An Open Letter to Our Community


Dear N3C Community,

Over 243 years ago, Thomas Paine wrote an essay titled The Crisis, which famously began with the statement, “THESE are the times that try men’s souls.” The crisis facing Paine and his generation was radically different from the one we are facing now, but the words ring true today, as we face an unprecedented challenge.

Like many Americans, I have been closely following the news about the novel coronavirus and the disease caused by it (COVID-19). It is abundantly clear that we all need to make a lot of changes to minimize the spread of the virus, but it is not completely clear (to me, at least) what specifically we at N3C can do to best help the community. I believe that we should be completely transparent about our decision-making and let you all know that I welcome your input and suggestions.


Our Current Plan

The situation is evolving rapidly, so we might change plans in the coming hours, days, or weeks.

For the time-being, we are:

  • Remaining open with our normal hours (3pm-10pm weekdays and 11am-8pm weekends) and our member only hours (Mondays 9am-3pm and Tuesdays 730am-3pm).
  • Cancelling all our planned gatherings / events (including our Gym-2-Crag clinics on March 17th and March 31st and our spring celebration on March 28th).
  • Cancelling youth programming (Mighty Mini Climbers on Mondays, and Rock Stars and Top Knots on Thursdays).
  • Additional proactive cleaning and screening efforts to minimize the likelihood of spreading the virus (more on these below).
  • Continuing our adult training group on Thursday evenings.

We have not made these decisions lightly and, as mentioned above, we may change them based on new information. Our current decision to remain open is particularly challenging, since we must balance the benefits of being open against the associated risks.

First, the benefits. I believe that we serve our community by providing an important outlet. Climbing focuses the mind and is great for the body. I personally find climbing to be the best stress-reducer in my life. This seems to be especially important when everything else in our lives feels crazy and out of our control.

But there are also risks we must consider. We are all aware of how viruses spread, both through direct exposure with people and through touching shared surfaces. While individuals can maintain separation even in a climbing gym, it is impossible for us to disinfect all of our climbing holds constantly.

At this point in time, I believe that the benefits outweigh the risks.


What we ask of you

We are requesting that all climbers take the following precautions:

  • Do not come to N3C if you are not feeling well or if you have been in contact with people who are not feeling well.
  • Wash your hands both before AND after climbing. (Taking a break to go wash your hands while climbing isn’t a bad idea!)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay a reasonable distance away from fellow climbers and N3C staff. (The good news is that belayers need not get super close to climbers.)


What we are doing

From our standpoint, N3C is doing the following:

  • Making greater efforts than usual to clean surfaces.
  • Ensuring that no staff work who are not feeling well or who have been in contact with people who are not feeling well.
  • Staff will limit contact with guests.
  • If the gym appears to be getting busy, we reserve the right to limit entry of new guests.
  • As mentioned above, we are cancelling all planned events and youth programs. Please note that youth may certainly come and climb, but staff will minimize contact with them.
  • As mentioned above, we plan to continue to run our adult training group on Thursday evenings. This is because the group is relatively small and because training does not require close contact. If you prefer not to come in on Thursday evenings, we can provide you with your personalized workout to do on your own.
  • We will work with members who wish to cancel or freeze memberships, delay parties, etc.

I recognize that many members and other guests will choose to stay away from N3C, and I respect this decision. I also realize that the government will likely put out new directives soon which will change things for us. N3C can only exist because of our awesome community, and I am thoroughly grateful for all of you and your support.

Please reach out if you have any questions or comments. My email is [email protected].



Rusty Talbot

Owner and Manager of N3C