Sunday, June 20, 2010

If You Build It. . .

Saturday marked a monumental day for climbers in Atlanta: the opening of Stone Summit (now the nation's largest climbing gym). Never before has a climbing gym brought together the climbing community like it did on Saturday. Old schoolers (who I have not seen in a gym as long as I've known them) and new schoolers roped up together and explored the new air-conditioned crag in downtown. The canyon has been wet for weeks and the temp reached 93 degrees with 90% humidity: the result- hundreds of native climbers showing up as the doors opened to the public for the first time. It was Christmas for climbers.

Prana was there for the occasion with a table of posters, hats, chalkbags, etc- and a raffle for a $200 shopping spree. The hats went to adoring Prana fans, the chalkbags to newbies and kiddos that did not already have one, and the posters to EVERYONE. I even had a couple of grandmas come by the table and grab a couple of Sharma posters for their walls: classic!

All in all- the opening could not have gone any better. I was even able to rope up for an hour to show that pregnant ladies can still crush. And all the fears that lead up to the event (the intimidation factor of the enormous walls would keep people from climbing, the giant monster-mega gym would turn away the old schoolers, the gym would be too packed to climb) were all diffused within hours of the doors opening. Over the course of the day, at least a hundred people topped the main wall, all the crowds diffused throughout the facility and I never saw anyone even waiting for a route, and it was a total reunion for the climbing community. I am so excited for this gym and what it means for the future of our up-and-coming youth climbers. With any luck, Atlanta will be seeing some World Cup action in the next couple of years!

Lonely walls await their adoring fans

Moments before doors opening
This gym eats crowds for breakfast!

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