Interview with Chris McFarland
Klimbz is the premier climbing gym route management and member engagement platform with website and connected app. Gym managers can analyze their routes, manager their setting team and receive feedback from their community. Gyms can run leagues, paperless comps and provide gym specific training for their teams and members. Members can track their climbing progress through clear data visualization, can interact with other gym members, and provide feedback to the gym setter team.
indoor climbing, rock climbing, route management, user engagement
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Interview with Chris McFarland

A few weeks ago, I met up with Chris, Operations Manager, Momentum Indoor Climbing,  while visiting Salt Lake City.  Chris agreed to answer a few questions regarding using a route management system and Klimbz in particular.


How long have you been using Klimbz?
To the best of my knowledge, Momentum has been using Klimbz since 2016. I am not 100% certain of when we actually started using the software.

How do you see a route management system helping your job?
As an Operations Director, the software helps me keep a birds eye on route and bouldering problem quantity, distribution of grades, and the distribution by routesetter. This helps me understand the product that is in front of our members and guests and allows me to make adjustments as needed. In a multigym operation, the dashboard is easy to switch between locations to take stock of the routes at each location.

How has implementing a route management system helped your gym?
The route management system has helped our routesetting and operations team become more aligned in regards to what types of routes we are providing the customers. It has also increased transparency between regions and gyms and provided easier tracking of trends in regards to gym usage patterns. For the customers, it provides easy pathways to locate new routes, routes appropriate for their skill level, and also a tracking tool to monitor progress.

Why should other gyms use Klimbz, or a similar platform?
Using a route management software is the best way to provide a comprehensive, real time assessment of route distribution within the gym. Coupled with a customer interface, users are provided with tools to track their climbing and progress and easy ways to locate new routes within their range and ability.

What are the benefits for a gym to use Klimbz?
The back end of the system helps bridge the gap between routesetters and operations. The setters will always have a good idea of the grade distribution and quantity of routes in the gym, but having easy to read charts and metrics helps the operations staff be more familiar with the setting in the gym and the oversight of customer needs.

What are some of the pain points? and how can they be overcome?
Perhaps the most painful part of using Klimbz or any other route inventory software is the initial transition from old to new. It takes time to learn the tool and how it works, and more time to train the setters, staff, and the gym users. Just remember that these tools will help your process, even if they are difficult to learn. There are some minor additional costs such as the label makers that print the route tags and the paper they use, but overall they are minor expenses.

Do you use Klimbz as a climber too?
I have never been a training focused climber that tracks all of my milage and grades so I do not rely on the tool in my day to day climbing. I do use Klimbz consistently during our gym sponsored Adult Bouldering League. During the months I am chasing grades for my team score, I find that the tracking and compilation tools are very useful! Maybe if I used it more I would be way stronger!

How has using it helped you as a climber?
Again, I am not a training focused climber and thus I wouldn’t say that Klimbz has helped me with my skill or competency. That being said, I enjoy tracking my climbing during bouldering league to try and contribute to my team score! It is also helpful to keep track of which routes I have already ticked and which others still need to be climbed!