Standing 6’0″ with a +1″ ape index
Anthony is likely the first person you’ll see when you walk into the DBC and he will greet you with an endless amount of enthusiasm. When he’s not here at the gym, Anthony can be found high off the ground, climbing classic multi-pitch routes all over Colorado His proudest accomplishment is surviving the 100+ ft run outs on rotten rock in the San Rafael Swell, Utah.
What is your favorite climbing area?
Eldorado Canyon, Colorado
What do you like most about the DBC?
Pushing myself in a cool encouraging atmosphere with creative boulder problems!
Even if you haven’t actually met him, you probably see him (and his bleached blonde hair) around the gym all the time, either hanging out at the front desk, wandering around the gym with a broom, or shredding problems on every wall. As one of the gym’s operations managers, Anthony Bruno basically keeps the gym running, and we wanted to recognize him and everything he does for the DBC community. Get to know Anthony a little better, and be sure to say hi next time you see him in the gym!
What does a day in the life of Anthony Bruno look like?
I usually like to wake up pretty early and if I can get climbing outside in the morning, that’s always the best thing. Then I usually come into the gym, answer a few emails, help out with the front desk, do a lot of auditing for the business, general behind-the-scenes sort of things, stay busy with that during the day until I coach the kiddos in the afternoon, then, back up the front desk, make sure the gym doesn’t burn down in the evening, and then if I can climb again in the evenings, I will.
What are some of your favorite things about working at the DBC?
I enjoy coaching, doing the intro classes, seeing new people get into the sport of rock climbing and get really stoked on it. It’s always cool to see somebody feel like something is too hard for them and then like overcome those obstacles and get amped on what they can accomplish and overcoming their fears and things.
Building things around the gym – I like how we take care of a lot of things in-house, and I’ve learned a lot about how a general climbing gym is not only run, but built, from working here, which is really cool.
I’ve always enjoyed the fact that it’s like a community-based climbers’ climbing gym. I like seeing the same faces in here a bunch, and knowing that everyone’s kind of on the same path of, we’re just here trying to get a little stronger and climb outside and just trying to have fun with our friends. Pretty psyched on that.
How did you first get involved with the DBC?
I first got involved with the gym when I moved here in the summer of 2011. I moved here from Virginia because I had caught the climbing bug and was told that Colorado was the cool place to be for rock climbing. I found out about the DBC being this small community bouldering space that was open 24 hours, and me being like 20 years old at the time, just thought that was the coolest thing in the world, that moving to Denver, and there’s this space that I could go boulder inside at like midnight when I was feeling restless. And I’ve pretty much been slowly picking up more responsibility from there.
Once they started hiring people, I was pretty quick to jump on that, and be like “Hey I want to help out around the gym,” and as I kept working here longer and longer I just started picking up more responsibilities and got to grow with the gym. It’s been really cool.
How did you originally get into climbing?
I always like being outside. Me and my friends pretty early on in high school started running around Appalachia, going backpacking, just to find like a sense of freedom and escape from our small town. We slowly started pushing ourselves, we started cliff jumping a bunch, and started scrambling up steeper and steeper things. And then my sophomore year of college, I was privileged enough to do a NOLS course, and that’s where I learned how the safety of rope climbing worked. I had never really thought about how you would feasibly go rock climbing and not just be risking your own life. And once I figured out how to do that, I came home and immediately got in contact with my one other friend from high school that I knew rock climbed, and was like “Oh my God, I just bought a harness and some shoes, we have to go climbing all the time!” And I’ve been climbing ever since as much as I could.
What are some of your favorite places to climb outside the gym?
Eldorado Canyon is one of my favorites for the front range. I think it’s super pretty, and I think the rock there is pretty exceptional too. I know it can be kind of a choss pile, but as far as close to the city multi-pitch adventure goes, you can’t really beat Vedauwoo, it’s always one of my favorite places. I think it has a really cool vibe, being this sacred Native American site in the Medicine Bow Forest, and then the climbing there is just nails hard, so I’ve always loved doing that and getting humbled and having to try my hardest out there.
What powers you at the crag?
Candy and caffeine. Over and over again. All sorts of candy.
I particularly like the Almond Joy pieces. I like all the pieces, like the Reese’s pieces, Almond Joy pieces, York Peppermint Patty pieces. The thing about them is they have the hard sugary shell, and they don’t melt. So you can like, have them in your bag whenever, if they fall out of your bag, you can kind of just dust them off and then eat them. So they’re always great.
I’m a sucker for some coffee and Red Bulls mid-day. Yeah, candy and caffeine. Period.
What are your jams when you’re on the wall?
The Grateful Dead, Iron Maiden, “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran. Period.
Wasn’t Metallica in the mix at one point?
I think so, but I decided that those three are the funniest to me *laughing*. Comedy comes in threes. Obviously Grateful Dead – I have a giant Grateful Dead tattoo. Obviously Iron Maiden – my hair is bleached blonde. And then Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” is just the greatest song of our generation. Definitely my jam.
Anything else to share with our awesome members?
You know, I feel like there’s a lot that kind of goes unsaid between the staff and the members here, and I think it goes unsaid because we don’t need to talk about it. We’re all on the same page here.
We all want a cool, small gym to train in, we want to see friendly faces around and feel comfortable in our space. So if I’m gonna say anything, I guess like, thanks for everybody being so cool and making that this space.
I’ve definitely had a lot of my friends come out here from Virginia, and totally fall in love with the DBC for all the same reasons that I did, and I think that’s really validating and I think that says a lot about the clientele and the character of people that we have here, that so many of us have been able to come out and see this community and be like “oh yeah, this place is awesome.”