Our Evolution

People seem to always be curious…“Why ‘EVO?'”

The story goes something like this:

It was in New Hampshire of 1910 when the first technical climb was completed and recorded in the United States. There, on the intimidating slopes of the Huntington Ravine within Mount Washington, climbing began. Were we there? No. Was our inspiration? You betchya. At EVO Rock + Fitness we believe that we have all evolved from this larger history. Being part of the community and culture is wonderfully captivating, and we want you to come along.

We know 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 an encouraging, non-intimidating environment.

Historically, climbing has revolved around community and camaraderie almost more than climbing itself.  Stories of sketchy ascents, near-death experiences, and/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 celebrates this fact by hosting ongoing social events for the climbing community throughout the year.

Our Louisville gym is being built in one of the most abundant climbing areas of the country. Located ten miles east of Boulder, at the heart of the Colorado Tech Center, it can be considered an evolution of the land’s already expansive playground.  Founder Hilary Harris is especially excited for this new location, having cut her teeth in this area as a beginner climber.  For Harris, this is where it all began.

So remember – regardless of who you are or where you come from, we’re all climbers. Everyone plays a part in this story…this culture…this ongoing evolution.

What’s your story? Tell us at #myevolution #evolou

Our Mission

Our Mission is Simple: Building upon, strengthening and evolving with climbers and the climbing community.

Our Team

Partners

  • Hilary Harris
    Hilary HarrisFounder/ CEO, EVO Rock + Fitness, Inc.

    Hilary Harris is both a long-time climber and licensed architect. Her climbing career started in Boulder, CO in the late 80’s. Gaining rapid recognition and success, Harris was one of a handful of women pioneers in the country, raising the bar on female standards in the sport.  Harris has been coaching for more than 20 years and has coached youth to the World Cup level. She has also climbed and trained extensively throughout the US and Europe with the world’s top climbers. When she is not busy working on business relations you can find her at any number of the great crags in colorful Colorado.

    Harris oversees the communications, marketing and outreach of the EVO gyms.  She works on future climbing gym start-ups and oversees the corporate relations of the business; all the while striving to live by these words written by David Henry Thoreau: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

  • Clint Dillard
    Clint DillardManaging Partner

    Clint Dillard was born in Marietta, Georgia. He started climbing in 1990, and it changed his life forever.   Dillard loves where climbing has taken him, where he knows it will take him in the future, and says simply, “I’m who I am because of climbing.”

    His love for EVO Louisville stems from the respect EVO has for the history of climbing, and the community hub the facility provides.  In the past, Dillard has spent many years as a climbing guide, a paramedic, a Physician Assistant, a mountain SAR, and is currently in a medical clinic.

    He and his wife are “discovering daily adventures” with their children (two and four years old).  They are introducing their munchkins to the great outdoors of hiking, climbing, and exploring the world around them. In his spare time, Dillard is a beekeeper and would have hundreds of hives if his wife would let him. His advice to the new climber?  “Enjoy yourself.  Take a class and find a mentor.  Respect the history and ethics of the sport.  Welcome to the best sport ever.”

  • Stephen Price
    Stephen PricePartner

    Stephen Price used to play basketball until he discovered the great outdoors traveling in New Zealand, during college. Price realized basketball had nothing on kitesurfing, climbing, or sailing, which he picked up faster than a free lunch.

    Since then, in between running his own IT Management Company, Price has been an ultra-marathoner (running over 60 miles a day through National Parks such as Zion and The Grand Canyon), has captained boats in Croatia and the Caribbean, and participated in various adventure races, including the 2002 Eco-Challenge Expedition Race, which took place in Fiji.

    Price and Managing Partner Clint Dillard met volunteering on Mountain Rescue, and have been friends for over a decade. One night, approximately three years ago, Dillard told Price about “this idea” for a climbing gym in Louisville. Price told him it sounded great, and to let him know when he needed investors. The next morning, Dillard called and asked him to be his business partner. They met Hilary Harris at the CWA that year, and the rest is history.

    Management

    • Sarah Fountain
      Sarah FountainIntegrated Marketing Manager // Social Media

      Sarah Fountain went to school at the University of the Pacific, where she majored in Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations.  Just to make her mom upset, after graduation she became a farmer in northern California for almost three years.  Then, two years ago she moved to Maine where she promptly became a freelance journalist for the small town of Harpswell, and then later, for a publication based out of Falmouth.

      Fountain is excited to be in Colorado where it rains rock climbers. She loves her dog, iced coffee, climbing, and super hero movies.  Her advice for the new climber? “Ask questions…all the questions.” 

    • Becky Robran
      Becky RobranOperations Manager

      Becky Robran has been a furniture maker, routesetter, climbing gym founder, owner, and climber for 12 years.  After a three month crag-exploration road trip out west in 2005, she and her husband, Chris, landed in Chattanooga, Tennessee and opened their own climbing gym— operating the biz for seven years. In 2015, they sold the gym, and took to van life with the happiest-dog-ever, Dexter.

      For almost two years, Becky, Dexter, and Chris ventured around Canada and the US; bouldering everywhere from Joe’s Valley in central Utah, to Squamish, British Colombia. Her advice to the new climber? “Don’t be intimidated by rock climbing, it really is something anyone can fall in love with.”

    • Justen “Sensei” Sjong
      Justen “Sensei” SjongSenior Director of Coaching and Training Development

      Climbing Magazine dubbed Justen Sjong “The Sensei” in 2006 for a grip of good reasons. Sjong’s reputation for both climbing and coaching has been growing since 1992; he’s trained world-class athletes such as Daniel Woods, Emily Harrington, Alex Puccio, and Chelsea Rude, to name a few. Sjong was with Tommy Caldwell on early explorations of The Dawn Wall, and together they established one of the “hardest free big-wall” climbs in the world (Magic Mushroom, 5.13d/14a) on El Cap.

      His role with EVO Rock + Fitness includes mentoring EVO coaches, overseeing competitive programs, and Head Coach duties. On his approach: “I don’t believe there’s a mold. I believe everyone has a unique skill set and I celebrate that uniqueness.”

    • Jon Sullivan
      Jon SullivanRetail + Guide Program Manager
      • Spirit Animal: Pitbull
      • First Language: Dry British humor
      • Homeland: San Diego
      • Advice to the new climber: “Don’t be scared to try hard.”
    • Kris Ugarriza
      Kris UgarrizaArt Director
      • Spirit Animal: Homemade Guacamole – sometimes it comes out alright, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s always ready to party.
      • First Language: Español
      • Homeland: Peru
      • Advice to the new climber: “Don’t chase grades. Just have fun.”

    Setters

    • Nick Foster
      Nick FosterHead Setter
      •  Spirit Animal: Cast Iron Skillet
      • First language: Sarcasm
      • Homeland: Portland, Maine.
      • Setting Career: Seven years, Level 4 Certification from USAC.
      • Climbing: Seven years
      • Advice to the new climber: “Set aside the excuses that are coming to your mind and try everything.”
    • Alexandra Fox
      Alexandra FoxSetter, Youth Program Instructor
      • Spirit Animal: Porcupine
      • First Language: Snarky
      • Homeland: EVO Rock + Fitness
      • Setting Career: Four years
      • Climbing: Seven years
      • Advice to the new climber: “Flow before you force.”
      • Emmett Cookson
        Emmett CooksonSetter // Coach // Dungeon & Dragons Expert
        • Spirit Animal: Sonic the Hedgehog
        • First Language: Nerd
        • Homeland: St. Louis, Missouri
        • Setting Career: Six months
        • Climbing: Two and a half years
        • Advice to the new climber: “Join Adult Training.”

        Front Desk Army // Instructors // Coaches

        • Sean Horvath
          Sean HorvathFront Desk // Instructor
          • Spirit Animal: Blue Whale
          • First Language: Awkward silence
          • Homeland: Washington DC
          • Advice to the new climber: “Stretch. That’s my advice to everyone in life.”
          • Nathan Simpson
            Nathan SimpsonFront Desk // Instruction
            • Spirit Animal: Rock Sloth
            • First Language: Slang
            • Homeland: Indiana
            • Advice to the new climber: Climbing is an endlessly challenging and rewarding sport. You only get out of it what you put into it. Go up.”
            • Annie Lo
              Annie LoDaycare Provider // Front Desk
              • Spirit Animal: Trail Runner
              • First Language: Music
              • Homeland: Maryland
              • Advice: “Stick with it!”
              • Nicolas King
                Nicolas KingFront Desk // Assistant Buyer
                • Spirit Animal:
                • First Language:
                • Homeland:
                • Advice to the new climber:
                • Ethan Chase
                  Ethan ChaseFront Desk // Coach // Occasional Setter
                  • Spirit Animal: Blastoise (the Pokemon)
                  • First Language: Climber Jargon
                  • Homeland: Mass-a-ma-chu-setts
                  • Advice to the new climber: “The climb’s not awkward…you’re awkward.”

                   

                  • Molly Stern
                    Molly SternFront Desk // Youth Programs Instructor
                    • Spirit Animal: Llama
                    • First Language: Dr. Seuss
                    • Homeland: Arizona
                    • Advice to the new climber: “Climb on! Climb up?”
                    • Liz Haas
                      Liz HaasFront Desk // Youth Programs Instructor
                      • Spirit Animal: Prairie dog
                      • First Language: Overly excited babbling
                      • Homeland: Vermont
                      • Advice to the new climber: “Something corny, like, ‘have fun, and climb outside.’ But both those things are true.”
                      • Emmett Cookson
                        Emmett CooksonSetter // Coach // Dungeon & Dragons Expert
                        • Spirit Animal: Sonic the Hedgehog
                        • First Language: Nerd
                        • Homeland: St. Louis, Missouri
                        • Setting Career: Six months
                        • Climbing: Two and a half years
                        • Advice to the new climber: “Join Adult Training.”
                        • Michaela (like “far-out”) Farr
                          Michaela (like “far-out”) FarrFront Desk, MeetUp Group Facilitator
                          • Spirit Animal: Radish
                          • First Language: Ummm…
                          • Homeland: Santa Fe, New Mexico
                          • Advice to the new climber: “Get the tightest pair of Solutions you can find and belay in them for three hours. No wait, that’s a joke!”

                          Environment

                          Environmental stewardship is at the core of our business philosophy, and it extends to our educational programs, purchasing policies, and building design.

                          EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

                          We believe climbing lives 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.

                          PURCHASING 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.

                          BUILDING

                          EVO Rock + Fitness has been designed and built to high environmental performance standards. We started by designing a building that is oriented to the south so the building can optimize daylight and solar heat gain during the winter. 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 the 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 summer months when there is a demand for cooler air the system is designed to bring in the outdoor fresh air to cool the building naturally. Our air filtration system filters the chalk that is generated in a climbing gym, so it goes into the filter and not your lungs!

                          Our lighting systems use efficient fluorescents along with LED’s in select locations. The fluorescents 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.

                          Employment

                          EVO is always looking to bring new people to our team.  We are a visionary company that believes our evolution is critical to having the best people we can find…You know, the upbeat professional ones, who love to have fun, talk, climb, and be merry.  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 when an opening becomes available.

                           

                          If you are interested in a position, fill out this  Job Application and Application Questionnaire  and email to:

                          louisville@evorock.com