Boulder’s 37.5 Technology—a tech-fabric producer for the sportswear industry—set a high bar in its latest effort to raise awareness and money for public lands access. To be precise, it set multiple bars, all of which were about 300 feet up along the Bastille Wall in Eldorado Canyon State Park. Those bars held a 37.5 Technology pop-up shop, from which an employee handed out free gear to dozens of climbers as they ascended the cliff.
The goal of the pop-up, says CEO Jeff Bowman, wasn’t to make money. Earlier this year, Bowman’s company was among those that withdrew from Outdoor Retailer after Utah Governor Gary Herbert asked President Donald Trump to rescind Bears Ears National Monument. (Outdoor Retailer has since decided to move its annual trade shows to Colorado.) The pop-up shop, he says, was another attempt to highlight the importance of access to public lands. He also cited the recent pressure to trim down national monuments as one of the reasons they decided to open this cliffside shop.
“We made a statement by not going to Outdoor Retailer,” Bowman says. “We tried to make a statement with the pop-up shop. Hopefully [that statement] can go viral and we can bring awareness to a broader swath of Americans.”
To that end, 37.5 Technology donated $100 to the Action Committee for Eldorado (ACE) for each climber that stopped at the shop or even just showed up at the bottom of the Bastille Wall. In the two days the pop-up was open, it saw enough action to warrant a $5,000 donation to ACE. That money will go toward repairing and maintaining Eldorado Canyon climbing routes. But 37.5 Technology also decided to match its donations to ACE with equivalent donations to the Boulder-based Access Fund and the American Alpine Club. The organizations, Bowman says, were chosen because of their commitment to preserving and increasing access to public lands.
“It’s not just about access for climbing,” Bowman says. “It’s hunting, hiking, fishing, skiing, backcountry skiing, canyoning, and all of the other activities that are so reaffirming and so—for lack of a better word—fun. I think those are critically important.”
Although this was the first cliffside shop 37.5 Technology had ever opened, it probably won’t be the last. Bowman says the company will likely bring the pop-up shop to new popular climbing spots, potentially even El Capitan in Yosemite.