Kickstarter Campaign for Boone Public Indoor Climbing Gym, AMB Event on Friday, March 20

Published Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 9:36 am

By Jesse Wood

Three Appalachian State University graduates – Chris Grasinger, Aaron Parlier and Keith Shockley – launched a Kickstarter campaign recently in hopes of establishing an indoor climbing gym in Boone that is open to the public.

So far the campaign has raised nearly $8,000 of the $44,444 goal, and only eight days remain for the crowdsourcing campaign.

The High Country is known for its world-class bouldering and climbing. The region, as Grasinger said, is a hub for outdoor sports such as rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking and, in particular, bouldering.

But it also rains, snows and sleets quite a bit, which makes it challenging to get out and play in nature and on real rock on those nasty days. While Appalachian State has an indoor climbing gym, it isn’t open to the general public.

“That was really the initial driver, to have a place to train and do what we love on those off days and for it to become a center for the community to collaborate, interact and connect,” Grasinger said.

Grasinger said a location has been picked out that is located about 7 minutes from downtown Boone and that the facility is 7,600 square feet, “already set up for a lot of the elements we want to incorporate.”

The climbing gym, which will also feature free weights, training structures and space for yoga and massage therapy, will be called The Sender House – as in send a problem or complete a climb up a particular line – or route – on a boulder

The funding campaign will provide initial capital to fund the bouldering wall, which is designed as 90-foot long and 14-feet tall. The wall will accommodate all skill levels from the novice to the stud.

The design, materials and construction are estimated to cost about $19.50 per square foot and features 2,150 square feet of total wall surface. The campaign notes that Grasinger, Parlier and Shockley want to begin construction in May and have The Sender House grand opening in August.

Pledges for the campaign start at $10 and go all the way up to $1,500. With each pledge, donors receive a gift for pledging.

For example, for parents with children under 12 years of age who make a $125 donation, you will receive a two-hour kids group introduction to bouldering class. A $400 pledge warrants a one-year membership to the gym, starting on opening day, which Grasinger said is about $150 savings from what a one-year membership would normally cost.

To see all of the various funding levels, watch a video of the proposed project and make a donation, click to the Kickstarter campaign here.

Organizers will also hold a “party” at Appalachian Mountain Brewery on Friday, March 20, at 7 p.m. This gathering, to celebrate the launching of this fundraiser, is sponsored AMB and Misty Mountain Threadworks, a local climbing gear manufacturer.

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