How Are We Doing?

June 7, 2022 By Jake Scharfman

Each year, about twice a year, Ground Up Climbing releases a community survey. There are three main reasons for this that go beyond checking a box to “ engage our community” as is recommended in most fitness and climbing gym forums. 

How are we doing? 

The first reason is that we love to hear feedback. This falls within one of our core values as a company that has a growth mindset; you know, being jungle tigers and operating outside of our comfort zone. The only way we can get better is if we hear honest, critical and constructive feedback, even when it hurts. 


Second, is that you have ideas we might not have thought of. We know our community is well-traveled. As it grows, we get the privilege of hearing new ideas, seeing new passion, and being introduced to new concepts for training, learning, and climbing. Our team loves to hear about it, and even though we spend time on our own researching, collaborating, and visiting other gyms, it is important to open our lenses to the experiences of all the folks who want to spend their time in the Ground Up Climbing Space. 


Third reason is that we have big goals. Each of our managers at Ground Up Climbing has a master goal that they are working towards. These are 2-3 year “ big picture” goals that require steps and checks to make sure they are moving towards them. Much like training for a big project, each manager has process goals that they work on daily, but they also have outcome goals that we check in on as a group every few months. For many of our managers, the membership survey gives important metrics to inform their progress towards these bigger goals and gives checkpoints along the way. 


We have run surveys since year one, and our surveys have informed our social media content, educational work, and our re-investment in the gym. During COVID-19, our membership surveys were an integral form of communication between our community and our team. We used the answers to inform our policies, produce educational content and create dialogue. It was not the only tool, but it was a great way to hear from you and give context and voice to issues we might not have noticed. 

Here are some examples of changes that have been informed by our community surveys in the past few years: 


  • Kilterboard addition
  • Offering more adult performance and recreational climbing programs(Wake and Take and adding Chris as a new performance coach are examples of this!) 
  • During, the pandemic- we used our community feedback to inform our capacity management systems, making changes where possible (Eg. in January moving to capacity limits without booking)
  • Replacing equipment in the training room and upgrading the benches
  • Adding the tension hangboard
  • Adding jug rungs on the campus board
  • Changing our grading system for bouldering
  • Adding more collaborative elements to our routesetting process to account for more diversity in our climbers’ strengths, sizes, and abilities. 
  • Adding crack volumes to our arsenal! 
  • Members-only hours during peak winter hours
  • Youth programming etiquette and integration policy
  • Specific staff training to improve your experience
  • Youth supervision policies 
  • Chalk policy 
  • New lead anchors 
  • New top rope lines on the lead wall


For certain- not everyone is happy with these changes, and changes are not always seen as positive to the whole community. However, it is the nature of growth and exploration. We are going to continue to use the surveys to inform the next steps for Ground Up Climbing and we are hoping you will give your two cents. 


Tell us what you want us to keep doing. Tell us what you want us to change. And, if you are comfortable with your comments- leave your email so we can continue the dialogue if we need clarification. 


Ground Up Climbing is your climbing gym, so let us know what you want to see. 




Looking forward to hearing from you, 


– Ground Up Management

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