On the Job With Movement’s Climbing Program Manager

Corey King, the program manager at Movement’s new Centennial rock climbing gym, is building community, one class at a time.

Corey King
Photo by Jon Rose.

Climbing is all about community. It’s a sport that inherently involves trust and cooperation between climbers. You can’t confidently hang on a rope without someone else you trust holding the other end. And you certainly can’t find another space where everyone is as accepting of your bare feet. Movement, a prominent rock climbing gym chain based in Boulder, embodies this sense of community. With the opening of its Centennial location, it is extending its welcoming arms to even more climbers, creating a space where experts and novices alike can come together to challenge themselves, support one another, and revel in the thrill of reaching new heights. We sat down with climbing program manager Corey King to learn more.

On getting started: “Climbing gyms are an incredible way to break into the sport. They are more accessible than climbing outside because they offer resources like mentors and classes. To start out, you will just need your own climbing shoes and harness. But beyond that, this is a sport that necessitates company, so people are very willing to share their gear.”

On the best times to go: “Anything outside of that 5–8 p.m. weekday window. Our gyms are actually a lot less crowded in the summer because a lot of the climbers want to be outside. We also offer classes, mostly in the evenings or weekend mornings. Our beginner pack gets you four classes with the same instructor and students each week, and it’s what I recommend to everyone starting out.”

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On membership: “Monthly memberships are $102, and you get access to all our gyms. We have a full gym, turf field, and yoga studio with daily classes. We also run kids camps.”

On climbing culture: “Climbing culture has changed a lot for the better since the ’90s and become more aware and diverse. We think about the trace we leave behind in the rock after climbing. And here at Movement, we work with several groups to make sure the gym is accommodating to everyone. On May 9, Cruxing in Color will come in for a community event, May 13 is an event with Escaladores Unidos, and May 21 is Outdoor Asian Colorado’s event.”

On climbing slang: “One of my favorite terms is ‘beta.’ It means ‘the choreography of climbing’ and it originated back in the day when climbers would show each other their Betamax tapes of a climb. Today, you’ll hear ‘tall beta,’ ‘flexible beta,’ ‘strong beta.’ But you can also ‘beta spray,’ which is like mansplaining to someone how to climb a particular route.”

On climbing outside: “Some of my favorite outdoor spots are Clear Creek in Golden, because there is something for every skill level there, and Boulder Canyon. That was the first place I ever climbed outside, and it just feels more remote and immersed in nature. Then, the Second Flatiron is really easy so people free climb that. If it’s your first time climbing outside, Denver Mountain Guiding is great. A lot of our instructors also work there. Then, at Movement, we also have a learn to sport class that will help transition to outdoor climbing.”