×
Fashion
Lifestyle
Sport
Home
Travel
Real Estate
Business
Social Responsibility
Environment
Education
Innovations
Retail
Design
Photography
Brands
Lists
Bontena on Social Networks
Bontena Brand Network Official Facebook Account Bontena Brand Network Official Instagram Account Bontena Brand Network Official Twitter Account Bontena Brand Network Official Pinterest Account
© 2021 Bontena Brand Network. All Rights Reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.


×
Bontena on Social Networks
Bontena Brand Network Official Facebook Account Bontena Brand Network Official Instagram Account Bontena Brand Network Official Twitter Account Bontena Brand Network Official Pinterest Account
© 2021 Bontena Brand Network. All Rights Reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.


SPORT - COMPANY NEWS

Vertical World, America's First Climbing Gym, Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Rich Johnston (pictured) and Dan Cauthorn co-founded Vertical World

Rich Johnston (pictured) and Dan Cauthorn co-founded Vertical World

SPORT - COMPANY NEWS

Source : Vertical World

Facebook Share Twitter Tweet

30 years ago, in a rundown warehouse in Seattle, two ordinary climbers made history when they glued chunks of rock onto sheets of plywood. With not much more than a vague concept and a shoestring budget, Richard Johnston and Dan Cauthorn laid the foundation for what is now the indoor climbing gym industry, and opened Vertical World, the first indoor climbing gym in America.

Even though the local climbing community initially declared the idea would fail, the two built the first gym with 3/4" plywood, epoxy paint and rocks glued to various surfaces in the warehouse. Launched with sweat and ingenuity and hope, today Vertical World has over 80 employees, with another 15 coming online with our new gym in Lynnwood, Washington, this summer.

"It is amazing to think that the industry started in such a bootstrap way with us barely getting by with gluing rocks on the walls, cleaning the bathrooms, scraping enough money to buy another can of paint, and enjoying all the challenges thrown our way. The stories are prolific, and there are plenty of them!" remembers Dan Cauthorn.

Thirty 30 years later, there are climbing gyms in every major city, and the 2020 summer Tokyo Olympic Games will feature sport climbing for the first time. Currently Vertical World has two operating locations with a third opening this summer: Seattle, Redmond, and Lynnwood. Today, memberships account for about 60 percent of the business. The other 40 percent is from classes, camps, and youth programs.

Community and education are a big part of Vertical World's mission, and the youth climbing team is an area of special pride. Vertical World has been and is still a major force in the USAC system today.

"We have a philosophy that touches on the heritage and history of climbing," Rich says. "We are not a daycare, or amusement park. We teach kids the risks and responsibilities of climbing and how to interface with the environment, by hosting trail work days and teaching the impact climbing has on the outdoors."