Who changes the climbs?

"Who changes these climbs every week?”

“How do you know where to put those holds?”


It’s time to answer some of these questions and put these rumors to bed. The truth is, we don’t have little fairies that come into BETA overnight after we put chalk under our pillows and wake up to a new zone. We have a few people who are just as magical, our route setters! Under the guidance of our Head Setter, Jeremy, our gang of dedicated setters make it their number one priority to make sure you enjoy climbing. It might seem so glamorous, but it’s tough work! Ever wondered how a new set of routes is so shiny + clean, it looks like candy on the wall? Thank your local route setter for putting on a wet suit and cleaning a bunch of plastic holds in a shower stall.

If you’ve joined us for an early morning session during the week, you’ve probably heard their drills go off, almost in a symphony. That’s the sound of an old set coming down and turning into a blank canvas for your next project. Over the course of the day, you’ll find them carefully selecting bolts, holds and brewing up some cool movement.

“Don’t they just follow a blueprint or design the routes on the computer before putting them up?

Nope! Our routes are locally sourced, gluten-free, 100% organic, fair-trade, climber friendly, and BETA approved.

Each and every route every put up on our walls is one-of-a-kind and cannot be replicated because it comes straight from the imagination of local setters. .Once they are taken down, they are gone for good. (Except in our hearts, and the sweet video you took when you finally sent that proj in the cave.) 

Sounds like a pretty fun gig, right? Setting enjoyable + creative movement on the wall, climbing it over and over again to make the right tweaks. Each route gets so much attention to make sure it’s on point for the grade + something you’ll want to climb more than once. Once that is all said and done, they tidy up the area and then open it to the public where you all can get your FAs on and establish new projects.

It’s a tough job, but someone has got to do it. Remember to thank your local route setters.



Leave No Trace

As the second month of summer comes to a close, we hope that you’ve gotten a taste of climbing on real rock. Climbing outside is an entirely different shift from climbing in the confines of wooden walls and plastic holds. One important concept every climbing or outdoor enthusiast should follow is Leave No Trace. 

The idea is pretty simple. Leave absolutely no trace and minimize your impact on the outdoors. 

  • If you brought it out with you, it must leave with you.

  •  Stay on the marked trails and avoid trampling on vegetation.

  • Respect the wildlife, they were there before you. 

  • Keep your overall footprint at the base of a boulder or route relatively small. 

  • Brush excessive chalk and all tick marks off the rock. 

  • Pick up the smallest pieces of tape. 

  • Remove garbage that’s not even yours. 

Be conscious of how you interact with the outdoors. Let's protect Mother Nature as best as we can. Together, we can help preserve outdoor climbing for the time being and future generations to come.

For more information, you can visit the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics’ website. https://lnt.org/

Leave us a comment below to share your favorite LNT Ethic Practice.


The BETA Climbing Team goes to NATIONALS!

Three times a week at BETA you’ll find a group of dedicated climbers. They meet under the lead wall around 5pm. Led by three coaches, theses crushers warm up, train hard and climb even harder. You’ve probably seen them warm up on your projects (or at least mine…) That’s the BETA Climbing Team. A group of kids ages 11 through 17 that have the spark of competition in their souls and the love of climbing in their hearts. After months of training, six of these climbers are heading down to Reach Climbing in Bridgeport, PA for the Youth Sport and Speed Nationals this weekend. Let’s wish them luck! Send everything BCT!

Below is a short interview with Head Coach of the BETA Climbing Team, Jeremy Meza. 

Q: Do you have experience with being a competitor yourself?

A: Yes, a very very very long time ago. I competed on the youth circuit for 4 years from 2001 to 2004. I made it the national level at that time. In 2001 it was originally Junior Competition Climbing Association (JCCA) when I started. 

Q: What is your role as a coach?

A: When it comes to coaching climbing, it has an artistic side to it because it’s so open for each individual. Coaching is about learning how to communicate one idea to 50 different kids, each kid will receive it differently. You also have to learn how to build people constructively. The main goal as a coach is to have a structure for each kid. It’s a lot its fun. 

Q: How has it been coaching BCT since BETA opened?

A: Un-expected. You don’t uproot completely from one side of the country [California] to the other and expect in a new gym to send half of your team to sport and speed nationals. They came from a different background and I think I gave them something different that assisted their growth. Overall it’s been unexpected and surprising. Each kid brings something different to the team. I love the challenge that each kid brings.

Q: How have they progressed?

A: Their confidence has grown in each of them.

Q: Favorite part about coaching?

A: When you’re learning how to climb and you have an aha moment, I can relive that moment through these kids.  For example, when they learn how to clip or learn a specific boulder movement and it clicks to them. I can live vicariously. 

Q: One tip for any young climber?

A: The best climber is the one having the most fun. I remember those trips the most where I spent a day climbing a bunch of v2s over my big sending trips.

Written by Kody Tolentino

Edited by Nora Maklad

Climbing at The Olympics Games!

Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Games will feature the sport we all know and love...climbing. A total of 40 climbers from around the world, equal parts men and women, will gather to represent their countries in these exciting games. Each competitor must take part in the three main climbing disciplines: Bouldering, Sport/Lead Climbing, and Speed Climbing. Climbers will be awarded the Gold, Silver or Bronze medal for their combined performance in all three disciplines. 


Bouldering

Competitors will be climbing along a four meter (13’) walls attempting to climb from a designated starting hold to the finish hold. Simply put, they have to climb 4 different climbs with 4 minutes per climb, which will test the athletes in multiple ways. The climbers that complete each climb with fewer attempts will rank higher than the other competitors. 

Lead Climbing

Lead climbing requires climbers to climb up to 15 meters (50’) while securing their rope through quickdraws to the anchors.Unlike bouldering, climbers are given six minutes and one attempt to send. 

Speed

Speed Climbing seems pretty simple, but it’s much more complex than just beating the other climber to the top. Climbers, attached to specially designed speed auto belays, attempt to top a 15 meter (50’) wall with a five degree overhang. Unlike the other disciplines, speed routes are standardized. There are 20 holds with 11 feet that can be found in many gyms, including your neighborhood BETA! 

* Fun Fact - World Record is held Reza Alipour with 5.63 seconds!


The first climbing qualification with take place in Tokyo this coming August. Stay tuned to the BETA Blog to see who Climbing’s first Olympic athletes will be! But as we wait, let’s hope Team USA can send everything! USA USA USA!

Enjoyed watching Alex Honnold in Free Solo? Check out his take on Speed Climbing in the video below.

Written by Kody Tolentino

Edited by Nora Maklad

Starting From The Bottom

A common myth of climbing is that you need to have a lot of upper body strength to climb hard. To a point, this is true. The stronger one is physically, the harder they could climb but, having good foot-work can take you further. 

Start from the bottom on your body. Here are a couple points to think about the next time you’re moving on the wall:

  • Each time you move your foot, look at it. Plant it with intention. Don’t shake or hesitate. Commit and go. 

  • Climb slower. It’ll be easier to assess how you’re doing and a preview of your next foot is never going to hurt. 

  • Silent feet are key. You’ll know you’re doing well when you can’t hear your feet when climbing.

  • Use the tip of your shoe to move your body. Avoid using the ball or arch of your foot because you inhibit your own upward progression on the wall.

Keeping these points in mind will get you far. #sendeverything

If you’d like more specific attention on your footwork, schedule a Movement + Technique Course or book a Private Coaching Session with one of our Instructors.   

Written by Kody Tolentino

Edited by Nora Maklad

Member Appreciation Night Recap

We hope you enjoyed our first Member Appreciation Night! If you didn’t make it, you missed out. We definitely had a great time! Our faces painted, we attempted the Dizzy Bat Challenge, sent the bachar ladder, raced on Mario Kart, sang our hearts out during  karaoke, things got really heated during the Corn Hole games. Best of all, our members got to participate in our members-only Comp + Chomp. A big thank you to On the Marc Catering who fueled the fun for the whole night with delicious food and refreshing drinks. Thanks to our friends over at Stretch Labs for coming down to give our members a complimentary stretch.

Above all, we’d like to thank our BETA Members who have joined us along the way! Without you, a night this fun wouldn’t have been possible. We hope you feel our gratefulness to have you as part of our BETA Family and celebrate a night together as a community.

If you weren’t able to make it this time, don’t worry. We’ll have more events in the future so be on the lookout! Follow us here on the Blog for some good beta.

If you’re not currently a member, sign up soon so you can be a part of the fun. If you had a good time or would like to give us some beta to improve, please comment below and let us know! It is our pleasure to be your climbing gym in Stamford.  

Written by Kody Tolentino

Edited by Nora Maklad