About Escape Climbing
We exist as a company to enable the sport of indoor climbing. Our mission is to get every hand on a hold. We want to tear down the barriers of climbing by making our sport more accessible to anyone. By designing great climbing holds we hope to bring out the best in route setters, which in turn leads to a better climbing. By being a bulk importer of hardware we can drive down the cost of bolts and t-nuts which leaves a bigger budget for holds and makes building a wall affordable. By offering a wide range of training tools we give you that opportunity to take your climbing to the next level and push your limits.
At the heart of who we are, we believe in promoting a healthy lifestyle. Health is more than just fitness. Health entails a mental, and an emotional aspect as well. Climbing is a sport that is more than just fitness too. There is a mental aspect of climbing with the problem solving, and climbings social driven nature meets many emotional needs with our community bonds. Enabling the sport of climbing means we get to open up an avenue for happier, healthier, stronger people every time we ship a package from our facility.
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We exist as a company for the sole purpose of getting Every Hand On A Hold. We've seen the positive physical, mental, social, and emotional effects of climbing in our own lives and it's something we're driven to share with as many people as possible. If we judge our days by the quality of work we do, the intention behind our actions, and by the number of people we enable to pursue this wonderful sport... We'll, if that's how were measuring such things...then today was a really good day. Special shout out to Brenden, Rita, Marta, Seth, and Karen! Behind the scenes faces that make it all possible! . . . . . #escapeclimbing #rockclimbing #climbinggym #climbing_is_my_passion #climbingholds #climbing #bouldering #bouldering_pictures_of_instagram #climbing_pictures_of_instagram #gym #gymmotivation #workout #fitness #fitnessmotivation #boulderinggym #routesetting #routesetter #sportclimbing #klettern #klettersteig
The first Escape Climbing holds were made and sold in 2006. Founder Ryan Angelo fell in love with the sport of climbing during college, but unfortunately living in the middle of Wisconsin made it challenging to be a climber. He built his first home woodie in his parents barn (lead routes and all) but the holds were sparse due to his bootstrap budget. Having an art degree and no budget for climbing holds was a recipe for DIY holds. This was at a time where you could not YouTube how to make climbing holds and no blogs were willing to talk about it. The first holds were shaped out of clay, window calk was used to make silicone molds, and then molds filled with bondo to make the climbing holds. Fortunately we have come pretty far from the original bondo holds.
In 2009 Ryans hold knowledge really developed as he managed the setting crew at Vertical Endeavors St. Paul. This is where he met his partner Richard. The two of them quit their full-time jobs and dove head first into Escape Climbing in 2012. Through a supportive climbing community, lots of friend and family support, Escape has continued to grow significantly each year since. In 2017 Escape purchased Project Holds and The Detroit Climbing Company’s hold designs. Escape also partnered with the Canadian company Friction Climbing to bring manufacturing into the USA. In 2018 Escape acquired Kingdom Climbing and Working Class Climbing to round out our hold selection. Our community has supported us in a big way for the last 12 years and we can’t wait so see what we can do for the community in the next 12 years.
THOUGHTS FROM THE SHOP
3 Lessons We've Learned
For us, looking forward often starts with looking back.
Today, as we look back on how far we've come in the past couple years, we can't help but notice the path littered with lessons learned, lessons forgotten, and lessons we don't yet fully understand.
Because we're in this journey together (thanks so much for the support, everybody), we'd like to share 3 lessons we've learned over the years.
1) Doing the Right Thing is always the Right Thing
Doing the right thing often means slowing down, or going back to the beginning, or passing up on seemingly once in a lifetime opportunities. It's often hard, time-consuming, and occasionally means admitting you've made a mistake.
Doing the right thing often means losing money in the short-term.
With that said, It's hard to measure, but doing the Right Thing is always ROI positive.
It's not just good business, it's good human'ing.
2) Mastery is a Path, Not a Destination
The moment you think you've arrived is the moment you will be passed.
Mastery, for us, is not a state of being so much as it is a state of mind.
Every task, every customer interaction, every product we create is another opportunity to improve, to refine our skill, or to learn something entirely new.
Pride is the enemy of progress.
Never be to proud to admit you're lost, to ask for help, or to start again.
Never be too proud to admit that you could've done better.
3) In Life (and Business) you have to Fail Your Way To Success "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that will not work." - Thomas Edison
In every failure there is an opportunity for growth. What ultimately determines your ability to succeed in any endeavor is your ability to sustain and progress in the face of failure.
Failure is the mechanism by which we evolve.
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As most of you probably know, we create all our own holds in house. We shape every hold in foam ourselves, mold every hold in silicone ourselves, and pour every hold in polyurethane...ourselves. We've done it this way from the very beginning because we love owning full responsibility for the quality and consistency of every order you place with us. But this raises an interesting question... namely: How do you define quality? There are certain industry standards we can probably all agree on...(colors should match, set screw holes and bolt holes should be fully drilled, holds should lay flat and not have any obvious defects or blemishes), but when we talk about quality PLASTIC, what exactly are we talking about? For years our tiny little industry has operated under the impression that some plastic makes for a better climbing hold than others, but what are exactly are these qualities? How do you KNOW (more than just an anecdotal feeling in your gut) that the plastic you hold in your hands is actually of a high quality? We're desperate to answer this question because we want to get Every Hand On A Hold (aka: EHOAH as it's referred to around these parts). Part of EHOAH is supplying you guys at home and in the gym, regardless of the size of your project, with the best products at the best price. That's where machines like the one you see above come in. Dash is our Universal Testing Machine that allows us to test plastic and hardware in-house in the most precise ways possible. Armed with the knowledge that Dash (and machines like Dash... more stories on those to come soon) provides, we will do our best to constantly innovate and improve on every product that slides out our door and onto your wall. As we say around these parts, "Mastery is a path, not a destination." And with that, we'd like to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you who've joined us on this journey. . . . . . #escapeclimbing #rockclimbing #climbinggym #climbing_is_my_passion #climbingholds #climbing #bouldering #bouldering_pictures_of_instagram #climbing_pictures_of_instagram #gym #gymmotivation #workout #fitness #fitnessmotivation #boulderinggym #routesetting #routesetter #sportclimbing #klettern