Episode 23: Mack Maier — Extreme Entrepreneurship

We’re all busy. The hustle is real and sneaking climbing into life can be a helluva exercise. Perhaps we need some perspective? Let’s take the case of Mack Maier.

Mack, after discovering climbing in college, fell down the rabbit hole of infatuation, eventually moving to Salt Lake City. With wanderlust boring down on him, off he went to South Korea to teach English and climb as an “expat for life.” While assuming a leadership role with a climbing advocacy group his friend and future business partner launched, the owner of the fledgling Butora climbing shoe company noticed their community stewardship and suggested they move back to the States to launch Butora USA.

With no experience in the climbing industry, Mack and his two partners got to work building the Butora brand from the ground up. Mack slid into the ownership role of Butora USA, along with Director of Product Development (he’d never done that, either). Months on the road, meeting people in climbing gym parking lots. Visiting nearly 80% of the gyms in the nation. Hosting Butora demos almost every night — somewhere — for over a year. And Butora, unlike most young climbing shoe brands, was born ready to sprint. Do you remember? One day you’d never heard of Butora and the next all kinds of climbers were mysteriously wearing this shoe called the Acro? Crazy.

And then there’s the distribution company that Mack and his partners started, HMH Outdoors. Butora, Maxim Ropes, 8BPLUS, all distributed under the HMH umbrella.

But listen, that’s not nearly enough for a guy like Mack. He and his partners, living in the gym-free Longmont, CO — a pretty decent jaunt from Boulder and the closest climbing gym — decided to launch a bouldering gym. Fighting through the daunting real estate insanity of Boulder County, they eventually found a 15,000 sq ft location and christened the Longmont Climbing Collective. The LCC features beautiful parquet walls, the first ever Kilter board, some of the first Adjustable Training Platform walls in the nation, and an old school vibe that elevates community over all else.

Mack’s is a story of vision, relentless passion, and the willingness to shove 90 hour work weeks down your throat until the job is done. Maybe…just maybe…we aren’t all that busy, after all.

Have a question, suggestion, or article pitch? Wanna know how Fidi became an international sex symbol? Drop us a line at thunderclingpodcast@gmail.com or shoot us a message @thethundercling on Instagram.

Thanks as always to Ryne Doughty for being such a bad-ass troubadour!

Thanks to you, too, for giving us a listen. We’re thankful to clip your proverbial anchors every episode! That’s weird…

One Comment

Shannon Garfein

I love learning about the owners of our fabulous gym!!
The backstory is as great as the present!!

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