Update posted Feb. 28
River Rock Climbing Gym will open March 13, according to a post on its Facebook page.
Roanoke’s only climbing gym is expected to open the first week of March.
The climbing gym was first announced as a concept last summer, and quickly gained support from the community.
Cochran had Rockwerx, a Massachusetts company that designs and builds between six and 10 climbing gyms a year, come to Roanoke to design climbing walls specifically for the River House space.
Work to build the walls, first by welding an elaborate steel structure that is covered with plywood and masonry, began in late August and finished the end of November. Since then, crews have been busy doing electrical work, and installing foam flooring (for soft landings).
The gym has 8,500 square feet of climbing wall, with 30 top-rope and lead routes, and bouldering.
On Thursday, piles of colorful holdings (the knobby objects that attach to the walls) sat on the floor waiting for a professional climber from Arizona to create climbing routes and install them. Near the entrance, boxes of climbing shoes and other equipment sat against a wall.
Cochran stressed that the gym is open to everyone.
“Anyone can do it,” he said. “We have all the equipment and designs for beginners and experts. You can come in here and have fun. You don’t have to be strong. You don’t have to be athletic. You don’t need to know anything. Just come in here and we’ll take care of it.”
Cochran hopes to announce an exact opening date next week. I’ll update this blog post when I have the date.