Neptune Mountaineering Sold


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Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 7, 2013 - 09:25pm PT
I'm sure Gary got enough to keep himself in Lederhosen and Norwegian Sweaters for life. End of an era...there goes my discount and Malcolm's toe. Thursday night shows were a good place to catch up with people. Backwoods is a good outfit, possibly a little too conservative.....been around long enough to understand culture, altihough Neptune's defies definition.

edit: Came very, very close to dying today on a rap off of a nondescript route in Sedona.
Full TR to follow when I get back to Ouray.

Mountain climber
Jan 7, 2013 - 09:52pm PT
Whoa Donini!

Another historically great brick and mortar gear shop that failed to make the transition to the web folds. Not much surprise there. Gary and the shop had a good run.

I'm also concerned about the museum pieces in the store and hope they find a good home.

edited to add: except for the toe

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Jan 7, 2013 - 10:01pm PT
Donini! Re your comment;

edit: Came very, very close to dying today on a rap off of a nondescript route in Sedona.
Full TR to follow when I get back to Ouray.

A lot of us know how close that must have been.

Sluuup! Here's to you cheating death a great-while longer!
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Jan 7, 2013 - 10:02pm PT
...Malcolm's Toe? what is that all about?

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 7, 2013 - 10:30pm PT
Malcolm and I had a bit of an epic on Thunder Mountain in Alaska in 1999. The toe, nicely preserved in formaldehyde, was Malcolm's gift to the Neptune Museum to commemorate the event.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 7, 2013 - 10:40pm PT
Well that is a pretty gross thing to display, but probably not as ugly as your underwear after that sling failed today.


I contributed a very strange thick spined euro D biner with a non-latching gate to that collection.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jan 7, 2013 - 10:43pm PT
Ron...I only wear underware when in something shorter than Bermuda Shorts.

Trad climber
Jan 7, 2013 - 11:06pm PT
tmi donini.

although i guess ron started it by speculating about yr lingerie.

i've only been in neptune's a handful of times, but had a good experience each time. how many small indies from that era are still in business? marmot was the last one in the bay area.

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Jan 7, 2013 - 11:47pm PT
Yikes, Jim! You are supposed to be catching up with me in years, not rapping off the end of a rope.

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jan 7, 2013 - 11:55pm PT
He didn't rap off the end. (wrong Jim)

Anchor failure, Jim is just too trusting a fellow. Thats why he doesn't pack a gun.

two miles from Eldorado
Jan 8, 2013 - 12:06am PT
That toe was in a jar in the back by the scab collection. Gross, but funny.

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jan 8, 2013 - 12:08am PT
If you are going to Neptunes soley to get the best price on your next piece of climbing gear than you are missing the point of Neptunes. Lots of very cool exhibits of climbing history(disclaimer, some of my stuff is in there as well) and a huge selection of the best gear. And then there were the Thursday night shows which brought in a heterogenous mix of all that was the outdoors. Gary was the man. Now he is the man with a lot more free time.

Jan 8, 2013 - 12:35am PT
I loved going to Neptune's. I'd go on a rainy day and sit on the couch and read books for hours! The only time the staff interupted me during this time was to joke around and I got to know them as friends. One time I bought a rope from them, took a huge whipper and blew the core out of the sheath. I took it in there and just said can you help me? A week later I had a new rope and it wasn't because it was under warrenty. They hooked a loyal customer up!

Cheers Gary!


beyond the sun
Jan 8, 2013 - 12:42am PT
The logical response to "the customer is always right" line is actually "10% of your customers will waste 90% of your time. It is in your best interest to fire those 1 out of 10, so you can better serve the other 9".

Anyone who has ever owned a business either knows this outright, or has a general sense of it.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 8, 2013 - 01:26am PT
I knew Gary and Bibi, and thought they were great, generous folk.

I think much of the problem that I hear mentioned is rooted in Gary's prediliction to hire climbers.

If you think about the characteristics of climbers....aren't particularly interested in suffering beginners, have a fair amount of contempt for silly questions, are as dependable as the weather, either drinking smoking or snorting whatevers around, hitting on any female within a mile.....

You kind of think he would have solved a lot of customer service problems if he'd hired the typical REI crowd, instead.

Seems like the climbing community biting the hand that fed them....

Jest sayin'

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jan 8, 2013 - 02:00am PT
You kind of think he would have solved a lot of customer service problems if he'd hired the typical REI crowd, instead.

"Yeah, I think we got them carabiner things in the store somewhere."

Ice climber
Jan 8, 2013 - 07:32am PT
I remember calling up REI and asking them if they had the mono-point conversion kits for Spikeez, and the employee said, "Just a minute, I'll go check." :-) But I must say, while I find frequently many REI employees don't seem to have deep experience in climbing, trekking, backpacking, skiing, etc., I have never found one that tried to b.s. me on anything, and they have all been friendly. While I always try to support Gary, and any small business for that matter, I too shop at REI at times. But then, I am a retailer's dream customer....not a big shopper, but when I do, I know what I want, and am willing to pay for it. HATE big box stores, and the lack of person-ness on-line shopping. When I walk into a store (or bar, for that matter!) and people working there know my name and what I might like, that's worth some extra sheckles to me!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 8, 2013 - 08:00am PT
There is NEVER an excuse for ANY poor customer relations...--Mr. Locker

There is always a reason, which can be seen as an excuse by the one at fault--if you'll excuse my reasoning--for bad customer relations. It should be borne in the memory, however, and only forgiven if an honest attempt is made to repair the damage...

It is a two-way street, after all, as are all relationships, Timid Tightrope.

In specialty shops, customer service is an attitude you either cultivate in yourself and your staff or it's gonna hurt your bottom line. Repeat business is the key; and, lacking help or useful advice, who wants to pay the prices the specialty owners have to ask in comparison with REI and the other biggies??

I would rather be fawned over and made to feel worthy than to be ignored.

I recently walked out of a restaraurant I had been looking forward to eating at for weeks, without ordering, when the girl at the counter kept talking on the phone to a friend. I gave her three minutes, interrupted her, then mentioned why I was leaving, and I won't go back (unless someone else offers to pay--my hypocrisy knows no limits).

Maybe I'm confusing this shop with one named for a different planet?

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jan 8, 2013 - 08:11am PT
"..there goes my discount and Malcolm's toe. "

Sh#t, Mal's toe! I completely forgot about that! The stuff should be moved to the AAC for sure.

Funny, I used to shop a lot at Neptune's but haven't in years now. Never once got bad customer service, but that's probably because I am a do it yourself shopper for the most part and will pick around displays for quite a while before I even ask anyone for something. All the times I needed ski help and boots to try on they were very nice. I've heard about the legendary Neptitude, but never got it.

I did however get some lip at Bent Gate once. The store was really dark and I couldn't see anything, so I remarked that it looked like the power was out. The manager snidely said, "Yeah, you think?" OKay... Never bought a thing from them again. Of course, not being open on Saturdays was a big part of that.

Good thing I have Mountain Chalet.

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Jan 8, 2013 - 11:11am PT
Gary was always proud of that toe: It was the only body part in his museum. Until Kirby donated his, of course. Now he has two toes.

I'm having coffee with the new owner next week. I'll bring up the toe and see what her plans are. If she doesn't want it, any of you 'tacos out there have a need for a toe?

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