Jeremy “Twinkle Toes” Spitz. The man needs little introduction, but here’s one for posterity: During his time at PGSF he’s taught at least half of you to stop dragging the talons of those brand new, down-turned shoes across your project on the slab wall. And, somewhere near thirty of your yet-to-be-born children owe him a big thank you for teaching your buddy to give a soft catch. Oh, and he crack climbs. No, he’s not retired. Your guess is as good as mine. Lately, though, he’s taken his skills on the road and is now backing up Brett Smith as assistant manager in PG Belmont. He has graciously taken a minute to catch us up on how things are going so far.
So, first thing is first – congratulations on the new position.
Thanks! It is gratifying to have landed this role!
How’s the transition been from San Francisco to Belmont? Are there any major differences you’ve seen between gyms?
Well the major difference is obviously size and traffic. Belmont is smaller and less busy than PGSF and I think that fact is what allows it to have such an amazing community. There is a very strong family vibe down here. The community is very tight knit and nearly everyone seems to know each other. I started climbing at a similar gym and I feel very lucky to have the chance to be a part of this group. The overall atmosphere is very relaxed and everyone is super psyched on climbing!
How did you end up at PG in the first place? What got you started?
I got into climbing in college at UC Santa Cruz. They have a great outdoor education program there and I took a trip to Castle Rock where I managed to pull my way up a few TR’s on Goat Rock. After that I joined the climbing gym down there with a few friends and I have been pretty much addicted ever since. Sticking with it has never been a question; it is pretty much what I have been looking for my whole life. I got a job at PG simply because I wanted to be around climbing and other climbers as much as possible. I think remembering why we are all here and our shared passion is going to be important as a manager.
All right, tell us a little about your day. What goes into assisting a manager?
A lot more email, phone calls and sitting in an office than I am used to after 4 years of working at the front desk. There is a lot a variety in the situations that come up, but in general, I handle the schedule, the class calendar and corporate events. My full responsibilities are still being figured out though and I am trying to learn how to run a gym on the back end.
Does the new situation alter your training and climbing schedule at all?
I am still getting in the swing of things and getting used to my new schedule. I am working more hours than before so finding time might be a challenge, but I am looking forward to building a routine and finding some great new climbing partner down here.
What hopes do you have for the gym as a whole now? What’s around the corner for Belmont?
As a whole I just want to help make this gym run smoothly and be the best gym it can be! I also want to expand the class offerings a little bit. I ran a crack clinic in February and are running the Power Endurance Class here in March!
Bouldering league has recently expanded to Sunnyvale. Are there any plans to include Belmont at some point? If so, what impact do you think it will have on the gym/community?
It is definitely in the works. I think it is a great program and a really fun way to get people of all abilities climbing together. We have to work out the details though and figure out how many people we can accommodate without overwhelming all the other boulderers in the gym.
How is it working with Brett, the gym manager?
Brett is awesome! He is also pretty new to his role but seems to have things figured out really well. I have learned a ton from him so far.
You were heading up the team here in SF – what differences do you see between the teams now that you’re in BL?
I unfortunately haven’t had much time yet to hang out with the BL team. The kids that I have met are super strong and super psyched which is always good to see. I hope I can spend some more time with them in the future. The program down here has been around for a while and there are more kids then the SF team. Our new head coach Ryan is doing a great job getting the program organized and getting the kids strong.
Finally, why should we all come check out Belmont’s gym?
We have everything that makes a climbing gym great: Great bouldering terrain, awesome top ropes and, of course, PG’s excellent setting. What really makes this gym amazing though is all of the great people. Come hang out!
Also we have a tread wall, which I think is pretty cool…
Keep an eye out for Jeremy’s training clinics as he settles in to his new home and starts to up Belmont’s collective redpoint grade. He’ll also be there when you’re Groupon expires and you need that extra day to schedule a belay class.
Thanks to PG SF’s Jason Crase for this interview!
Jason lives for Mission burritos, Hemingway novels and Levi’s Slim Fitting Jeans. On any given day you can find him at Bender’s or hanging on the BeastMaker at PGSF.