April 28, 1995 in Sports

Rei Joins The Climbing Scene By Adding Pair Of 30-Foot Columns


Recreational Equipment Inc. (N1125 Monroe) has made its move on the local indoor climbing scene with the addition of two 30-foothigh, free-standing columns.

Climbing consultant Steve York said the “walls” will serve as an educational tool and centerpiece for the REI building.

“The nice thing about this wall is that it presents a unique indoor climbing opportunity that we didn’t have available in this area up to this point,” York said. “It mimics real rock very well, and it presents real-to-life climbing situations that you really haven’t found on artificial structures up to this point.”

REI’s columns feature a simulated sandstone texture, two hand-jam cracks (one that runs up to the ceiling of the second floor), and a wide variety of routes.

“This wall has a lot of natural features on it, so it helps develop a little more of the eye to look for those things that indoor structures didn’t really used to offer,” York said. “Before, they were just plywood with holes plastered on so you climbed from hole to hole.”

REI will offer free open hours on the columns Mondays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

York said he does not view the Wild Walls facility as competition with his store, and he is working in conjunction with Wild Walls to start some instructional classes.

“We’re excited they’re in town,” York said. “It’s just going to enhance the climbing in this community.”

Mountain Gear (N2002 Division) and Eastern Washington University also offer indoor climbing opportunities for local climbers.

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