Local spotlight: Front climbing club

The front climbing club is a world-class gym with state of the art bouldering, rope climbing, crags, slack lines, weight and cardio , youth walls , yoga and  pro shop. “There are over 8,000 holes in the bouldering wall. Each in the perfect spot for a hold”. With and ever-changing landscape and  markers to show you the skill level of routes, there really is no way to get bored with this gym.The building itself is incredible and  is almost 100 years old.  Used until 1979 as part of the American Can Company, this building has stood idle for 30 years.  Vertical Solutions, from Salt Lake City, took this shell and inserted a world-class indoor climbing and fitness gym.

I recently became a proud gym member and have  been going frequently since. It has been a great way for me to boost my confidence, gain some muscle in new areas (like me arms ha!) ,  a great way for my husband and I to build trust (we are each others belayers)  and  have a fun way to spend time with each other. It is a great place for the whole family, my daughter loves the easy routes on the bouldering wall and she loves to jump off onto the mats, she even saves up her change to rent the kids harnesses to rope climb. They have youth  classes, after school programs and summer camps  for varying ages as well as classes for adults as well.  I stopped in to chat with the crew and to learn some more about this beautiful gym and their employees.

Shad Burnham:
*General manager, sales and marketing for all front climbing clubs, runs the pro-shop
*Employee since the beginning
*Helped with the opening of the store, securing founding members and pre memberships
*Previously worked in Juno, AK in a mom n pop gear shop called foggy mountain gear shop “I needed and adventure, so I took off on one”.
*Has lived and worked in Ogden his entire life, give or take a few adventures

Maggie smith:
*’Cruise director’, yoga instructor, membership manager for all front climbing clubs, Kids team coach
*Employee since before the beginning
*Moved from  Michigan where she was a yoga instructor and worked in a climbing gym
*Previously worked for a high-end plumbing company
*Worked hand in hand with Vertical solutions interior designers to help design the Ogden front climbing club



What makes the Front Climbing Club different from other climbing gyms?

Shad:  I have lived in Ogden my whole life and I am pretty familiar with other climbing operations  and it seemed like Ogden really  needed something like this . It is a great place to go,  hang out and to be around like-minded people;  it’s just a friendly place to meet new people and what is great is that when you go outside the gym you run into those same people- it expands your community. This gym is by far one of the most beautiful gyms I have seen and it is known as a place for world-class climbing

Maggie:Having worked at one of the biggest climbing gyms in the US, I can say that this is one of the nicest gyms I have ever seen. A lot of climbing gyms are dark and dingy and it feels like you are in a basement. Usually there aren’t any windows in climbing gyms  but this gym is different- there are windows everywhere so it really brings the outdoors inside. I think that the front is all about building community and has been since the beginning and that is what keeps us alive. Our members kids become members, and their friends become members and  it really spreads. It really is a great place to hang out too.

Shad: Yeah, when we aren’t working were climbing and we really love what we do.

Maggie: It is definitely more than just a job to us.

Shad: Everyone around here is really involved, the atmosphere is really positive and its contagious.

Maggie: A lot of people come for more than just climbing and some don’t even climb at all. We have yoga (some say the best around) and the weights and cardio.  Sometimes members just come in and hang out too.

Shad: It’s really non threatening too , were all really friends around here.

Maggie: And we have something for every level from kids to beginning adult climbers to experts and pro’s, a lot of pro climbers come in here.

Shad: And our youth classes are really great, one of our kids even went to nationals this year. I think another thing that sets us apart is that our  classes are different than a  traditional workout, we really help you develop skills that you can use in the outdoors and because of that people really want to get more involved with helping the outdoors community. We get members coming in all the time asking about how they can help clean up trails and get involved with community events, we really encourage or members to be active in the community.

What do you offer here at the Front climbing gym?

Shad:Yoga, climbing classes, youth programs, summer camps, after school programs and corporate team building. We have the gear shop, demos,  competitions (in the winter almost monthly), local events, clinics, visiting athletes, workshops, expos, sports events….we really have it all.

Maggie: Our youth programs are great, most have never climbed before or have only climbed a few times. A couple of our  climbers got to nationals in Georgia this year.  It is kind of rigorous program as well, they practice 3 times a week.

What kind of gear do you have in the pro shop?

Shad: we have gear for climbing, outdoors, bouldering ,alpine..we have shoes, ropes, packs, accessories. We love to support local and most of the stuff we have is from local Utah companies. Petzel, black diamond, revolution, pusher and a lot more are all local to Utah. We are always excited to find a local company and stock them in the  shop.


Memberships are a great way to enjoy the gym and there is so much that the Front has to offer. Check out their membership page HERE and start climbing today!

This summer you can get 2 weeks of climbing lessons for FREE and if you complete the course you can get $60 towards your new membership.

Tuesdays are ladies night and Fridays are date night (buy one get one free day pass)

Mention this article and get 10%  off AND they will waive the initiation fee for newcomers.







Mikaela is a transplant from Portland, fell in love with Ogden her first day in town and created Indie Ogden the next week. She enjoys outdoor adventures with her 2 kiddos and making a mess crafting. You can find her at a local cafe or cycling around town with her family.