Meet Chris Cowell, LCC’s new Head Routesetter

Hey, Chris here!

I recently moved to Colorado when my wife accepted a job in the Longmont area. Coming from a background managing route setting programs, it was instinctual to throw my hat in the ring when I saw that Longmont Climbing Collective was hiring. Funny enough, after arriving in Longmont my wife ended up taking a job that allows her to work remote, but is headquartered in Minneapolis, where we came from. Too late now, ha!

Chris Cowell

I’ve been setting for over ten years and climbing for a similar amount of time. My climbing and setting career came together in almost the same month due to an extremely welcoming and educational group of employees at Climb Time Indy of Indianapolis. I was stumbling around looking for an extra part-time job that would carry some excitement when I found myself in a climbing gym. The gentleman behind the counter stared at me for a second (likely because I was wearing work boots, some wranglers, and a button-up that wouldn’t exactly place me in a gym), and then asked me if I had ever climbed before. I had not. We shared a few laughs and he kindly offered me the chance to climb for free and get a feel for the sport. I quickly learned the lesson of how challenging opening your car door can be after a thorough pump. Less than a week later I bought my first climbing membership, and a month later I was employed by the company.

Chris Cowell Climbing

Many literal ups and downs later I’m in Longmont, Colorado putting plastic on the walls for you. It’s very important to me that you all know that I work to give every single one of you the best experience possible at LCC. There is a lot of intent that goes into the overall diversity and distribution on the walls. In a short couple months, I have learned how incredible the community is here at LCC, and one amazing characteristic is that this community is full of so many different types, ages, and levels of climbers. You’ll notice there is a balanced composition on the wall at all times to serve everyone from the first-time little tikes to the veteran try-hards. Sometimes you might shake your head because you skipped half the kid-sized boulders, sometimes you’ll find yourself unraveling the cryptic beta on a comp simulator, and other times you might feel the flow of an outdoor trainer. From test pieces to instructional boulders, we’ll keep trying our best push your skill set. Let’s say one or maybeeee two of these make you want to scream… Well in that case, I’m always open to feedback.

If you see me in the gym and I’m not standing on the ladder or in another conversation, feel free to come say “what’s up” and share your thoughts! If you feel more comfortable with words behind the screen, shoot me an email at [email protected]. I’m open to all outlets because, again, I’m here to curate your experience as a part of this community. If you’re curious as to why we made that sequence, grade, spacing, or anything else, just ask! 

To conclude, I’ll leave you with why I’m most excited to be a part of LCC. It’s you. Yeah.. you. Nothing satisfies me more than knowing the setting team is providing a well-rounded experience that engages each and every one of you. Curse us or love us, as long as you walk away with a smile. I look forward to getting to know all of you!

Take care,