Indoor Climbing Set for Explosive Growth: Earth Treks Climbing and Fitness to Add New Climbing Gyms through a Partnership with Tengram Capital Partners

March 20, 2017

Columbia, Md. – March 20, 2017 – Earth Treks Climbing and Fitness, a long time leader in the rapidly growing indoor climbing gym industry, announced today that it has partnered with Tengram Capital Partners. Through the newly formed relationship, Earth Treks and Tengram plan to open new climbing gyms in Earth Treks’ existing markets (the Mid-Atlantic and Colorado), while also expanding into new markets.

Earth Treks was established in 1990 by mountaineer Chris Warner as an international guide service and climbing school. Chris opened his first indoor climbing gym in 1997, in Columbia, Maryland. Today, Earth Treks is one of the nation’s largest climbing gym operators with five full-service facilities in three states. Earth Treks gyms feature sculpted climbing walls with bouldering, top-roping and lead climbing, as well as amenities like yoga studios, functional fitness and cardio zones, and retail pro-shops. Earth Treks gyms cater to participants of all abilities – from elite, competitive athletes to new entrants to the sport, including families and kids.

The sport of climbing is experiencing rapid expansion, as participants are attracted to its social nature, challenging workout and accessibility across ages and abilities. When Earth Treks opened its first gym, there were only 40 commercial climbing gyms in the United States. Today, there are more than 400 climbing gyms nationwide, which serve tens of millions of climbers annually.

“I am excited about the opportunities that we see in the climbing gym market. Every day more consumers experience the power of climbing,” said Earth Treks CEO, Chris Warner. “Through our partnership with Tengram, Earth Treks can share our team’s passion for climbing with more people across the country.”

As the authentic leader in the category, Earth Treks is well-positioned to take advantage of the national excitement for climbing. Warner is a world-class alpinist and has been in the climbing business for more than three decades. He is one of only twelve Americans to summit both Mount Everest and K2, the two tallest peaks in the world. Warner spent three seasons working on Everest and guided the first-ever reality TV show filmed on the mountain. His team filmed their ascent of K2 for NBC, which was nominated for an Emmy Award. He was the first American to solo an 8,000 meter peak in a non-stop 34-hour ascent and descent of Tibet’s Mount Shisha Pangma. Warner will be climbing the world’s third tallest peak this spring, Mt. Kangchenjunga. If successful, he will be the second American to summit the four tallest peaks in the world.

Tengram is a private equity firm that focuses exclusively on consumer and retail companies that own exceptional, highly recognizable brands. Tengram chose to partner with Earth Treks because climbing is in the company’s DNA.

“We are thrilled to partner with Earth Treks. Chris and his team have built a truly authentic brand on the foundation of a strong culture, a very high degree of customer loyalty and a distinctive positioning in the space,” said Matt Eby, managing partner of Tengram. “We look forward to continuing to build Earth Treks’ bright future as fitness enthusiasts increasingly seek the more social and engaging experience that these gyms have been proven to provide.” 


Earth Treks was founded in 1990 as a climbing guide service and now operates five of the largest climbing gyms in the US. The gyms are located in Columbia, Timonium and Rockville, Maryland, Crystal City, Virginia, and Golden, Colorado. www.earthtreksclimbing.com


Tengram Capital Partners is a private equity firm that focuses exclusively on leading consumer and retail companies that own strong recognizable brands. The team has a diverse background of consumer investing and operating expertise that assists and guides company management to unlock the true potential of their brand. Tengram invests in both traditional “growth” and “restructuring/turnaround” situations in either the public or private sectors. Current investments for Tengram include DevaCurl, NEST Fragrances, Active Ride Shop, Cos Bar, This Works, Algenist, Differential Brands Group, Zanella, Luciano Barbera, Tommie Copper, and Sequential Brands Group. www.tengramcapital.com