There’s a little rain in the forecast, but mostly sun. After recent events, you’re obliged to get out and make the start of our galaxy feel welcome. And there are events aplenty this weekend to help you do just that.
If you like your movement to have meaning, you’re in luck this weekend. In the Wilmington area alone, there’s the 17th Annual Son Run 5K (benefitting The Carousel Center, A Safe Place and Methodist Home for Children), Color Run 5K (childhood obesity), Cape Fear Buddy Walk (Down Syndrome), Wellness Walk (healthy living), Live.Love.Throw! Cornhole Tourney (New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Pink Ribbon Project) and the Wilmington Area CROP Hunger Walk.read more
Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb.
Today’s 90-Second Escape: Going Up the wallread more
Saturday you’ll be able to get high in Morrisville.
Saturday is the grand reveal for the Triangle Rock Club’s Morrisville expansion, an additional 17,000 square feet of climbing surface, some of which reaches as high as 55 feet. That’s more than twice as high as the walls in the existing gym, which opened in 2007. The original gym, which will focus on youth programs and classes, has 9,000 square feet of climbing space.
Last September, TRC opened a gym in North Raleigh with 13,000 square feet of climbing space. Combined the two gyms offer 39,000 square feet of indoor climbing.
“We’re excited about people getting to see the gym,” Managing Partner Joel Graybeal (Andrew Kratz and Luis Jauregui round out the management troika) said on a preview tour this morning.
The expanded gym reflects how far the TRC has expanded the concept of indoor climbing in the Triangle. Before entering the market seven years ago, indoor climbing here was done in converted warehouses with holds bolted into plywood. Amenities? Bathrooms.read more
Jason Thomas had one concern when a climbing gym opened in his hometown of Cortez, Colo.
“Will it hurt my hands?”
Assured that it would not, he gave it a try.
“I was hooked immediately,” says Thomas. So much so that despite still being in high school and having now climbed once, he asked the head of the rec center housing the gym who was managing the wall. No one? Well, mind if I give it a go?
That led to an improbable trajectory that saw him head to the University of Colorado in Boulder (to major in Philosophy) because of the local climbing, a job at a Boulder climbing gym, and soon to Eldorado Climbing Walls, where he managed to talk his way into a construction job. That was in 2005. Today — literally today — he stood at the base of the “tall walls” at the freshly minted Triangle Rock Club North Raleigh talking with climbers about his latest creation as Eldo’s lead designer (officially, he’s the company’s Design and Creative Director).
To the untrained eye, the new gym, which opened at noon today, more resembles something you might find at the N.C. Museum of Art with a sign at the base reading “Do Not Climb.” The angular, vibrant orange and yellow walls cover 13,500 square feet, climb to 30 feet and are pocked with an array of equally artsy plastic holds. When Thomas explains his inspiration, though, he doesn’t refer to cubist influences, modernism or realism. He starts with the business of demographics.
“I think of areas in terms of different user groups,” says Thomas. Standing just inside the entrance to the gym, carved out of a cavernous former Gold’s Gym at Duraleigh Road and Glenwood Avenue, Thomas explains the crucial first impression he hopes to land.read more
The Triangle Rock Club is expanding — again.
In May, the TRC announced plans to add 16,000 square feet of climbing wall to its existing facility in Morrisville. The addition, scheduled to open in January, will boost the gym’s total climbing space to more than 24,000 square feet and introduce 50-foot walls, twice the height of the gym’s current walls. It will be the largest climbing gym in a five-state area.
As managing partners Andrew Kratz, Luis Jauregui and Joel Graybeal were unveiling those plans, they were working to finalize a deal on a second gym, in North Raleigh. Announced yesterday, the new gym will have 13,500 square feet of climbing area, a
30-foot free-standing climbing pillar and more than 74 climbing lanes. The new facility is at 6022 Duraleigh Road, just off Glenwood Avenue/U.S. 70.
“We understand our customers are only willing to drive a certain distance to work out at the gym, climb, take an instructional class, or drop their children off at a climbing camp,” said Graybeal. “We are comprehensively serving the Morrisville/Cary area, but feel there is a distinct need in North Raleigh for another TRC facility.”
From a demographic standpoint, the gym is well situated between high-density apartments to the north, west and south, and miles of single-family homes to the east.
From a recreational standpoint, the gym is less than a mile as the crow flies from Umstead State Park, creating any number of climb combos: climb-run, climb-bike, climb-hike. There are also several bars and restaurants nearby.
The North Raleigh facility will be especially popular with boulderers. Two features in particular will prove challenging: the Grenade and The Beast, which features a severe (to GetGoingNC’s V1 skill set) overhang. Eldorado Climbing Walls of Boulder, Colo., is installing the climbing walls in both gyms.
The North Raleigh facility is a former gym and is scheduled to open Sept. 1.
Not long ago, indoor climbing gyms were typically low-budget affairs in abandoned warehouse space that attracted mostly hardcore climbers. The TRC’s rapid expansion has been driven in part by those same devout climbers, but also by families and recreational athletes. Along the way, climbing gyms have evolved into bonafide businesses. TRC was named Morrisville’s Small Business of the Year for 2013, and even the president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, weighed in on TRC’s North Raleigh expansion.
“The growth in climbing for sport and recreation has exploded in recent years and we are excited to have Triangle Rock Club open a premier facility in Raleigh,” said Harvey Schmitt in a release issued by TRC. “TRC also has a strong focus on civic engagement and will be an excellent addition to our business community.”
TRC isn’t done yet.
“Now that we have secured our second site location in the Raleigh-Durham market,” said Graybeal, “we are moving quickly on a third site to better-serve the Durham/Chapel Hill area. We are also planning to open up additional locations in Charlotte and the Triad.”read more