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.

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!