When Matt Twyman and Kevin Goradia first decided to open a climbing gym together, they said they had no idea the finished product would look like it does today.
A year after opening the gym, the co-owners of Crux Climbing Center are talking about expansion.
As it currently stands, the 22,000-square-foot facility, which opened last May off South Congress Avenue, offers bouldering, ropes climbing, a 24-hour bouldering cave, a fitness gym and a children’s play area as well as yoga and fitness classes.
Twyman and Goradia, who serve as chief operating officer and CEO, respectively, said Crux was borne out of a desire to be a world-class climbing gym that could be used for competitions.
“Austin was the last great city that didn’t have that kind of facility,” Goradia said. “We were probably five to seven years behind where other [cities] have been.”
Today, Crux hosts competitions regularly, from its own Come and Send It Fest, held in celebration of the climbing gym’s first anniversary on May 6, to the USA Climbing Divisional Championships held in January.
Goradia said most of the changes that have occurred in the past year, from expanded hours to offering various memberships, have been to satisfy Crux’s 20,000 yearly unique visitors.
Crux co-owners Matt Twyman (left) and Kevin Goradia said they wanted to fulfill a need Austin was missing—a world-class, competition-worthy climbing gym.[/caption]
“There’s a lot of things that we’ve done to appease the community,” Goradia said.
Twyman, who runs the day-to-day operations, said although climbing is inherently dangerous, the staff at Crux emphasize that the sport comes with a sense of personal responsibility.
All of Crux’s staff will soon have training in wilderness first aid in addition to their climbing and first aid/CPR certifications.
Crux also offers weekly climbing classes and guides first-time climbers through the basics.
“Know that if you come in here for the first time, you’re going to get up the wall,” Goradia said.
Definitions you should know before you climb
Belaying: a form of climbing that involves securing a climber with a rope that is anchored to another person as the climber moves up the wall
Bouldering: a form of rock climbing performed without the use of ropes or harnesses on shorter-length walls
Crux: the hardest part of a climb
Route setting: the changing of the handholds on the climbing wall to create different paths for climbers
Top-roping: partner climbing in which one person belays the climber using a rope