Now that Summit Fort Worth is well on its way to being built, we're very pleased to announce that Adam Hughes, current GM of Summit Denton will be moving to Funkytown to be the new gym's GM. Soooooo that means that we need to leave Summit Denton in capable hands. Meet Elly Dannenfelser, new GM of Summit Denton! She's moving up from an assistant manager at Summit Carrollton to now General Manager of Summit Lil D! So here's a little more on the fresh face you'll be seeing up in Denton!
Jarrett's been working at Summit Dallas before it was even Summit Dallas! Lucky for us he stuck around after Summit bought Dallas Rocks and turned it into Summit Dallas. He is a super enthusiastic guy, that can always be spotted doing something active - he runs and parkours before his shifts, and can often be seen bouncing a soccer ball behind the desk. Even on his off-days, his favorite thing to do is play basketball video games, because even in his leisure time he's gotta be competing or participating in something.
We're steadily making our way through all the routesetters! This week we talked to Denis Firstov, another one of the tall guys on our routesetting team (and always with a pretty great haircut!) Denis is a pretty busy guy, balancing full-time routesetting with coaching ClimbFit, being enlisted in the National Guard as well as traveling quite a bit in pursuit of adventure, but I snagged him for a few minutes for this post.
This weeks blog post can't be brought to you by our normal writer, cause ... well it's awkward to interview yourself and write about yourself. "Meet Caillin: by Caillin. As dictated by Caillin, About Caillin. #imawesome" So I'm (Retail Manager Trevor) stepping in for the week so you can meet the lady behind the scenes. Chances are you have seen her pecking away on her laptop at the different gyms, but maybe never knew what she did or if she even actually worked there, (I mean, does she?) She does and her are some things you should know!
We have quite the crew of setters here at Summit, and Will Tevepaugh has been a member of the crew for quite a while! He's normally a pretty quiet guy, but always gives great beta, and is ridiculously strong on the wall. I swear, the guy could lock off on anything. His setting style usually involves a lot of crimps and dynamic moves, but he said he's been setting outside the box lately, and said he's been pretty into pinches. Hop on some of his stuff, and tell him what you think!
Stan is the ever-present, but rarely seen partner in Summit Gyms. He's an ex-Team kid turned Team coach turned gym owner who's now a lot of the brains behind our 3 — going on 4 — gym operation. He spends hours locked away in an office, doing all the drudgework necessary to owning a business that no one else was willing to do. It's because of him that we actually know what we're doing enough to keep expanding, and he keeps us all thoroughly entertained by being the sole source of probably all original comedic content within the company. If it's funny, it's only because Stan said it first.
Kyle Clinkscales, owner of Summit gyms, head coach of Team Texas and basically the mastermind behind a lot of the climbing gym expansion in the Dallas area, is not the diabolical dude you'd think he'd be. He's not cocky, he's not cunning — he's just a guy doing what he loves, and trying to make it as awesome as possible. It was six simple words, "Why don't you sell it to me?" that basically took him from owning no gyms, to owning three gyms and now building a fourth. Kyle has been an enormous part of the Dallas community basically since its inception, and he continues to write the history of Dallas climbing, and strive every day to make it bigger, and better.
She's been a GM of two gyms now, but she is also the GM that has been with the company for the least amount of time. She is also the source of GIRL POWER within the company (excluding myself, but I barely count because I am fairly "unfeminine," we'll say). She came to us fresh from working the climbing wall at TCU, and you probably know her as the bubbly chatterbox that is always at the gym — either working, climbing, or getting in her fitness at Climb Fit. Here's the basics of this neat little lady, so yo can have yet another topic of conversation to have with her. Like you could ever run out of things to talk about with her, anyways.
We're very excited about the brand new GM at Summit Carrollton! He's been an employee of Summit Grapevine, but we shipped him off to Summit Carrollton, so we could steal Mackenzie and relocate her to GM of Grapevine, and ship Franny off to pursue his dream of being a bearded lady at the circus. (Or he's been promoted to Regional Manager. He's still a bearded lady, though.) David's a pretty quiet guy, known for his tattoos and swoopy blonde hair — which did you know, used to be crazy super long? But I sat him down and managed to get him to talk about himself long enough to get this blog post done. So here's a little Q&A so you can better know our newest GM and resident super-nice-guy, David.
He's a bad-a$$ rock climber, an awesome slack-liner, and now a new dad — he's Chris Curry, the GM of Summit Dallas. He and his wife Raili both work with us here at Summit, and they just welcomed their baby girl Koa in January, so it's safe to say that Chris is a pretty busy guy. But he took the time to sit down with me, so the rest of you can better know the ultra-nice, curly-headed guy throwing you beta at Summit Dallas.
You all know him — you love him — he's the bearded mountain man who makes rude commentary during the Summit Series Bouldering comps — it's Summit Grapevine GM Alex "Franny" Francis! Or Franny Panties if you are trying to annoy him, which I would personally recommend doing. But it's definitely not because he let out the most rancid fart of my life as I collected this info from him, and not because my questions were choked out between gags and tears. If you know Franny, you're not surprised — but if you don't, here's a quick little Q&A I put together so you can better know the tall, hairy dude standing behind the counter at Summit who is probably farting as you read this. How long have you been a manager with Summit?
I started managing Summit Carrollton from October to May 2013/2014 and then I managed Grapevine from May until now. So about a year and a half.
How long have you been climbing?
I've been climbing for 11 years. I was the first person on Kids Club. Me and Tiny (the Team Texas nickname given to Franny's younger brother, Kyle) went to a boy scout camp at Carrollton back when it was Exposure, and we liked it so much that my mom called the gym and asked about an after school program, which they didn’t have at the time. A couple days later, she got a call back from Kyle, because Kyle thought it was a great idea and wanted to start it. When we started out it was basically me, Tiny and Kyle doing lessons and then it kind of grew from there. (It's probably only fitting that Franny is in charge of the Kids Club at Grapevine now then, right?) Then I was on Kids Club from January to May and then did summer camps in the summer, and then joined Team Texas in the fall of 2003 and I was on team until I graduated in 2009. I continued to work for the team as a Summer Trip guide until 2013 and then I started working for Summit as the GM of Grapevine.
Favorite climbing area?
Red Rocks in Nevada.
Choir Boys in Hueco Tanks.
Favorite Summit memory?
Making short jokes about Lindsay Murray while she’s climbing in finals at the Dallas Summit Bouldering Series competition. (To be fair, she is pretty short. Glad I'm not that short, that's for sure.)
Little known facts about Franny:
He has a degree in Zoology from Team A&M. Despite Franny's insistence that it is pronounced Zoh-ology, it's probably actually pronounced Zoo-ology. Probably. I read it in a book once. Which I'm not sure was a book. It might have been nothing.
Also, he once set himself on fire during a team trip to the Red. He set his baggy emo teenager jeans aflame by standing too close to a space heater, but still continued to climb for the rest of the trip with second and third degree burns on his knee. One particularly sensitive team mother (Hi mom!) referred to him as "Sparky" for many years after that.
His biggest claim to fame might just be his ability to clap with one hand.
Well there you have it. Everything you need to know about Alex Francis, and maybe a bunch of stuff you didn't need to know, but are definitely glad you learned. So next time you see him, say "Hey Franny! How are you? How's your Zoology going?" But it's Zoo-ology. Not Zoh. Remember that.