Climbing has soared in popularity in recent years, fuelled by anticipation of Tokyo 2020 where it will make its Olympic debut. On home shores, walls are sprouting from the ground as a new breed of social climbers chalk up. According to ukclimbing.com, there are more than 650 walls for Brits to get their legs over and almost 1,500 of us on average are attempting to do so every day.
Back in mid to late 2000’s I had this crazy idea of starting up my own climbing gym in central California. Climbing gyms hadn’t really started until the 90’s so the climbing gym industry was still pretty young. I saw the swing in popularity happening a couple years after I took up the sport and I had started working part time as a route setter at the local climbing gym chain in San Diego.
I remember celebrating the news that the IFSC was vying for a spot in the 2020 Olympics. As a gymnast growing up, enrollment at my gym would always skyrocket after the Olympics...so I know that the same will happen for climbing.
Too bad I wasn’t able to convince banks to give me a bunch of money during America’s “Great Recession” (even though they loved by business plan...or so they said). Sometimes it’s all about timing. Cool to see this revolution taking hold overseas too.
This climbing thing just might have a future.