnesota State Fire Code. They do not have to install sprinklers in their climbing surfaces and we believe we should not either. In fact, we have been researching gyms across the country and we have yet to find one that has fire sprinklers in its walls. The vast majority of States and Municipalities follow National Fire Protection Association standards and therefore their code requirements should be similar if not identical to ours.

At this point we are in dialog with The City but we just don't have a concrete answer yet. Given the extremely short timeline between now and our projected start date of April first, we feel that we should push back the start date to Saturday April 16th.

We will make this Climbing Co-op happen. We only have some very rough estimates as to how much it will cost to sprinkle our walls but those estimates seem within reach. Even so, we have stretched our build-out funds to the max and board members as well as others are chipping in more to help make this happen. If you want this to happen, and if you believe in what we are doing, please make a donation. Twenty, ten, even five dollars will help. There is a link at our website http://www.mnclimbingcoop.com/ where you can donate via paypal. If you would like to contribute a larger amount, are a member (which you should be if you are receiving this email), and live in the State of Minnesota or Wisconsin, you also have the option to buy stock. Buying stock in the Co-op should not be considered an investment as there will be no financial gain, but it is a goal of the Co-op to someday buy back the stock that helped to get us started. If you would like to buy some stock please contact us at info@mnclimbingcoop.com for more details.

And lastly I would like to assure those of you who bought annual passes that your passes will not start until we open.

This is going to be a different type of gym. This gym will be run by members for members. You all have a vote. THIS IS YOUR GYM.

Thank you

Jacob A Gerber - Vice Chair

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Great Start!

Well, we're off to a great start! The lumber has all been delivered, we've framed up the 50 and 60 degree walls! We're moving so fast, we have to wait a day for the structural engineers for the building to catch up on the work that they have to do before we can continue.

A special thanks to all who came out to help us this weekend! This includes Keith, Chris, Dan, Micah, Lynn, Jim, Aaron, Mike, Matt, Liz, Vern, Scott and Jacob. Extra thanks to Kris for leading the build out and keeping everyone on task! (I'm sorry if I missed you). For all those who have emailed us offering their help with their contact information, thanks! We'll continue to email you/give you a call as we need more hands. We hope the structure work is finished tomorrow so we can begin the next part tomorrow night, or Wednesday.

... stay tuned, and if you're not following us on Facebook, we post pictures there as soon as we take them!

Friday, March 4, 2011

We Have Wood.

The wood has been (precariously?) delivered!

We start building tomorrow at 8:00 AM. If your interested in helping out with the build, please send an email to info@mnclimbingcoop.com to let us know if you want to give us a hand. Let us know when you can help, and what building experience you may have!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

MNCC @ the Expo

We will have table at the Midwest Mountaineering Outdoor Adventure Expo on April 17th. Come visit us and check out all of the cool things going on at the Expo. It's a great event, and you don't want to miss it!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Build Out...

To get the build out going, our plan of action is to start by building the support tower, then once the lumber is delivered, put up the support beams, and frame in the basic structure. We've given Kris Johnson the daunting task of guiding the build out process and making sure everything is built to specification, and that we have all the supplies we need to stay on track. Kris is the man.

Thanks to everyone for the community feedback regarding the wall build-out plans.

We've received lots of great feedback from members, access pass holders and other interested climbers and it's been extremely helpful. Based on feedback, structural restrictions, and the amount of investment money we have available for the build-out, we've made some adjustments to our initial build-out designs.

We are now planning on ...
  • moving the 60° and 50° walls around.
  • smoothing out some of the transitions to reduce right angles.
  • moving the cave opening to the front of the tower and opening up the cave wall next to the 45° to allow for exit points on two sides
  • Building a stalactite feature to utilize the support for the corner of the cave
  • Angling the top-outs to make them more interesting than flat surfaces
  • Opening up the side walls of the 50° and 60°.
  • A prow feature on the corner of the tower.

Operation City Approval, Success!

The kind folks at the Minneapolis permit office have approve our change of occupancy to "assembly" and issued a permit to build. We now have our building permit from the City of Lakes. The Bohm building management team has started the process of replacing the industrial sliding door with double doors that can tie into our keycard system. They have requested that no one be in the space while they are working on the doors so they can maintain a safe work area, and we will oblige. After the doors are installed, we can start building.

With this knowledge, we are wholly confident that we will be open by April 1st, 2011!

We have had an overwhelming amount of offers from people who are excited to help out with the build-out. Your support is greatly appreciated! We are specifically looking for people with building skills and experience. If you have either of those please let us know. We are planning on getting a calendar up on line to let people know when we will be working on the build, and what phase.

Monday, February 7, 2011

January Sale Success, and Our TODO list

Thanks to all who bought a 1-Year access pass during the January sale! We have sold 65 memberships, and 42 1-year passes so far with quite a few people who will be buying when we open. Thanks also to all those who purchased stock as this is what we need to complete our build out.

We were hoping to get $20,000 for our initial build-out, but we made our minimum bare-bones build out amount of $16,000. That's enough to build (but not for all the cool stuff we want in the gym). Please contact us at info@mnclimbingcoop.com if you are willing to pitch in a few bucks to help cover any additional build-out costs. For smaller amounts, you can use the DONATE button to the right. For larger amounts, you have the option of purchasing stock certificates. Please contact us for details.

We have some more news on the Climbing Coop. We've met with the city a few times now, and we've been ensured that our wall plans are good, our occupancy and exits are OK, and now we just have to wait for the paperwork to go through. When we last met, they "said" it would be about 10 days go get the paperwork through.

We've placed the order for the flooring and the order for our lumber is all queued up and ready to go. We're itching to start the build, but we need to make sure that the last of our ducks are in order first.

Taking all of those things into consideration, we should be able to have the leased signed and the city approvals within a week. Add to that a 4 week build-out and we hope to be open Mid-March!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Access Pass Sale This Saturday!

Hey climbers – we're giving you the opportunity to get in early and save big on Access Passes to the Minnesota Climbing Co-op, opening soon. Save $100 on our 1-Year Access Passes (normally $350). On sale now until January 16th! And get your one-time $20 Membership too! Cash and checks accepted.

Saturday January 8th 2011
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

1620 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

$20 Memberships and $250 1-Year access passes will be on sale! Bring your checkbooks and avoid the PayPal fees tied to the online purchase form. You'll also be able to get all of the paperwork out of the way as we will have all the forms you need to sign printed out and ready to go.

We will have a table setup in the common area right next to Diamond's Coffee shop. Grab some coffee, say hi, check out the space for the gym, look at our build out plans, feed us your ideas for the build out, and purchase your membership and access pass all in one fell swoop! Oh, and don't forget to check out BrickWorld!

Can't make it? That's okay…just click onto mnclimbingcoop.com now and purchase your Membership and Access Pass via Paypal today.

You may have heard that there was going to be an art aspect to our pre-opening pass sale but due to the busy holidays, communication with the building managers was limited at best and as it turns out, renting the space for a one day art show is too cost prohibative. Luckily we are located in the Arts District of NE Minneapolis, so we'll have quite a few more opportunities for art shows coming up. We definitely want to do something durring the NE Art-a-Whirl, so we'll be listening for ideas!