EDGE OF SANITY

The ALL NEW Member Challenge!

Report your weekly challenge points here.

Because we’re all missing the climbing gym, our friends and the member challenge … and because we can all do our part to #flattenthecurve while still having some fun …

We’re excited to announce an ALL NEW LIST of 140+ social distancing approved member challenge items to help keep everyone active, engaged and SANE during this time of community health isolation.

We present to you: EDGE OF SANITY!

Here’s how it will work:

1. New challenge sheets can be found HERE. Print one out and join the fun!

2. Each box = 1 point; unless otherwise marked with an # on the form.

3. Members are responsible for recording and reporting their points each week.

4. This link will be updated weekly for members to log in and report their points; it will also be shared on Facebook and Instagram.

5. While we’re curious to track these points separately, points will be added to existing Member Challenge tallies.

6. Anyone not already participating in the member challenge is invited to join us now and start Earning Your Peaks!

7. The same points and peaks will apply.

8. FREE t-shirts and iron-on peaks will be awarded when we re-open*.

9. Timeline to be extended as needed!

And, don’t forget to share your photos and/or videos with us on our Facebook and Instagram accounts! Because if a challenge is done at home and no one is there to see it, does it really happen?

*Challenge REWARDS are for Edgeworks MEMBERS only!

Route Setter Beta

Am I doing this right?

by: Joe Stangel

It’s a word you will hear all the time when you’re hanging out with climbers – beta.

The word comes from a long time ago; in a galaxy far, far away. It references a time when climbers used to film their climbs on beta max tapes. People would ask each other for the beta tape of certain climbs to figure out how they did the climb. Nowadays, the word is thrown around everyday by climbers big and small. What is beta? What’s the beta? What’s your beta? There is often a big difference between those questions. 

Beta is a shorthand way to reference the sequence of movements that someone used to climb their way through a route or problem. It can apply to an entire climb or even a single, specific move.  As route setters it’s our job to create sequences that appropriately challenge climbers of all skill levels. A 5.12 climber has a different bag of tricks and tools of the trade than the ones a 5.10 climber does. Experienced climbers know how to use body positioning to solve more complex sequences rather than just relying on pure strength. One of our goals as route setters is to teach these more complex sequences to less experienced climbers. By positioning and ordering hand and foot holds just right, it’s possible to lead people into unique and different body positions. This is often what is called the intended beta. Our objective is to make sure that the intended beta is appropriate for the grade and to be the easiest way to complete the climb. But, it may not be the simplest or most obvious way. For newer climbers this is where the beta is often ‘broken’

In a climbing gym, route setters have nearly complete control of what hand holds and foot holds a climber can use. Because of this we have more control of the consistency of grades, both in relation to climbs of the same grade and climbs of the grades directly above and below that one. This leads to situations you won’t see outdoors. The most obvious example of this is foot holds on easier climbs (think 5.5 to 5.10-). At Edgeworks, the feet on these climbs are often nearly as big as the hands, only less incut and positive. Often they are sloped or flat. The goal is for them to be not as nice to grab onto than the nice, positive jug right next to it. This is how we ‘force’ sequences on the lower grades. This is often also where people create the habit of grabbing whatever they can and muscling their way to the top. After a few months, hand strength increases and climbers start to feel more comfortable using smaller edges and crimps. Next, those climbs that ask for more technique to get to the top become a little easier to get, think 5.10- to 5.10+.

This is when grabbing and pulling isn’t always the easiest way to do a sequence.  This is where the route setters are trying to teach climbers the different capabilities of their bodies. This is where we are trying to lead you into doing something a little different. It might feel insecure or awkward or require you to do something you haven’t before, but it should feel ‘right’. It should also make you want to naturally move through the sequence. Once you are used to it, it should feel easy. Easier than grabbing on that tiny, sharp foot chip, stepping up and getting fully stretched out to grab then next good hold. Which oftentimes will put your hands out of sequence for the next move. So a clumsy hand match on an obviously single handed hold is required to keep moving. I don’t know about anyone else but that doesn’t sound like a fun climb to me. Just because you can reach something doesn’t mean you should. 

These types of situations are when we see the most complaints about a route or problem being reachy, awkward, hard for the grade or just bad. It’s tough to hear and deal with. Not because it’s a negative review of our work, but because there’s no easy way for us to address it. We can’t offer the beta. We can’t help or talk you through the difficulties. We can’t offer little tips or tricks. We can only set the challenge and then hope climbers will accept it and be open to learning new ways to work through the tough spots. 

Modern climbing isn’t about just getting to the top, it’s about the journey you take to get there. Route setters create a maze, a puzzle for your body and mind, and we are rooting for you to get to the other end.

I just wanted to climb

An open letter to the Edgeworks Community

written by: Hal Warren

To my Edgeworks family,

In light of the pandemic that we all have been affected by, I would like to speak as an athlete whose lifestyle is inherently intertwined with training at the gym and getting outside to climb. But most importantly, I would like to speak as a member of the Edgeworks community. A community that has practically raised me since I was 11 years old.

Things are difficult. And for most of my life I have dealt with difficult things by going climbing. Over the years, the sport became an outlet like no other, a perfect mindfulness practice, and a place where I could freely and unapologetically express my personality. Edgeworks, alongside the local climbing areas in WA, became my sanction. In the same way Washington’s wild beauty serves many members at Edgeworks, I felt the happiest when out in the forest climbing.

When my school shut down and Edgeworks didn’t, my first response was psych that I now had 30 extra hours in my week to be at the climbing gym. Then Edgeworks closed. And I got ecstatic that I would finally have time to put down some of my sport projects at exit 32 and to finally send my projects in Index. With that excitement for all the climbing I was about to do came the statewide “Stay Home Stay Safe” initiative by Gov. Inslee, an act to keep Washingtonians safe and make sure those who need the resources we do have can receive the care they need.

At first, I was confused and had trouble wrapping my head around the fact that I was going to have to spend the near future at home. Not in the climbing gym, not at the crag, and not with my people. Confused about why my happy place in the forest was suddenly not where I was supposed to be and why it would have any effect on others if I just made my little escape to the rocks. My privilege slapped me across the face. I was worried about my little escape to the forest more than I was worried about people’s family members dying. And how could I not? I was only acting out of instinct and doing what I’ve always done. I just wanted to climb. As climbers, smart Washingtonians, and humans, we have an obligation. An obligation to help our climbing, state, and human communities stay safe. We can’t let our personal desires get in the way of doing what is right.

With the closures of areas like Bishop and Moab, I started to think about our own areas here in Washington that need protection. If we flood the crags and boulder field parking areas at first chance once they reopen, we are at risk of access becoming limited, restricted all together and/or worst case, we risk our reputation as climbers. We must think holistically and proactively as to how we are going to continue to help our own community and at risk communities with limited resources. We must be aware of the impact our recreation and sport has on smaller communities and we must take initiative to ensure that we as climbers are helping, not making things harder.

I am committed myself and encourage you as a community to think about how your actions as climbers and outdoor enthusiasts will affect the places you love. Before you launch out of the house at first knowledge that areas are opened again, reflect on your impact and how you will reduce it. This is a defining moment for us as climbers to do a small bit of good in the world. And the world needs as much good as it can get.

With love,
Hal Warren
Team Edgeworks coach and athlete

Industry Deals During COVID

Get deals on holds, hangboards, shoes, apparel and more!

Based on the number of requests we’re receiving, we know you’re all staying busy building home woodies and dusting off your hangboards.

Unfortunately, the used hold sale that we had “pre-COVID” wiped us out of any more climbing holds to sell BUT you’re in luck… many hold companies have stepped up to offer “Support Your Gym” discounts.

What this means is that you receive a % off your purchase and/or Edgeworks receives a % of the sale – it’s a WIN, WIN!

So iLL

We have partnered with So iLL, in order to benefit our gym community and generate revenue for the gym during the upcoming weeks while our operations are closed. Your Win Is Our Win #TAKEHOLD

Here’s how it works:
You shop the So iLL website, use your unique gym coupon code – and you’ll receive 10% OFF all available/in stock products*. What happens after that? You get your goods and So iLL provides a kickback to our gym. It’s that simple.

Remember to use code “EDGEWORK10” at checkout! In order for Edgeworks to benefit, this unique code provided must be used on your purchase for tracking purposes.

Trango, eGrips + Tenaya

We’re also partnering with the Trango, eGrips + Tenaya retail support program where you can get a deal on new gear and support Edgeworks at the same time!

How It Works
Visit www.trango.com or www.e-grips.com and place your items in the cart.

Use the discount code “EDGEWORKS-SUPPORT” when ordering Trango, or place the code in the Customer Notes Field on eGrips website. Trango will fill and ship the order directly to you and then provide us with proceeds, just like you bought directly from our gym!

Member Challenge 2020

Earn your peaks!

February 1 – April 30, 2020
Put your membership to good use and earn a FREE t-shirt with our 5th annual members only 90-day challenge!

The Objective:

Earn points by completing a list of challenges including over 100 different activities – from climbing, fitness and check-in challenges to attending socials, interacting with staff, fun games, hula hooping and more.

As points are achieved, 3 different levels of “peaks” are awarded and added to your FREE member challenge t-shirt. It takes 175 points to earn all 3 peaks; with over 300 points available!

First Peak: 65 points  |  Second Peak: 120 points  |  Third Peak: 175 points

The List:

New challenges are added every year including fitness, climbing games and skills based challenges with a distribution of points designed to engage both the over and under achievers among us. As proven in previous years, it is possible to earn all 3 peaks in one day (IAD) but there are also plenty of really fun challenges that are accessible to all skill levels and will keep you coming back for more points and peaks! Get a sneak peek at the 2020 Challenge List and start planning your strategies now.

The Shirts:

Points will be tallied once a week by Edgeworks staff and T-shirts will be distributed upon achievement of the first peak (65 points). T-shirts will be labelled with the member’s name and added to a rolling cart to be located near the front desk. 

*Current stock/availability may delay the delivery of a t-shirt by 1-2 weeks.

Note: Feel free to wear and wash your shirt during the challenge but please refrain from using fabric softener until after all of your peaks have been added.

Earning/Adding Peaks:

Iron-on peaks will be made available at the front desk along with simple to follow DIY instructions.

Or you can bring your shirt to the monthly Climbers Socials in March, April and May, when we’ll have staff available to add the peaks for you.

Progress:

Members are responsible for tracking their progress and checking the boxes on their challenge sheets as items are completed. To entice those of us with an extra competitive spirit, we will update a public Challenge Board with everyone’s individual points – you know, just in case you want to see how you match up to the achievements of others.

Pretty Strong Screening + Discussion

Can ‘Pretty Strong’ be the next big climbing movie?

PRETTY STRONG, the film that follows eight of the world’s strongest female climbers as they explore new climbing areas, send hard projects, and push the boundaries of the sport and themselves, is now available to stream on Vimeo!

Step 1: WATCH

Rent it this week (or anytime) for only $5!  https://vimeo.com/ondemand/prettystrong/402224933

Step 2: DISCUSS

Participate in a FILM DISCUSSION hangout session with others from the Edgeworks community on Friday, April 24 at 7pm!

Join us for the discussion here: meet.google.com/owt-ycxt-rin

Introducing Our New Logo!

innovative:

in·no·va·tive /ˈinəˌvādiv/ adjective: introducing or using new ideas or methods; having new ideas about how something can be done

We’re proud to introduce our new logo and look forward to all of the additional possibilities that are yet to come! A sentiment that is more true today than ever before, in pre-COVID19 days.

Since the very beginning, the word “innovative” has been at the root of who we are as a business and for 15+ years we’ve been working to keep innovation at the forefront of Edgeworks’ vision for the future.

Structurally, our facility has evolved from a 10,000 square foot climbing gym with gravel climbing floors to our current modern facility that features the things we only dreamed about in 2004. Strategically, we’re always striving to stay ahead of industry standards and keep up with our own aspirations for growth and advancement.

With all that we’ve accomplished over the years, it was time for the Edgeworks logo to offer a better reflection of who we are today and also move us forward into the next 15 years of innovation.

We will always continue to celebrate where we came from… 1 of the first 250 climbing gyms in the US , 1st in the South Sound, 4th in the Puget Sound, and 5th in Washington State. And, we’ll never stop working to achieve all that we know Edgeworks can be and what our community (you!) wants us to continue to be well into the future. #WeGotThisTacoma

Special thank you to designer Jinger Hendricks for our awesome new logo!

Member Spotlight March 2020

Aixa Ardín

Member since 2018

Where did you grow up and how did you end up in the Pacific Northwest?

Aixa: I grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I wanted to move out from Puerto Rico and chose the PNW as my destination because of its high rainfall, natural spaces and outdoor activities.

What’s the story behind your becoming a climber? How did you end up at Edgeworks?

Aixa: As soon as I moved here I made friends who suggested I try climbing with them. Initially I declined the invitation for a year. When I finally gave in.I was immediately hooked. I became a member within a week.

If you had to choose between bouldering, top rope or lead climbing as the only form of climbing you could do from here on out, what would you choose and why?

Aixa: Top rope, I want to keep climbing well into my 70s and I feel this is the best way to minimize the chances of getting injured.

What type of music are you jamming out to lately?

Aixa: I listen to a lot of jazz and latin american music. In jazz I recommend the new recordings from Anat Cohen Tentet, Triple Helix and from Joey Alexander, Warna. From Latin America look for Ilé’s Almadura and Kevin Johansen’s Algo Ritmos.

What is one lesson you’ve learned as a climber that you would teach to your younger self who’s just starting out climbing?

Aixa: Have patience and train slowly.

Best part about Edgeworks?

Aixa: Plenty of auto belay anchors and it’s friendly community. I really enjoy participating in the POC and Queer night events that promote more inclusion and diversity.

Could you tell us something about you that our community members might not know? What’s your jam outside of Edgeworks?

Aixa: I am a poet, photographer and LGBTQ activist. What’s your jam outside of Edgeworks? Hiking around Washington and biking in Tacoma looking for good eats.

What’s your goal for the months ahead as far as climbing and fitness go?

Aixa: I am training to complete the Member Challenge point for 3 pull-ups, complete my lead certification and break the 5.10 threshold into a 5.11- before summer.