TO BE BOLD OR NOT TO BE BOLD

In the summer of 1988, Aaron Houseknecht and I did a road trip to Tuolemne Meadows for a little fun on beautiful, scary, run-out leads with manky ¼ inch bolts that wobbled when you clip your biner.  Tuolemne Meadows is one of the most beautiful places to climb in the world.  With towering domes throughout the valley, and pristine lakes tucked in amongst the domes, you get a sense that you are in a special place.  This was my first big road...

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How This Industry Was Born – History of Climbing Walls in the U.S.

Dan and I were huddled in a tent at about 16,000 ft on Aconcagua in January of 1987 waiting out a rest day to advance higher to next camp.  When hanging out on a mountain with not much to do and nowhere to go, the mind tends to wander, and wander it did.  I remember sitting in the small tent waiting for the next blast of the notorious viento blanco (white wind).  You could hear the next blast coming from far up the mountain as it thrust...

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Making an Old Climbing Gym Profitable with New Climbing Walls

One thing that I have learned during the past 26 years is that it is essential to modify, refurbish, expand, or replace old climbing walls in your business after a period of time. In 1989 I started this process with the original Seattle gym and it was based on the textured climbing panel system. Now that I have 3 gyms in the Puget Sound area, I have established a solid history of remodeling climbing walls in my gyms and seeing the financial...

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A Bit of History on Sport Climbing & Climbing Walls

  10 Things You Didn’t Know about Sport Climbing’s Early Days 10 Things You Didn’t Know about Sport Climbing’s Early Days By Matt Samet Note that America’s First Climbing Gym was listed as Vertical Club in 1987. We changed the name of the company to Vertical World in 1994. Click Here for Climbing.com...

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Before Hand-holds: Climbing Wall History

B.H.  (Before Handholds)   We are very accustomed to a large variety of hand-holds, taped routes, and a forum for giving an opinion on the latest sandbag.  That world did not always exist, of course.  In  1987 when we were starting the first rock gym in the country there were no such things as hand-holds.  We had to use rocks brought in from our buddies that they picked up on their latest climbing trip.  Hand-holds didn’t come about...

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Panel Sytem v. Seamless System

Climbing Walls are an asset and need to be managed as so. When an asset needs to be retired, or changed, you will need to look at the costs associated with doing so.A seamless textured wall system puts you in a position of not being able to modify, or replace your wall systems. If you do, it will be extremely expensive and will have a negative impact on your balance sheet. A panel wall system will allow you to change, or replace your wall system...

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