A night of climbing with the Modo team
Kristi Fuoco, Marketing and Communications Specialist
What happens when you pile a bunch of Modo employees into a van and get them to climb a bunch of walls? Much laughter and fun and a few sore muscles to boot. As a new employee to Modo, I wanted to see if my colleagues would join me at my favourite indoor bouldering hotspot, the Hive Climbing Gym in East Vancouver and much to my delight, a few brave souls were keen to try it out.
For anyone who’s not familiar with the climbing world, the Hive is actually a bouldering gym. Instead of being harnessed in, climbing very high walls (or rocks), bouldering gyms have short routes called “problems” and normally don’t go much above 18 feet. Climbers don’t need any equipment other than climbing shoes and chalk. The great thing about bouldering is that you can just show up and climb—no harness or buddy needed to lower you down when you’re done. It’s also an incredibly social sport—when climbers are waiting their turns or recovering from a climb they’ll hang out on the mats, nerding out on climbing speak and generally having a very chill time. I like to say that climbing is a sport for “B” personality types. It’s intensely challenging, but also attracts the relaxed athlete who is just as content to sit on a mountain ledge and enjoy the view as they are to actually climb.
The principles of climbing also encourage a kind of lazy efficiency. I always tell new climbers, “you’re looking for the easiest way up any wall using the least amount of energy possible.” Having said that, this sport is not for the feint of heart or the weak of muscle. It does require incredible arm, back and finger strength, flexibility, great technique and perhaps most importantly, the ability to still your mind and focus only on the problem in front of you. Just like hiking, running and yoga can still your mind in different ways, climbing forces all other thoughts out of your brain. It’s also a great way to learn to celebrate small accomplishments. I have seen climbers work on one problem for an entire session only to get two feet higher. Climbers are known to work on outdoor routes and bouldering problems for years on end. It’s a sport that encourages patience, humility and sheer grit. It’s also ridiculously fun.
I was hoping that my colleagues would fall in love with bouldering just like I did, and I’m happy to say, they not only fell in love with it, but rocked it. I brought my fiancé, Zeke, along to give the Modo team a hand. Zeke has over 25 years of climbing experience under his belt and was able to give some handy tips (no pun intended) to the budding climbers, as well as show them some moves.
How To Get There
For anyone interested in trying bouldering the Hive has two locations: one in East Vancouver on Industrial Avenue and a larger and newer gym on the North Shore off the Dollarton Highway. Weekday evenings are very busy at the Hive Vancouver so grab a Modo and check out the Hive North Shore or go to the Vancouver location during the off-peak hours. The Hive North Shore also has a great yoga studio and some fantastic training areas. Many of the climbing competitions are also held here if you just want to check out some of the elite bouldering athletes.
We had a fantastic time at the Hive and plan to come back regularly as a team. I’m also looking forward to next spring and summer when I plan to take my new climbing buddies up to Squamish for some outdoor bouldering. Modo is perfect for trips just like this. I started taking my local Modo (#660 – Picasso) up to Squamish long before I started working here. Since climbing is so social and when you’re bouldering outside you need someone to spot you, it encourages people to carpool and travel in groups. You could book a Modo van, invite your climbing buddies along and split the costs. Either that or use Pop Rideshare and invite some friendly riders on your Modo trip to share the cost while doing the environment a solid at the same time.