by Cody Anne Yarnes, Co-owner, Gripstone Climbing
We all want to belong. We all want to find our home. Everyone wants to find a place where they feel at home.
Sometimes that sense of home is found in our physical homes, that place where we are safe and warm and comfortable. Home is that place where we dream of our futures and raise our families.
Sometimes that sense of home is found outside our hearths. For some of us it’s found in a friend. Some of us find it in nature. Some of us find it in places. Maybe it’s the Rotary Club or the soccer team. It might be Sunday Mass or that amazing Fish Fry on the last Friday of each month.
We found our home among the looming 30-foot, fantasy-colored walls at Gripstone Climbing.
Gripstone Climbing, an indoor climbing gym in Prescott, opened July 21.
The Huffington Post reported that rock climbing is a full mind-body experience. That publication, along with health studies, tout climbing as a great way to build muscles and endurance, reduces stress, be part of a community and teach and reinforce many valuable life lessons.
No climber is a stranger to overcoming challenges, and there’s a good reason rock climbers appear on so many motivational posters. The mental benefits of climbing can be more subtle than the physical ones. It is a very empowering sport. The process of overcoming your own fear all the time really helps put life’s other challenges into perspective.
In today’s world of instant gratification and mobile devices at our fingertips, a place like Gripstone Climbing is a breath of fresh air, albeit full of chalk.
Here we unplug and connect with real people. We become part of each other’s successes and failures and share a cup of coffee at the end of the day, regardless.
Members of the gym community are from all walks of life and all ages.
“If you can climb a ladder, you can climb in our gym,” says Tony Yaniro, one of the owners of the gym and a famous rock-climbing icon.
Tony and his partner Beth not only are the designers of the gym, but the managers as well. They are so excited to bring all of Tony’s years of epic climbs and training techniques together to make this gym a place to train future competitors for USA Climbing and to build a strong community.
Tony is known as the Father of Modern Sport Climbing and is a longtime Prescott resident.
In 1979 he developed ways to train harder than ever before, leaving everyone else “on the ground,” so to speak. Almost 40 years later, climbers across the globe follow his lead and are still trying to keep pace with him.
Innovating once again, he is bringing this state-of-the-art facility right here to “Everyone’s Hometown!”
The gym, at 319 N. Lee Blvd., Prescott, is 11,000 square feet and has 9,000 square feet of climbing walls up to 30 feet. Steel forms were welded on site, walls were hung and excitement is continuing to build.
The space was vacant for many years, but now it is full of life. There were 18,000 T-Nuts installed for holds, 325 sheets of plywood and 12,000 pounds of steel, all to create about 60 top-anchor points for ropes.
The gym has 15 auto belay routes, top rope climbing, lead climbing and bouldering as well as climbing classes, climbing teams, competitions and other activities.
There is a pro shop as well as a cafe, yoga studio, fitness room and showers.
We have a party room for birthday parties, team building and private events.
We found our community here and are working to build that community.
We can’t wait to have you as part of it.