Meet The Staff

Climb with us!

Gold Crush is the premier indoor rock climbing gym of Grass Valley, California. We are a local, membership-driven organization, geared towards having fun, training, and building a strong climbing community. Nevada County is home to many people interested in rock climbing who now have a local space to meet, train, climb, and have fun!

It’s easy to join us, just check out daily, monthly, and yearly rates on our membership page or find special events our calendar.

You are always welcome to contact Desmond if you want to see more programming or have any questions.

Watch our video and learn why we think its important to climb indoors and outdoors.

This official Gold Crush video was produced by Sundown West.

Coming Soon: Connecting you with climbing professionals, belay partners, skills classes, and guided outdoor adventures!

Gym Staff

The Co-op will be governed as a democracy of members and operated for the benefit of the members, not for profit. Legally, SNC Co-op is an LLC, with officers elected by the members.

Erik, Founder, stands dressed in bright yellow outdoor clothing in front of a mountainous backdropErik, Founder, pointing to El Chalten in 2013

Erik was tired of complaining about how there wasn’t a local climbing gym, so he built one. To his role as a founder and board member of Sierra Nevada Climbing Co-op, he brings expertise in design and construction, with a Master’s of Architecture and a decade of experience in the field. He previously served on non-profit boards, such as the Boulder Housing Coalition helping to provide low-income cooperative housing, and co-founded the Urban Studio, which provided arts education and economic development in St. Louis. He teaches leadership, mountaineering, and sea kayaking at the National Outdoor Leadership School. Though Erik loves climbing in all its forms, he is most drawn to remote expeditionary alpine climbing and can’t wait to train for that next trip at the Gold Crush!

Desmond, Founder, clad and roped up for rock climbing stands in front of a mountainous backdropDesmond, Founder, Out in the Wilderness

After discovering the joy of climbing while attending UC Santa Barbara in 2007, Desmond embarked on a decade-long, love/not-love relationship with climbing resulting from obsession and injury. It wasn’t until 2013/14 when he began to climb with patience and was later presented with an opportunity to be a sales rep for Black Diamond, Boreal, and Edelweiss/Beal. This gig put him in every Northern California climbing gym for two years as he continued to climb with patience and without injury.

Little did he know that by the end of those two years he would buy a home in Grass Valley, finish the sales gig, have a baby, and start a climbing gym, all within about 5 months. Time-warp to today where Desmond is a happy dad and manager and co-founder of Gold Crush. Hailing from red-dirt-Redding, California, he is more than happy to be living in the sister 530, beautiful and bountiful Nevada County.

Jakobi, Founder, Bouldering Outdoors

Jakobi Garlow-Kent hails from Western Massachusetts, where his friends introduced him to bouldering after high school. Jakobi spent 12 years learning climbing technique and power on world-class boulders in Great Barrington. He worked as a jewelry designer, in food service, and in various landscaping and artistic construction jobs with his father; all skills that later proved very useful in the construction of our gym’s walls.

Shona wears a helmet while demonstrating rope safety in the great outdoors Shona Estey-Edwards, Instructor and Gym Manager, Climbing in Moab, UT

Shona grew up in Nevada City, CA and her love for adventure and the outdoors grew out of a childhood spent roaming the foothills and mountains of Northern California. During her time obtaining a degree in Outdoor Experiential Education and Environmental Studies in Arizona she fell in love with the Southwest’s wild places and developed skills as a rock climber, whitewater rafter, backpacker and ecologist. Shona has worked as a climbing and backpacking instructor, whitewater rafting guide, dance and yoga teacher, and environmental educator throughout the Southwest, California and Patagonia. Shona’s intention with her work is to support others in cultivating a mindful approach to engagement with the natural world and to promote curiosity and learning that is rooted in love and appreciation for the planet and our communities. Shona loves the natural world and happily fills her free time working in the garden, climbing, swimming in the Yuba River and exploring new places near and far.