Going Tapeless at Berkeley Ironworks

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We’re happy to announce that after months of preparation, we’re ready to go tapeless at Berkeley Ironworks. “After making a hugely successful switch to tapeless routesetting at Great Western Power Company in August, and opening LA Boulders and Cliffs of Id without tape, we’re ready to make the move at BIW,” said head Routesetter Jeremy Ho.

Why are we going tapeless? Here are the three biggies:

  1. Going tapeless saves time. Our talented full time routesetting team spends about 1/3 of their time dealing with tape. They take tape off the walls when they strip away old routes and problems, and then they put it back up as they craft their new set. The holds are the important part – not the tape. And yet a huge amount of time is spent dealing with the sticky stuff. By not dealing with tape, our crew can focus on setting better routes, faster. They can make quick adjustments, and spend their time setting more interesting routes, rather that focusing on tape. What does this mean for you? Better routes + quicker rotation = mo’ beta’ climbing!
  2. Waste. Let’s be real. This is a big one. We throw away hundreds of pounds of duct tape every year, and we don’t have to.
  3. Last but not least: we’re ready. This is not a rash decision. It’s three years in the making. We have always set with tape, we invented the 420 degree tape angle for peat’s sake! But when we started looking at what some of our contemporaries in the industry were doing, it dawned on us. Tapeless is the way to go! With this realization, the preparation began. Since we had never set by color before 2014, we had accumulated a hodge-podge of holds. But, once we set our sights on going tapeless, slowly and surely that all started to change. We began to increase our back stock of holds and sort by color, so that our setters could craft the perfect route with holds of the same color. It took two years of pouring new holds, and ordering from hold companies with colors that matched our 9 new colors.. and voilà! We’ve done it. Berkeley Ironworks has the hold depth to fill the gym with world class routes without the use of tape!

We will begin setting without tape on Thursday, February 4th. As were work through the existing route rotation, the entire gym will become tape free in 6-8 weeks.

Going tapeless is a change for us, but we’re happy to be a company that can make changes when they benefit our members and our staff. Let us know what you think of the transition, and thank you for your support!