Member Spotlight: The Boulder Field
California has the most climbing facilities of any state in the US, but new gyms are still finding markets to serve. One prime example is The Boulder Field, a Sacramento gym that opened doors in the spring of 2018.
With 10,000 feet of bouldering terrain and walls up to 14 feet high, The Boulder Field aims to provide a holistic climbing and fitness club. The facility also includes a fitness area, a yoga studio, a locker room with showers and saunas, and a café serving local coffee and beer. The building, a 33,000 sq. ft. warehouse, uses an open layout to create social and work spaces off the bouldering mats.
California has a deep climbing heritage, and The Boulder Field is no exception — the founders are none other than Black Diamond athlete Carlo Traversi and his brother David Traversi. We reached out to Carlo to get his perspective on starting a business and opening a gym.
CWA: California is a state with a vibrant history and culture of climbing, and you bring a wealth of experience as a professional climber. How did this perspective inform your mission and approach with The Boulder Field?
CT: As a native Californian and a longtime member of the climbing community, my goal with The Boulder Field was to take all of the things I've learned from working in climbing gyms over the past 16 years and create an environment that better cultivates and serves the local community.
CWA: Were there any challenges you think are unique to the history of The Boulder Field?
CT: Nothing stands out as unique in terms of challenges. However, I'm not very familiar with the challenges of other operations. Our development process was fairly quick and smooth. The only real issues we dealt with were final permitting problems with the City of Sacramento, but those challenges weren't unique, and we were able to deal with them rather quickly.
CWA: The location and layout of The Boulder Field seem to be central features of the gym. What was your philosophy in creating an open-layout bouldering gym with elements like a cafe and work spaces?
CT: The open-layout idea hasn't really been executed in other facilities to the same degree that we have. Mostly we wanted to have plenty of space for people to congregate off the mats. The café and ample work spaces are obvious additions that serve this mentality.
CWA: The Boulder Field is currently based in Sacramento — are there plans to open up more locations, and if so, what have you learned from opening your first?
CT: We are always keeping an eye out for new locations to extend our reach, but we don't have any new developments on the radar at this time. We have learned a ton from opening our first facility and we are obviously still learning a lot to this day. The biggest thing that I've learned is how important it is to surround yourself with a solid, hardworking team. Nothing great is done alone.
CWA: What sets The Boulder Field apart from other California climbing institutions?
CT: Community, culture, and quality. We are consistently striving to be the best on a daily basis. Also, very few gyms have owners that are climbing in the gym as many hours per day as I do.
CWA: What does it mean to The Boulder Field to be a CWA member?
CT: Being a member of the CWA means playing a role in the system of support and the sharing of information that keeps the indoor climbing industry thriving.
CWA: What's the biggest challenge The Boulder Field is currently facing?
CT: Our biggest challenge, and it's one we welcome with open arms, is how do we continue to better serve our community and our members in the best possible way.