October 2, 2019

Our September Beer & Bouldering featuring Sterling Rope was filled with all the climbing goodness you would expect from us, including: a climbing athlete and rope engineer, film screening, swag, raffles, learning opportunities, beer, bouldering, and (most importantly) YOU the locals.

With about 30 guests in our shop, the room was buzzing with conversation on climbing. Our special guest, Jim Ewing, conducted a clinic on the engineering and technology behind Sterling’s climbing ropes. “I’m pretty new to climbing,” said Katie, one of the attendees, “I was really impressed by the presentation [by Jim Ewing] and it really got me interested in going climbing outside.”

Afterward, we had a raffle and screened the Adaptive short film starring Jim himself and a previous special guest of ours, pro climber Maureen Beck.

The film showcased the two climbers on their epic ascent of Canada’s Lotus Flower Tower, complete with hardship and triumph, ALL despite being adaptive climbers… Did I mention epic adventure?  Afterward, Jim answered questions while attendees continued to enjoy the drinks & climb in the background.

As usual, we had a lot of new faces stop by to check out the event. “I was at the Factory and I overheard someone talking about this,” Dan, a local climber, said, “but I had to come when I heard there was free beer. I mean how could you pass up free beer and climbing?”

One person told us, “I’ve only really gone climbing at the gym, but it feels pretty closed off, like people don’t really talk outside of their friend group. Coming here really helped me feel a part of the community. Talking with new people and them helping and giving tips to newbies like me is inspiring.”

Gear Advice From Jim Ewing

Before Beer & Bouldering we grabbed Jim for a quick photoshoot and asked him to pick a prop, anything from the store that spoke to him. He quietly gestured with his eyes and a sly smile toward the grappling hook we have hanging above the register saying, “this is perfect. I feel like this is the first thing inexperienced people think of when it comes to climbing gear.”

Not only is Jim photogenic, he has a huge climbing background and so naturally we wanted to pick his brain on climbing gear. Jim is a fan of Black Diamond’s Oz quickdraw; a lightweight solid-gate, a perfect draw for any situation or expedition. For ropes, Jim recommended the Nano Dry and Ion because the two ropes are designed well and can last a good amount of time. The Ion can take a little more fall and is robust, while the Nano Dry will perform a little better and works well in wet conditions.

For Jim, “some of the other rope manufacturers change their factory all the time; you’re not really sure where it’s coming from. Sterling Rope has always come from the same place.” He also designs and tests the ropes himself, giving even more assurance for Jim when he climbs. With the reputation that Sterling has built up for itself and Jim being an engineer and elite-level climber, there is weight to his words.