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 located 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 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 is Simple: Building upon, strengthening and evolving with climbers and the climbing community.
- Stephen Price// Owner
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.
- Clint DillardOwner // General Manager
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.”
- Hilary HarrisOwner
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.”
- Jon SullivanDIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS // RETAIL + GUIDE PROGRAM MANAGER
Jon Sullivan grew up in San Di-a-go, just south of GNARnia. (Just kidding.) He thought he’d be a competitive swimmer until he ditched the Speedo for a harness and found the mountains to be his home.
He pursued his career path in the outdoor industry, and enrolled in an American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) program. After obtaining his AMGA certifications, he got a job with Avid4 Adventure. For six years, he worked as Climbing Supervisor.
From van living to truck living to straight dirt bagging, he’s made climbing his life, and welcomes everyone to join the evolution. Bring your green hat.
- Justen “Sensei” Sjong// The Sensei
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, and coaching his team, Team Sensei. On his approach: “I don’t believe there’s a mold. I believe everyone has a unique skill set and I celebrate that uniqueness.”
- Alexandra Fox
- Emmett Cookson
- Jeff Mccallister
Environmental stewardship is at the core of our business philosophy, and it extends to our educational programs, purchasing policies, and building design.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are currently looking for people to join our team!