Blog Archives - Page 2 of 30 - Sender One Climbing
Send Forward

Send Forward

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Rock climbing provides an experience full of thrill, excitement, and commitment. It builds physical and mental strength as you reach new heights on each route you try. It’s an experience that Sender One wants to make accessible to everyone in our communities, which is why we’re pleased to announce our Send Forward Program. 

The goal for the Send Forward Program is to break down barriers that limit underrepresented groups, especially amongst youth, from participating in the sport of climbing. Additionally, we want the youth participating in the program to build self-esteem, develop life skills and grow confidence in overcoming obstacles, so that what they perceive as possible will transform beyond their current veils.

The Send Forward campaign will offer these groups of youth an opportunity to explore a world outside of what they know, to experience challenges that will push them beyond what they envisioned they were capable of. It will also offer them a chance to get to know our State and National parks through climbing.

We’ve had the opportunity to partner with Andrew King and Outward Bound Adventures who have helped make this dream program a reality. Learn more about these amazing partners below

We look forward to building partnerships with even more organizations to help this program grow.

About Andrew King

Andrew King is an African American explorer who has climbed over 50 different mountains around the world from Kilimanjaro to the highest mountain in the Atlantic, Indian, and the Pacific Ocean to the highest mountain in Western Hemisphere. He is currently training and climbing towards being the first African American to climb the highest mountain and volcano on each continent.

He is a dedicated advocate, providing help and digital media exposure to individuals, non-profits, developing communities battling sexism, racism, climate change, and other economic barriers along his nature expeditions.

Andrew is climbing, surfing, and diving for an inclusive outside with brands including Black Diamond, who will be donating shoes and harnesses to the participants of the Send Forward program. 

About Outward Bound Adventures

Outward Bound Adventures (OBA) is the oldest non-profit in the nation created and dedicated to providing outdoor education, conservation and environmental learning expeditions for primarily low income, urban and rural youth and their families who would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience time spent in wild places and open spaces. 

We are thrilled to partner with them on the Send Forward program to bring rock climbing into the lives of these young adventurers. 

Black History Month: Health & Wellness Part 2

Black History Month: Health & Wellness Part 2

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The pieces in the image above are from the exhibition "In the Midst of All that Is" at the Band of Vices, an LA based art and culture company committed to providing a platform to often overlooked creative communities a narrative. Learn more about the artists and this exhibition

In effort to continue bringing Black Health and Wellness to the forefront as we celebrate Black History Month, below you'll find Black-owned businesses who provide services and products for self-care, fitness, sustainability, and more  for our local communities and online. 

If you haven't had the opportunity yet, don't forget to check out our earlier blog for Black History Month which highlights non-profit organizations and podcasts to follow/support that work to empower Black communities, as well as encourage self-love and healing. 


SGH Apparel

A Los Angeles based women's lifestyle athleisure brand celebrating boldness, confidence and body positivity. They provide gear that keeps you on top of your game rather you’re running errands, at the gym, or out with friends.

Ride On!

Ride On! community Bike Shop and Co-Op provides all the necessary tools and supplies (including trained personnel) needed to assist you in repairing your bike for free. 

Intrinsic Provisions

A joy-focused outdoor lifestyle shop connecting customers to the highest quality brands. They offer a curated brand experience for your life both out and about and in.


Nena's Organics

Nena's Organics designs and creates plant based, organic health and beauty products for the treatment eczema, psoriasis, lichen planus, chapped lips, and dry skin, and exclude chemicals preservatives, alcohol, and blended with love.

Highbrow Hippie

Located in Los Angeles area, Highbrow Hippie is as chic as it is mindful with a thoughtfully curated selection of luxurious beauty, health, wellness, and home goods. Their goal is to expand the definition of a salon and return to  its historical meaning - a gathering place to exchange thoughts and ideas. Creating a sense of community, self care and a way to drop out for a few hours and focus on yourself. 

Nappily Naturals

A full service beauty wellness center in Leimert Park that offers organic, plant-based and herbal formulas that support holistic health and beauty lifestyles that will combat certain issues that has become ubiquitous throughout Black communities all over the world.

Amour Propre

Based in Orange County, Amour Propre®️ (which means "self-love in French) is in business to encourage our customers to practice self-love by experiencing the joy of utilizing natural, organic and aromatheraputic skin care products. 

Butterfli Designz

Based in Orange County, owner Lolita has a niche in custom designing self-care gift baskets, weddings, parties, corporate events, home staging, baby showers & more. In 2015, she stepped out of her comfort zone to build her online presence and home base business in self care products.

Laguna Candles

Women-owned and family-run business Laguna Candles has been whipping up candles for over 15 years. Each candle is hand-poured and crafted locally and made with a proprietary soy and wax blend sustainable, ecologically-sound and free of pesticides, Phthalates, parabens and sulfates.


Plush Armour

Hand-knit sweaters and scarves by Chasten Harmon. Harmon also hosts health consultations and monthly gatherings designed to create a safe space to explore different healing modalities for BIPOC.

Sandra Johnson Designs

Anaheim Hills business owner Sandra Johnson has been sewing for 30 years and loves bringing her knowledge of the craft to others. She hosts presentations, workshops and parties for kids and adults that teach others how to hand-stitch, quilt and repurpose denim.

Renowned LA

Renowned is a Los Angeles based brand created by John Dean III. Dean, born in Cleveland, Ohio, developed Renowned as a creative outlet to share and tell stories from a perspective that is relatable to anyone chasing a dream.

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.

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 2022

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!

Black History Month: Health and Wellness

Black History Month: Health and Wellness

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 The theme of Black History Month in 2022 is centered around Black Health and Wellness. 

In the midst of Covid-19, Black Health and Wellness has become a prevalent conversation piece. Throughout the pandemic, Black communities have been disproportionately affected on all levels – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Black men and women are at a higher risk for serious illness, and many report that the pandemic has had a profound negative impact on their mental health and emotional well-being.

Through art, Black communities have had a platform to express the challenges of this global tragedy and share stories through color and movement. One recent exhibition "In the Midst of All That Is"  featuring the artwork of LA based artists Tiffanie Delune and Kaye Freeman provokes a conversation about current global challenges in regard to the Covid-19 pandemic and other social, political and economic ills (a piece of this exhibit can be found above. Both artists insist on searching for the silver-lining in these fraught times, mainly through the use of vibrant color palettes that are invoked through their real and imagined cityscapes and dreamscapes. These artists imbue their paintings with the hope that this uncertain future that we are living through will bring kinder days ahead for humankind.

Exhibition for "In the Midst of All that Is" at the Band of Vices, an LA based art and culture company committed to providing a platform to often overlooked creative communities a narrative. Learn more about the artists and this exhibition. 

Thankfully the future isn't being left to total uncertainty, as many non-profit organizations are at the forefront of bringing these kinder days to light through advocacy programs, outreach, policy, and education. Not only do these organizations provide support and resources  for Covid-19, but many other issues that Black communities face in access to healthcare and wellness.

Below you'll find information on a few of these organizations, where you can educate yourself on the these issues in order to be a voice for the cause, be empathetic ear for those around you, and share or use the resources they provide. Lastly, we've also included Podcasts that aim to empower Black communities, as well as encourage self-love and healing.

Black Health and Wellness Organizations

California Black Women's Health Project

About Them: The California Black Women's Health Project (CABWHP) is the only statewide, non-profit organization that is solely committed to ​improving the health of California's 1.2 million Black women and girls through advocacy, education, outreach and policy. We focus on empowering Black women to take personal responsibility for our own health and to advocate for changes in policies that negatively affect Black women's health status.

Health Resources: Utilize their Health Toolkits under the 'Our Health' section as a resource for Mental Health, Maternal Health, COVID, and more.

Get Involved: You can get involved by donating, or volunteering your time.

Black Women for Wellness

About Them: Black Women for Wellness aims to expand healthcare access, reduce toxic hair care chemicals that are prevalent in our community and build political advocacy in California and beyond.

Health Resources: Join weekly events including interactive discussions on health and wellness topics, book clubs, and community outreach.

Get Involved: Support by donating to their cause, or volunteer your time. 




Be Well, Sis

Across the board, Black women suffer the worst medical outcomes and score the lowest in well-being assessments. Yet unfortunately, Black women are consistently overlooked or are an afterthought in the Wellness community. Be Well, Sis was created to address this gap and is dedicated to empowering Black women with insightful conversations to heal mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. This space is where we can finally feel seen and be heard. Join us!

Listen on Spotify or Apple

Black Mens Mental Health

Casanova Williams, CEO, Father, Husband, Friend, Leaders, Creator, Entrepreneur which brings challenges everyday. But society never addresses mental health of the black male as they do with other races and genders. This podcast is not a replacement to therapy, but is an alternative thought-provoking option that showcases real-life stories to help connect Black Men with their feelings and for others to understand the day to day struggles of being a black male in America and the roll mental health plays.

Listen on Spotify or Apple

The Self Love Fix

The self love fix podcast is a podcast all about helping WOC delve deeper into self love, self worth, personal development, self esteem and self care. Here on the self love fix we get relatable, we laugh, we cry, we heal, but most of all we learn about the truth of who we are and what we deserve.

Listen on Spotify or Apple

Climb Together In the Year of the Tiger

Climb Together In the Year of the Tiger

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It's the Year of the Tiger! But what exactly does that mean...?

Chinese New Year, one of many Lunar New Year celebrations, begins on the new moon which marks the end of Winter and beginning of Spring. One of the many components of Chinese New Year that makes it unique from other Spring Festivals is the Chinese Zodiac, which is a repeating 12-year cycle of animal signs based on the lunar calendar. 2022 is the year of the tiger!

With her passion for climbing and desire to share Chinese Culture with the community,  Co-Founder and CEO Alice Kao was inspired to launch a Tank that celebrates both. Alice share's more with us about her inspiration for the tank top and her own  Chinese New Year Traditions below in a Q&A.

Celebrating Chinese New Year Through Art

These Chinese-inspired Climbing Tanks designed by artist Ariel Lee are available for purchase in-person and online. Sender One will donate 50% of proceeds during February 2022 to the Asian Pacific Island Forward Movement, a group dedicated to cultivating healthy, long-lasting, and vibrant Asian and Pacific Islander communities through grassroots organizing. 

Co-Founders Alice Kao, Wes Shih and family on Chinese New Year 2021

Wes Shih in a Chinese-inspired climbing shirt from Uplift Climbing

Q&A with Co-Founder and CEO, Alice Kao 

Q: What was your inspiration to share this part of your Asian culture with the community? 

A: "Actually the idea was inspired by Andrew Hou at Uplift Climbing in Seattle, WA.  Wes and I went to Seattle last September to meet up with other climbing gym owners and we checked out Andrew's new bouldering gym.  He sells a shirt at this gym that says "Climbing Gym" in Chinese.  I was so intrigued by it I told him I'd like to copy his idea (and send him a shirt when Sender One prints one!)

The truth is I've always wanted to share Chinese culture with the community, since we started the company almost 10 years ago, but it didn't feel like it was a good time until now.  We attended our first Climbing Wall Association summit in 2012 and we were the ONLY Asian people who were climbing gym owners.  I might have been the only woman of color who owns a climbing gym in America for a very long time.  It has definitely changed over the past few years and the climbing industry is becoming more diverse across all levels.  I'm really proud to be a part of this transformation."

Q: Sender One has 6 Core Values, why did you choose 'Climb Together' to be represented in this design? 

A: "Because "Climbing Together" is what has gotten all of us through the past 24 months, and because the Chinese phrase for Climbing Together sounds and looks cool."

Q: Does your family celebrate Chinese New year, and if so how do you celebrate? 

A: "Yes! I was born and raised in Taiwan and moved to the US when I was 12.  My memories of Chinese New Year as a kid were lots of family gatherings, mahjong, and lots of red envelopes.  My mom and I have tried to carry some of these traditions with us now that we're in the US.  We still eat hot pot on Chinese New Year's eve, dumplings on Chinese New Year's day, and give the kids red envelopes.  Hopefully soon we'll start teaching the kids how to play mahjong, it'll help them learn Chinese characters."

Q: What is your Chinese zodiac? 

A: "Year of the Sheep. To illustrate how much my family cares about this, my Chinese name has the character of the sheep in it!"

Q: What's something you'd like to accomplish in the Year of the Tiger?

A: "To be courageous like a tiger and open another gym 🙂 "

About the Artist

Ariel Lee is an Asian American artist and illustrator based out of Southern California. Just like her Chinese Zodiac animal, the Ram, her heart seems to be in the colorful mountains shown in her art. She shared with us that some other AAPI artists that inspire her include Josh Cochran, Tomi Um, and Andrew Hem. See more of her colorful paintings on her Instagram @lee_ariel_, or visit her site

Photo of Ariel Lee by Margaret Austin Photography for Google’s Artist in Residence program

Bitterbrush Mountains, Gouache on paper, 2021, 11x15 in 

Mural by Ariel Lee, Photo by: Andrea Ceseña

Horizon Showers, Gouache on paper, 2021, 15x11 in

Bouldering League: Everything You Need to Know

Bouldering League: Everything You Need to Know

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Bouldering League season is here and we have everything you need to get started! If it's your first time participating you should know that bouldering league is not just any community event - it's where teams climb together to score based on progress, not just prowess.

Whether you are brand new to climbing or have years of experience, you have an equal chance to win the ultimate title of Bouldering League Champion! The best part is, participants receive perks including:

  • a Bouldering League shirt or tank
  • entry in a raffle on finals night for a chance to win sweet swag
  • to participate in 4 weeks of Bouldering League!
  • to compete to win the title of Bouldering League champion and a coveted Bouldering League trophy!

To sign-up for Bouldering League or review more FAQs, check out our Bouldering League page.

If you are brand new to climbing, you can also check out our "Climbing 101: The Essentials" blog that will introduce bouldering grades, how to complete a route, climbing techniques, and more!

Setting a Handicap

In Bouldering League you compete against yourself to earn points. This is done by completing more difficult routes than you may normally as you progress over the 4-week Bouldering League period.

This is tracked by setting a handicap, which is the highest grade you can climb consistently. The more routes you complete at or above your handicap grade, the more points you earn for your team!

When you sign-up for bouldering league you will need to set your handicap. To estimate what you should set for your handicap, you can use the average* grade of the top 5 grades climbed during your last session or two.

If a handicap is set too low, Sender One may manually adjust it during Bouldering League to reflect a climber's true level. Here are some examples of setting a handicap:

*You can calculate the average by adding up the 5 grades, then dividing by 5.

Beginner Benny

Benny is newer to bouldering and climbs anywhere from a v0 to a v3, depending if he has time to project the route. Here are the top 5 grades he completed in his last session:

v1, v1, v1, v2, v2v1, v1, v2, v2, v3

At first glance, we can see Benny can consistently climb v2s. His average grade is between a 1 and a 2, and he should choose one of those grades for his handicap. Let's assume Benny is able to flash v1s, and most of his v2s.

In this case, Benny should select 2 as his handicap.

Experienced Elizabeth

Elizabeth has been bouldering for over 3 years, and climbs anywhere from a v0 to a v7 depending if she has time to project the route. Here are the top 5 grades she completed in her last session:

v3, v4, v4, v5, v6v3, v4, v4, v5, v7

At first glance, we can see Elizabeth can consistently climb v4s and some v5s. Her average grade is betwee a 4 and a 5, and she should choose one of those grades for her handicap.

If Elizabeth completed the v5s after projecting during multiple sessions, she should probably set her handicap at 4. If Elizabeth completed the v5s after just a few attempts, she should probably set her handicap at a 5.


Climbing for a Score

You will submit your scores once a week on the first day that you attempt the Bouldering League routes. Since you only get to earn points on the first day you climb the routes, be sure to leave it all on the wall that day!

You are welcome to come back and climb the Bouldering League routes again, they just won't count towards your score.

Earn points based on Handicap

While you can earn some points for completing routes below your handicap, most of your points are earned by completing routes at or above your handicap grade. Try to focus your energy on some of the more difficult routes since that's where you will score big time!


Flashing means that you completed a route on your first attempt. Flashing a route will help you earn extra points!


Bouldering League is all about rewarding progress. To reward progress, scores are weighted each week. This means that your score in Week 4 will count more towards your overall score than your score in Week 1. Here's an example of how weighting works (numbers may not be exact to what is used in scoring):

Week 1: score x 1

Week 2: score x 1.5

Week 3: score x 2

Week 4: score x 2.5

Individual Scores

Each week you will complete as many routes as you can in one session, and submit all of them for a score. However, only the top 5 scores earned will be used to calculate your total score of that week. Since you won't know which route will earn more points, be sure to submit them all!

If you aren't able to complete 5 routes that's okay. You may miss out on a few points but you can make up the points next week!

Team Scores

In your team of 4, only the 3 top scores each week are used for your total score. This is helpful if a teammate is unable to participate that week, or if someone is just having  a high-gravity week!

What to expect

When to Climb

You can climb for your score any day of the week, from setting day (varies by location) until Sunday @ closing.  Just remember to submit your scores on the first day you climb.

While it's not required, we encourage everyone to climb as a team to meet new friends and cheer each other on!

Bouldering League Tags

Bouldering League tags look different than what you normally see in the gym. They have a design of a trophy, and are numbered usually from 1-22 (may vary by location). When you come in to climb for Bouldering League, you can climb any (or all) of these routes to try and earn points.

Since these tags only have the route number, the grade of each route in Bouldering League is a mystery - so try as many routes as you can and spend extra time on routes that seem within your range!


One of the best things you can expect from Bouldering League is the comradery between every climber. While it's a competition, the climbing community never ceases to support and encourage one another. If you find yourself struggling near the top of a climb and suddenly hear some clapping and yelling, you can bet it's everyone below cheering you on to make that final move!


Paper scorecards will be available at the front desk to pick up on your way in. When you complete a Bouldering League route (indicated by the special tag), you will write down the number of the route you completed, if you flashed it, and get a witness to sign-off. Here's an example:

Route Number CompletedFlashed?Witness
#8YesWitness Signature

Submitting Your Score

On your paper scorecard you'll find a QR code. Each week you'll scan this QR code to submit your scores when you're done climbing!

Tracking Your Score

At the end of each week scores will be posted via Facebook on our Sender One Bouldering League page. Scores will also be shared via Instagram on the account where your Bouldering League is being hosted. Follow your Sender One location to get updates: @senderone_playavista, @senderone_lax, @senderone_sna.

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