Shane Bryson has been the facilities manager over at The Front since it opened back in August 2010. “Like any small business, this has evolved and changed a lot through the last 8 years. Building the business has been important, but so has building a relationship with the community—that’s the biggest driving force for us,” Bryson said. And that attitude comes mostly from the climbing community. “Climbers are so communal, so it’s important for us to feel accepted and a part of the Ogden community as well.” They’re doing a great job of it so far, and Bryson mostly credits organic outreach efforts. “We’ve become friends with these businesses by partnering with them on events and supporting each other.”
Most who frequent the club are experienced indoor and outdoor climbing enthusiasts, but Bryson recognizes that, to newcomers, the environment can be intimidating. “It’s like anything you do though, you just have to try it. I think coming to a gym like this is a good way to start climbing though because you’re in a controlled environment and you’re surrounded by trained and experienced staff who can teach you how to do things,” Bryson explained.
All staffers at The Front are experienced climbers in their own right and have insider knowledge of the techniques and equipment needed to successfully climb. “We pay for our staffers to go through certain certifications, so you’re always getting the best, most up-to-date-information. It can help ease that nervousness, and, the more you do this, that fear goes away a little bit.”
For those who still may be wary about jumping into some rope climbing or bouldering (The Front offers both), they also have a full service gym with everything from cardio to weight training equipment and two full yoga studios. “Yoga started as a part of our business. Yoga and climbing complement each other so well as far as being limber and flexible or just breathing and staying focused,” he said.
While they started with just one studio, they have expanded to include two and even do complete yoga instructor training through a 200-hour course. They also sport a full climbing retail shop of all the technical equipment necessary to climb almost anywhere—and all of the products they sell are tried and approved by staff members.
If you’re still unsure if climbing is for you, Bryson thinks that just about anyone can come in here and learn how to do it—they even offer summer camps and teams for kids as young as six. “As long as someone is physically able to do it, they can climb here. We have a few people with disabilities who come in to climb. Some are in wheelchairs and pull themselves out of the wheelchairs and climb up the walls” he said.
The Front Climbing Club is open to the public. They offer memberships for people who want to visit more frequently, but you can just buy a day pass if you want to give it a try.