People seem to always be curious..."Why Evo?"
The story goes something like this:
It started in the small state of New Hampshire. One of the first known records of a technical climb being completed in the United States took place on Mount Washington in 1910, on the intimidating slopes of Huntington Ravine. From that day forth we have seen the sport evolve from using basic gear and clothing which was not designed specifically for climbing, to gear that has become more specialized, sophisticated, stronger, and lighter. With the progression in equipment has come increasingly difficult and bold ascents throughout the world.
Modern climbers have followed this same path and the spirit of adventure lives on. Evo Rock + Fitness is the conduit between this rich history and the future of climbing. We believe in empowering individuals by teaching them the full range of skills that climbing has developed over many decades of trial and error. Learning these skills gives our customers something they can use for a lifetime.
There continues to be a push to get climbing into the Olympic Games. The buzz is out. Collegiate teams are being formed around the country. Youth clubs and teams are popping up everywhere. To prepare for this eventuality, Evo Rock + Fitness has raised the bar on the standards of what makes a climbing gym experience great by taking the best components of what we have seen in some of the best gyms around the world. This provides the framework for future climbers of all levels and abilities to push their limits.
Join us in this exciting journey. Evolve yourself and find YOUR Route!
Our Mission is Simple:
To be a national resource and inspiration to empower individuals through climbing by building upon, strengthening and evolving with climbers and the climbing community.
At EVO ROCK + FITNESS we believe that everyone has untapped potential inside of them—it’s only a matter of discovering it. Our gyms provide the framework for people of all ages and abilities to discover that potential through climbing, in a non-intimidating but inspiring environment.
Every climber experiences his or her own evolution that weaves itself into a larger fabric. Historically, climbing has revolved around community and camaraderie almost more than the climbing itself. Stories of sketchy ascents or near-death experiences in the mountains or sending a super hard boulder problem cannot be told without talking about the people who were there. Profound relationships will always be an integral part of being a climber, and EVO ROCK + FITNESS celebrates this fact by hosting ongoing social events for the climbing community throughout the year.
Climbing gyms have evolved from small home training facilities for the hard-core few to professionally built and operated commercial facilities that cater to a much wider audience. Regardless of who you are or where you come from, we’re still all climbers, and EVO ROCK + FITNESS gyms celebrate all of us. We believe that everyone plays a part in this story…this culture…this ongoing evolution.
Evolution Rock + Fitness is proud to provide the most modern and extensive climbing walls in northern New England. With 16,000 square feet of climbing surface, there is something for everyone at all levels of ability: beginner, intermediate, advanced lead climbing, speed climbing, and bouldering. Cort Gariepy of Rockwerx in Barre, Massachusetts designed Evo's walls. The Rockwerx team has done an excellent job to provide a top-notch product to northern New England.
Flynn Construction of Nashua, NH is the building contractor that built our building. The building has been designed and built to be the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly climbing gym in New England.
MANAGEMENT + OPERATIONS
Hilary Harris, Founder and General Manager of Evolution Rock + Fitness, is both a long-time climber and licensed architect. Her climbing career started in the late 80's. Gaining rapid recognition and success, Hilary was one of a handful of women pioneers in the country, raising the bar on female standards in the sport. She has climbed and trained extensively throughout the US and Europe with the world's top climbers.
Since retiring from competition climbing, Hilary has been an active coach, helping to bring youths to the world cup level. She has worked in climbing gyms in several different states and was one of the first certified female international route setters in the world. Hilary has a contagious passion for the sport - always eager to share with others at any level.
Kris Hiller, Operations Manager at Evolution, has been working in the hospitality business for more than 16 years. Before joining our team he was the General Manager at Margaritas Restaurant in Nashua, NH for 4 1/2 years. He graduated from the Leadership Greater Nashua Program put on by the Nashua Chamber of Commerce and is on the Board of Directors for the Nashua Youth Soccer League. Kris has a passion for fitness and sports and has been climbing since 2006. He also makes a mean margarita!
James Otey, Assistant Manager, Coach, and Route Setter, is a New Hampshire native with an educational background in philosophy and neuroscience from Hamilton College. He began climbing in North Conway at the age of 12, learning the fundamentals of traditional climbing, and testing himself on the technical granite classics of the area. After sustaining a serious lower leg fracture while mountain biking late in 2003, James was forced to remove himself his new found passion for 2 years until he could walk again. Within a year after regaining mobility, he went on to be a nationally competitive USAC sport climber. His professional background is in coaching youth competitive sport climbing and bouldering. James is an Evolv Athlete and AMGA certified instructor. In his personal time he focuses on pushing his limits while sport climbing in Rumney.
Sandy works in the Kid Zone and is super excited about all the great things happening at Evolution! She's an undergraduate focusing in Social Work and Outdoor Education at The University of New Hampshire. She has a passion for all things outside, particularly hiking. She's a beginner climber but is looking forward to improving and having another amazing hobby to enjoy outdoors!
Peter Arnold, an Instructor at Evolution, was born in NH then moved out west to persue a Computer Science degree at Montana State. While out west he discovered a love for climbing among other sports including backcountry skiing and white water kayaking. Now a climber and back east Peter has begun exploring the climbing areas of the granite state. With a goal to push his limits in sport climbing, bouldering and trad, Evo has become a great facility for him to get strong and fit while giving back to the community.
Despite Harrison's recent entry into the sport, he has been working hard to bring his climbing to the next level. He has been getting his hands on any rock or hold he can find to improve his skill and style. He enjoys snowboarding, kayaking, quoting movies, and eating just about anything.
Shealyn Quinn, or Shea for short, spent her childhood swinging from ropes until she was old enough to climb herself. Her father, David Quinn, raised her climbing on the cliffs in Rumney where she would project routes until she succeeded. While not at the gym, Shea enjoys Led Zeppelin, hockey, and traveling. You can find her either behind the desk or facilitating parties. Standing at an ominous 5 feet and ¼ of an inch tall, she is a ball of smiling laughs and is always ready to meet new people.
Ian is a senior at the University of New Hampshire where he is studying Psychology. He started climbing a little over a year ago while studying abroad in London. Upon finding the Mile End climbing gym, he immediately became hooked and started going every week. He came back from England the very week Evolution opened and was psyched to keep climbing on a regular basis. He is excited to work at Evo, be part of a community of great climbers, and is looking forward to being able to learn from them.
Sydney McNair, Head Route Setter and Climbing Team Coach, is a Washington State transplant, who moved to NH for school. At Plymouth State University she completed her bachelor's degree in Sports Medicine and her master's degree in Athletic Training, which she hopes to incorporate into the climbing industry. Sydney started climbing at the age of 5 with her father at the UW rock wall, an outdoor, man-made structure, composed of concrete and rocks. At the age of 12 she joined a competitive climbing team at Stone Gardens, where she began training and competing. She later joined the Vertical World Climbing Team under the watchful eye of coach Tyson Schoene, who is now a life-long friend. While competing Sydney participated in National level competitions in both the youth and adult circuits and has competed in two Youth World Championships (Scotland and China) and one Adult Bouldering World Cup (Vail, CO). Sydney began coaching in 2004 and has continued to share her passion for climbing with youth and adults alike.
Kyle began climbing when he was 12 years old when his sister encouraged him to try it. Within a year, he was climbing competitively and soon became internationally ranked. After competing for four seasons in the adult and youth circuit he began coaching and pursuing his passion for route setting. Over the years he has continued to excel within the world of climbing to become one of the youngest setters in the country to complete his Level 4 Chief Setter certification. In the last eight years he has set routes for some of the most high profile competitions in the country including the NorEaster, Dark Horse, UBC Pro Tour, IFSC Would Cup in Boulder, CO and USA Climbing Nationals for both adult and youth. When not climbing a rock, Kyle can be found in the canopy of a tree. As a Certified Arborist, and sole owner of Northern Arboriculture LLC, he rounds out his love of the outdoors into a full time job.
Born in 1976, Peter began climbing just after high school and has since dedicated his life to pursuing the art of rock climbing. A student of movement, he has always been fascinated by the pursuit of the most difficult and beautiful free climbs he could find. Over the years Peter has established himself as one of America's most well rounded climbers with over 40 5.14 redpoints up to 5.14d, including first ascents of 5.14 trad climbs, onsights up to 5.13c and bouldering ascents up to V12. Peter is one of the few climbers in the country to have established multiple 5.14 sport climbing first ascents as well as multiple 5.14 traditional first ascents.
He has worked in the climbing gym industry for the past 15 years route setting, coaching and guiding around New England.
Peter is an avid distance runner and a general fiend for exercise, climbing, runnning and training nearly 7 days a week. He lives in Burlington, Vermont with his wife and two sons where they own and operate a small family bitters and health tonics business, Urban Moonshine, urbanmoonshine.com.
Nel Norwesh, a Yoga Instructor at Evolution, took her first Hatha yoga class when she was 10 and fell in love with yogaʼs blending of breath, movement, and meditation. In her youth, she implemented meditation techniques for performance enhancement in USCF cycling competition. She studied cultural dance and yoga in earnest in her 20ʼs. Avidly hiking and seeking athletic adventures inspired her to meld multi-faceted movement experiences into asana practice. In 2008 she completed certification to become a Kripalu Yoga Teacher. Nel continually supplements her training with advanced teachings in innovative yoga asana and meditation practices with established figures Siva Rea, Parvathi Nanda Nath, and an array of talented instructors. She teaches students of all ages and abilities, and co-teaches yoga teacher trainings. Friends introduced her to scrambling and climbing at Rumney a few years ago after she moved to New Hampshire from Phoenix, Az. She is enjoying that early crush phase of being a novice climber. Her observations of, and dialogue with climbers and their methods of movement compel her to design flow yoga sequences that benefit climbers. She is delighted to be involved with the Evolution culture.
Environmental stewardship is at the core of our business philosophy, extending to our educational programs, purchasing policies, and building design.
We believe that climbing extends beyond the walls of our gym. Respecting the outdoor crags that we all enjoy as a community is an essential part of keeping the sport of climbing alive. We fully endorse Leave No Trace ethics throughout our educational programs and policies.
We are very conscious about the environmental and social impacts of what we buy. That is why you will see products that are organic, recycled, locally made, and non-toxic throughout our gym.
If you have questions or concerns about a product we use or carry, please let us know.
Evolution R+F has been designed and built to the highest environmental performance standards of any climbing gym in the Northeast. We started by designing a building that is oriented to the south so the office, babysitting, birthday party room and entrance get the most sun and heat during the winter months. This was done so that our staff and others who are not climbing can soak up the rays during the winter and the climbing gym area can stay cooler where all of the moving bodies are. During the summer months the sun can be more easily controlled on the south side which ensures that we can keep the building as cool as possible before needing air conditioning.
Our roof is also facing south so we can add solar panels to the building in the future.
Landscaping uses drought tolerant native plants so an irrigation system is unnecessary.
Our mechanical system meets high efficiency ratings above and beyond code requirements. During the swing months when there is a demand for cooler air the system is designed to bring in outdoor fresh air that is cool enough to cool the building naturally. Our air filtration system is designed to filter the chalk that is generated in a climbing gym so it goes into the filter and not your lungs!
Our lighting systems use the most efficient fluorescents available on the market along with LED's in select locations. The flourescents are modern with high quality color rendering which makes people look like their natural selves instead of the older type of lights that make the skin look green.
Our interior finishes are non-toxic, emitting very little amounts of volatile organic compounds. This keeps our indoor air clean and fresh to make your workout the best it can be.
All water fixtures meet or exceed the highest standards as defined by the LEED Green Building System.
Evolution Rock + Fitness is always excited to bring new people onto our team. We are a visionary company that believes our evolution is critical to having the best people we can find on our team. We are always seeking upbeat and professional people that love to have fun, enjoy people, and are dedicated to climbing and fitness. We are seeking staff that are self-motivated, organized and want to be a part of the larger community of climbing and fitness. If there is not a posted position that you are currently interested in, please submit your application and we will keep it on file for when an opening becomes available.