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 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

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

Our Team

MANAGEMENT

  • Jon Sullivan
    Jon Sullivan DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

    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 enrolled in an American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) program. After obtaining multiple AMGA certifications, he got a job with Avid4 Adventure, where he worked as Climbing Supervisor for six years.
    From van living to truck living to straight dirt bagging, he’s made climbing (and skiing) his life, and welcomes everyone to join the evolution.

  • Thomas Scholl
    Thomas Scholl ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

    Thomas grew up in Dallas, TX, and started climbing in college. Naturally he became hooked and has worked in climbing gyms ever since, both because of the ol’ Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life thing and because it’s pretty neat to be part of a rapidly evolving industry. When he’s not at EVO, you’ll find him bouldering outside and/or eating donuts and/or chilling on crash pads in the sun. If you can’t find him, that’s cause he’s a boulderer and therefore is sleeping in. His advice to the new climber: Take it slow; be humble; learn everything.

  • Nick Miller
    Nick Miller PROGRAMS DIRECTOR

    Nick grew up in a small town you’ve never heard of in Indiana: Crawfordsville. He has nearly a decade of climbing experience under his belt, and, while he loves the movement aspects of the sport, his favorite part of climbing is the community and the relationships he’s developed within that community. His favorite part of working at a climbing gym: helping youth and adult athletes exceed their own expectations. When he’s not at EVO, you’ll find Nick outside climbing, mountain biking or skiing with his wife.

  • Damien Wilhelmi
    Damien Wilhelmi Marketing Manager

    Damien grew up in Chicago, but quickly escaped to Louisville, CO. Like many of us, he started climbing in college and has dabbled in the sport ever since, though he’s logged just as many hours climbing in caves under mountains as he has on the cliffs on top of them. When Damien isn’t at EVO or spelunking, you’ll find him outside romping around with his dog. His advice to the beginner climber: “You have to focus and commit if you intend to improve. But if you’re just doing it for the LOLs, then simply make the most of it and enjoy!”

  • Liz Haas
    Liz Haas MARKETING CONTENT MANAGER

    Liz grew up in rural Vermont and began climbing at the University of New Hampshire when she decided that running 5Ks was no longer her thing. Since then, she’s been obsessed with rocks and writing about rocks for Climbing Magazine, Rock and Ice, her own website, and now the EVO bathroom notes. When she’s not staring at her computer screen, you’ll find her in the EVO bouldering area or outside in Eldo or Rifle. She loves all genres of climbing, except ice climbing, “cause it’s cold and expensive.”

  • TJ Sanford
    TJ Sanford Director of Coaching // Head Routesetter

    TJ grew up in a small town in southwestern Michigan. He started climbing in college and became fully hooked on the sport after his first Red River Gorge jug-haul. Since then, he has developed passions for outdoor bouldering, sport climbing and trad climbing. When he’s not coaching or setting, you’ll either find him developing new routes outside. TJ’s advice to the new climber applies to all of us: “Learn from others, but remember, there will always be someone who can hike your project in their street shoes.”

  • Sarkis Barnett
    Sarkis Barnett Retail Director

    Sarkis grew up in the Wasatch Mountains behind Salt Lake City, UT, allegedly raised by moose. Despite that, he now knows pretty much everything about every piece of gear in the pro shop, frequently speaks in a German accent (…he’s Armenian…), and has a strange affinity for all pink problems in the gym. His advice to the new climber: “Don’t obsess about the pink one in the corner (told ya), solutions might be aid along with chalk, and an onsight might not count if the draws are already up, but who cares. Be excited about your progress.”

  • Noelle Dewitt
    Noelle Dewitt Yoga + Fitness Director

    Noelle grew up in Boulder, which basically makes her a unicorn. She began climbing in 2009, started teaching yoga in 2012, and has managed yoga studios and led yoga and fitness training workshops since 2014 (read: we’re super lucky to have her at EVO). Now, Noelle’s main focus is teaching pre and postnatal exercise and raising her little one. When she’s not at EVO teaching Strong Mamas or working with instructors to cook up new classes, you’ll find her outside enjoying nature in Eldorado Springs or at a brewery with friends.

  • Nick Santomauro
    Nick Santomauro Assistant Head Coach

    Nick is a native East Coaster, which makes him a pro at dealing with extreme humidity and decoding New York accents. He began climbing in 2015 and started coaching in 2016. When he’s not at EVO you’ll find him outside bouldering with friends, most likely in Rock Mountain National Park if it’s not snowed in–and sometimes when it is snowed in. His advice to the beginner climber: Climb smart, not hard. And climb a lot. Fun fact, Nick started climbing because of Google. He won’t tell us anything beyond that, but if you get the full story out of him, let us know.

SETTERS

  • Abby Wilson
    Abby Wilson

    Abby grew up in Boulder, CO, and began climbing in 2011. After crushing on Team BRC, she started working at EVO and used her technical climbing talent to begin setting in 2018. She loves comp-style climbing, especially powerful, crimpy boulders. When she’s not setting, you’ll find her climbing or painting or eating strawberry Twizzlers while chilling with her pet hedgehog named Kiwi. Her advice to new climbers: remember to take your harness off when you’re bouldering.

  • Ryan Needles
    Ryan Needles

    Ryan grew up in Wyoming and started climbing in Vedauwoo. We’re impressed that he didn’t quit the sport immediately after his first off-width battle, though he has transitioned from granite crack climbing to hard bouldering. He enjoys powerful moves and loves setting coordination dynos, which may or may not have anything to do with his love of dinosaurs. When he’s not setting, you’ll find him climbing and chilling in the Boulder-area. His advice to the beginner climber is simple: try hard.

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.

Contact Us

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