Crystal Tan, Author at Sender One Climbing
Sender One Turns 10!

Sender One Turns 10!

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For the past decade, Sender One has created unforgettable experiences for many climbers, new and seasoned. With three gyms up and running and more on the way (4 to be exact!), it is incredible to share such inclusive spaces for friends and family to gather while witnessing the growth and expansion of Sender One. We are so fortunate for the opportunities to discover and connect with a diverse community, allowing us to foster an environment where we can continue to share our passion for climbing. 

We'd like to take some time to reflect on the past 10 years with Alice Kao, Sender One's CEO.

I dropped off my 10-year-old daughter Sydney at sleep-away camp this weekend. As she waved goodbye without shedding a tear (while I fought back my own), it hit me: this is what motherhood is all about. It's watching your child grow, gain independence, and experiencing a mix of sadness and happiness.

But Sydney isn't my first child. That honor goes to Sender One, my brainchild born on 2/14/2012. Back then, my partners and I would gather around the dining table every night writing our business plan. We threw in our life savings and poured everything we had into this crazy idea.

Finally, on 6/15/2013, we opened the doors to Sender One SNA, our very first gym. Those early years are a blur to me, partly because I was so sleep deprived. I was also juggling a small child and a second job on top of running the business. What I do remember is having a crib in the back office, and sometimes Sydney sleeping in her car seat under the front desk.

Fast forward, and Sender One grew from one gym to three, with our team expanding from 20 to over 175 employees. There's a moment etched in my memory from about five years ago when I walked into the gym and couldn't recall the name of the CX staff member. That's when it struck me: Sender One had grown up, standing tall and thriving independently. It had become a living, breathing entity that no longer relied on me.

It's a rollercoaster of emotions. On one hand, I feel a bit sad because my child needs me less, but on the other hand, it's incredible to see them venture into the world, full of confidence and independence.

We look forward to seeing what the next ten years will bring for Sender One and its community! To climbers new, experienced, and those who are no longer with us thank you for climbing with us. We are forever grateful for your support!

Sender One Aliso Viejo

Sender One Aliso Viejo

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Well hello, Sender One Aliso Viejo!

Y'all ready for this?! We are thrilled to share the exciting news of our newest addition, Sender One Aliso Viejo! This marks our 7th gym and 4th full-service location, situated in the heart of South Orange County. We look forward to growing our community and serving the folks in and around Aliso Viejo!

The Location

Sender One Aliso Viejo will be conveniently located in The Commons Shopping Center at 26507 Aliso Creek Road, just off Route 73 and a mere 3 miles south of the 5 freeway. The Commons is currently undergoing a complete remodel of the former Lowes store with some of its first tenants set to open their doors in early 2024. Joining us in this vibrant neighborhood are esteemed establishments such as Trader Joe's, Tesla, 99 Ranch Market, and Daiso, along with several other restaurants and family entertainment operators currently in lease negotiations with the owner of the property, ValueRock Realty.

Enjoy a quick bite to eat and/or grocery shopping before or after your climbing session!

The Space

Spanning 24,000 square feet, Sender One Aliso Viejo will provide ample room for climbers of all experience levels. To put it into perspective, this space is comparable to the floor area of LAX's 30,000-square-foot facility and our main gym in SNA, which is also 24,000 square feet. Rest assured, Aliso Viejo will deliver the same exceptional Sender One and Sender City experiences that you have come to love and expect!

Exterior rendering of Sender One Aliso Viejo (does not show raised roof!)

The Climbing

While we are still in the early stages of design, we are excited to share a glimpse of what awaits you. Get ready to reach new heights as we raise the roof for sport climbing and Sender City. This summer, we will be collaborating with Walltopia to finalize the design and create an extraordinary climbing experience for all.

Exterior renderings of The Commons, revamped (real-life space may have differences)

The Timing - When will this space open?!

We will be working closely with ValueRock Realty and the city of Aliso Viejo this summer to obtain a conditional use permit. We are grateful for the unwavering support we have received from both our landlord and the city of Aliso Viejo thus far. With their support, we are optimistic about acquiring the necessary permits, commencing construction in 2024, and aiming to open our doors for business by the end of 2024 or early 2025.

Stay tuned for more updates as we progress on this venture.

In the meantime...

Here are some updates on our Westwood and Lakewood locations:

Westwood: Walls are taking shape! Walltopia has arrived on-site this week (the last week of June), and the climbing walls will be going up in July.

Lakewood: If you've recently driven by our Lakewood location, you may have noticed some remarkable changes. The roof has been removed, and the parking lot is now filled with gigantic steel beams. Big things are happening at Lakewood, and we can't wait to share the finished result with you!

Be sure to visit our careers page for exciting job opportunities across all of our gyms.

Lastly, we wanted to express gratitude to our members and this community! You continue to inspire and motivate us to provide unique climbing experiences for everybody. We can't wait to climb together at all our new locations!

Honoring the Significance of Juneteenth

Honoring the Significance of Juneteenth

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Written by Kadisha Aburub, Edited by Crystal Tan

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, is an American holiday celebrated annually on June 19th. It commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger recited federal orders announcing that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free.

So if you’re thinking, but WAIT…I thought the Emancipation Proclamation did this on January 1, 1863?!

Well, not entirely. Plantation masters decided when and how news was delivered (as news then, did not travel as quickly), so this news of the Emancipation Proclamation was delayed for very obvious reasons.

While many Black folks use this as a day to celebrate with friends, family, and community members, it can also be seen as a way for non-Black individuals to reflect on the impact it has had on our nation.

For example, let’s think about how we, as climbers and outdoor enthusiasts, have the privilege to explore and enjoy our State and National Parks. When the National Park Service was founded in 1916, Jim Crow laws had already been implemented. Did you know that the parks were not officially desegregated until 1945? However, local ordinances continued to prohibit Black people from entering many parks, despite desegregation. In 1952, only 12 out of 180 state parks in southern states allowed Black people to enter.

While it may be tempting to think, “That was a long time ago." In reality, it wasn't too long ago, and the legacy of institutional racism remains and continues to impact Black communities.

Let’s not forget the first all-Black team to summit Everest was in 2022. Only one year ago.

The good news is there are groups and organizations actively working to improve experiences for Black people outdoors.

Here are a couple of organizations to check out and support:

Black Girls Trekkin - Located locally in California, their mission is to "provide experiences that inspire Black women to pursue outdoors adventures with confidence, establish connections with one another, recreate on the land with care, and rekindle a deep-rooted cultural relationship with nature."

Blk Out Fest - A climbing festival held in Chattanooga, TN that centers and celebrates Black climbers.

We encourage you all to explore and connect with organizations and local Black climbers; to step outside what you know or think you know, and to listen, without judgment.

So if Juneteenth is a celebration for you, we hope that you celebrate in whichever way feels right. Be it rest, spending time with friends climbing outdoors, or taking the day off.

As for us here at Sender One, we will be featuring a Black vendor on the day of Juneteenth, Royal Gourmet Cookies! We are always looking for more Black vendors to support throughout the year, so if you or someone you know would like to be represented in our gym space to sell your art, jewelry, or goodies, please reach out to us!

Join our 2023 Juneteenth Celebration @ Sender One LAX!
Monday 6/19/2023, 7 PM – 9 PM

Presented by S1's Black Climbers Union and Black Girls Trekkin’, this meetup is a safe place that gives Black climbers the opportunity to unite and amplify each other’s voices in the climbing community. This meetup strives to encourage positivity, individuality, and acceptance amongst Black climbers from any background. All ages and experience levels are welcome. Minors must come with supervising adults.
$20 day passes when you RSVP in advance! Free for members to join.
What to Wear to Your Sender City Session

What to Wear to Your Sender City Session

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Did Sender City pop up on your Tik Tok and now it’s all you can think about? Or, did you pass by Sender City at the gym and see the enormous slide that brings joy and fear to all climbers that come across it? 

However you got here, welcome! Sender City is a fun, interactive, climbing space that all individuals can enjoy. Before you book your session, you may be wondering what you’ll want to wear, bring, and what to expect from your session. Here is what the Sender City professionals recommend!

The Basics

  • Comfortable athletic clothing is the best for moving up the walls in Sender City. Pants or leggings are a good option to keep you cozy in the harness.
  • Closed-toe shoes are needed for Sender City, we have back-up rental shoes at the gym but highly recommend wearing your own sneakers. 
  • Remember the slide? You’ll want to wear or bring some socks to give it a try! 
  • Jewelry can stay at home, we don’t want it to get caught on anything. We have places to leave your belongings if you want it close by.
  • We recommend having longer hair to be tied up in a low hairstyle.

Climbing Gear: 

  • Sender City climbers are required to wear a helmet and harness during the session. Don’t have climbing gear? No fret, we will provide you with all the gear you need to climb like spiderman. 
  • If you have a helmet at home and would like to bring it, feel free! We have special harnesses for Sender City so don’t worry about bringing your own.
  • Although Sender City is a climbing area, you won’t need your climbing shoes or chalk for this type of climbing. Closed-toe shoes are sufficient!

How do I put gear on!?

Staff will be assisting everyone with getting harnesses and helmets properly fit before the session. If there are any worries about the sizing, fit, or comfort of the gear we have, give us a call!


Book today!

Now that you are a Sender City professional, you are ready to book a session. Book online (Sender City LAX, Sender City SNA) or give our front desk a call to assist you with scheduling a session. 

First Look: Climbing Walls of Sender One Westwood

First Look: Climbing Walls of Sender One Westwood

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A first look at the climbing walls of Sender One Westwood.

Updated 1/29/2024

We're excited to be opening our doors in February 2024!

Our fourth location and second bouldering-only facility will reside in the historic Westwood Village. Slated to open later this year, this 8,000 sf climbing center will also include a 2,000 sf upstairs mezzanine with training boards, fitness, and yoga. We are currently in the permitting process and hope construction will begin in early spring!

Introducing the Sender One Westwood location logo (left), plus a mini-sneak peek of the space (not entirely to scale), specifically the design of the climbing walls provided by Walltopia. The inspiration behind Sender One Westwood's logo and walls focuses on the uniqueness of the original space, the Mann Festival Theatre (think film strips, directional lighting, projectors) which opened in 1969, 40 years after being one of the first six buildings in the Westwood Village area in 1929. It was actually the first Ralphs supermarket store! The theatre has remained vacant since 2009 after it permanently closed.

We're honored and thrilled to bring life to this historic building. The wall designs and the interior will preserve a theatre-like feel. We're even keeping the marquee at the entrance to pay tribute to the once-popular Westwood venue. 

Opening 2023

We look forward to creating new climbing experiences in the Westwood Village neighborhood and serving our existing community. Follow along for updates and job opportunities through our social media platforms and website. For more about Sender One Westwood and the location, revisit the original announcement post!

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