New Paltz Climbing Gym Reaches New Heights

SUNY New Paltz alumnus Christopher Scott spent years traveling the nation rock climbing and was a senior route setter before buying the Climbing Gym.

     The climbing gym in New Paltz that was once named The Inner Wall is now under new ownership and has been renamed to BC’s New Paltz Climbing Gym. Christopher Scott, a long time climber, bought the gym earlier this year and has high hopes for the future.
Scott, an ‘06 SUNY New Paltz alumnus, has been all around the states rock climbing. His favorite climbing adventure was Hueco Tanks in El Paso, Texas. The southeast region is an area he enjoys, because of the textures of the rocks and how beautiful they are.
     Scott began rock climbing at 15- years-old in the Thousand Islands area. As an avid lover of the outdoors, he has always been passionate of the rock climbing culture.
    “Something about [rock climbing] has created an intangible feeling. The smell of chalk, the sounds of your hand connecting to the hole you couldn’t hit, and just the people; they are quirky,” Scott said.
He also describes the sport to not only be demanding physically, but mentally as well.
     Throughout his time traveling and working for several different gyms, Scott was able to master the skill of route setting. A route setter is a person who designs artificial rock climbing wall routes by combining the technical craft with an artistic representation of real rock climbing moves.
    He became the senior route setter at a prestigious gym before the opportunity fell in his lap for buying the gym here in New Paltz.
    “If anyone can make this little space work, I believe it will be me,” Scott said. The same weekend Scott bought the gym, they closed it to begin 48 hours of non-stop renovation.
    With his team of about a dozen people they revamped the gym completely, leaving them with virtually no sleep when the weekend came to a close. What they were left with was a beautiful gym, a new website, phone lines switched over, and much more. This is just the beginning of creating the perfect indoor rock climbing gym according to him.
      Scott faced many challenges. The gym was built in 1994 and the wall heights were not favorable. The walls are mostly vertical, making it hard to set a perfect rock climbing path with variety. It also makes it a challenge to help rock climbers progress with their training.
      With the long road to go, Scott hopes to change the angle of the walls to make them steeper. He questioned, “How do I afford to do that?” Scott will have to learn how to navigate the curve of seasonal cycles. Indoor gyms are much busier in the winter compared to the summer. In an area like New Paltz, there are amazing places to rock climb outdoors; this is another struggle Scott will face.
      However, Scott feels that he is ready to take all of this on and more. He hopes to put in training equipment that consists of an elliptical, foam rollers, yoga mats, elastic bands and more.
Route setting is the most important “product” the gym offers. The gym has to accommodate people from five feet to over six feet. When route setting, Scott explores new ways to make awkward moves comfortable.
Scott described route setting as “a blue-collar job because, you are hauling, shoveling, and drilling all day, except it is judged as if you are a white collar professional.”
The route setters’ hard work has proved to be apprecited by customers.
    “The routes are constantly changed. They have specialty routes called bounties. Bounties are updated weekly, creating a competition to complete them every week,” said first-year math adolescent education major, Daniel Nicosia. “I love all of the routes they have; it is much better than the Inner Wall. They’re a lot more fun and challenging.” Scott focuses on the small stuff and he cares about the aesthetic of his gym. He ensures that certain holes will have the same textures. It is pleasing to the eye for climbers, but at the same time it is something that they do not consciously realize.
      For SUNY New Paltz students, we are in luck. They offer bouldering for $5 and shoes for $1.50. All you have to do is bring your SUNY ID, fill out waivers, and you are ready to start climbing. This will be in effect until the end of the semester.
     BC’s New Paltz Climbing Gym also offers Femme Fridays, which took off on March. Women not only get discounted entry but there will be other female rock climbers holding clinics to show climbers how to move their bodies and progress quickly.
    Scott encourages anyone and everyone to come to BC’s Climbing Gym.
    “It is a great thing for people who think they were never really a sports person. They find climbing and they end up loving it,” he said.
BC’s New Paltz climbing gym is located at 234 Main Street, behind Rite Aid. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 2-9 p.m., Saturday noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.
For more information call (845) 255-7625.

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About Cloey Callahan 16 Articles
Cloey Callahan is a fourth-year student studying communications with a concentration in public relations. She is double minoring in journalism and women’s gender and sexuality studies. This is her third semester on The Oracle. She spent her first semester as features copy editor but has spent the last year taking on a new endeavor to help grow The Oracle. This project is a lifestyle and literary & art magazine the newspaper. Feel free to check it out under the ‘The Teller’ tab!