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Urban Climber Magazine


 Urban Climber Magazine
 

by Kelly Bates

March 17, 2005

I wasnít certain what to think when I was handed this assignment. Urban Climber? Come on, we live in Colorado, we have Turkey Rocks and Eldorado Canyon and the Diamond practically within earshot. Why and what would we want a magazine about in-city bouldering and gyms and comps, and how can it possibly relate to us?

The new magazine isnít as glossy or presumptuous as the Big Two, and doesnít play to high-falootiní writers trying to be overly artistic while only annoying locals in the areas theyíre writing about. There are not pages and pages of coverage of climbs that 99.9% of us regular climbers will never be able to climb without suction cups. The writing is by regular climbers, the kind youíd bump into at the Gunks on a weekend, or hanging out at the gym trying to find someone to go out bouldering with. And thatís a pretty good thing, considering our alternatives.

Where another magazine might give a page summary about bouldering in NYC, the launch issue gives a full five, with current web references, ideas for places to go trad nearby on a weekend, a list of decent gyms to try out, and bouldering areas that might interest someone trying to get a fix on a business trip. Oh, and plenty of artsy pictures to set the mood.

The mood is slightly darker than other contendersí, and the focus is clearly on the lower-budgeted non-yuppie crowd, those that just want to climb and not have to spend thousands of dollars on the newest cams, specialized shoes for different problems, a high-end SUV to drive the dirt access road a couple of miles to parking, or plane tickets to Ceuse. With as much negative feedback as the community has shown towards the Big Two in the past couple of years, this might not be a bad idea after all. Itís not everything for everyone, but it also doesnít pretend to be.

Is there room for another magazine in the market, or is it saturated? If the interest that itís sparked so far is an indication, there just might be.

More About The Magazine


"For the new generation of climbers, being a climber means climbing where we live - the city," Matt Burbach, Urban Climber Magazine's Editor explained. "The subcultures of climbing - bouldering, sport, indoor and competitive climbing - are so rich with their own techniques and ethos, they demand their own voice. Urban Climber Magazine is that voice," Burbach added.

Jim Peskett, the Magazine's General Manager said, "This has been one of the best received new launches in my 18 years as a magazine publisher. Ad pages in the first issues sold out within weeks of the Magazine being announced, and we've started to get cold calls from companies looking for advertising opportunities, which is a first."

"We launched the Magazine's website, http://www.urbanclimbermag.com, a full month before the Magazine hit the newsstand," Mark Crowther, the Magazine's Publishing Director, explained. "Through promotions on the website, Network26.com and partner sites, we've already generated a lot of interest in the Magazine and a base of subscribers," he added.

The Magazine will be bi-monthly, and begins publication with the October/November issue, with a cover price of $4.99. As part of a special promotional offer, annual subscriptions are $19.95 in the U.S., for which subscribers receive 6 issues of the Magazine, an Urban Climber Magazine t-shirt and a DVD on bouldering in Fontainebleau.


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