Unique climbing center to open soon

WILLSBORO - Rock climbing enthusiasts and neophytes alike now have a local, indoor site where they can reach for new heights.

The new Champlain Valley Climbing Center will have its grand opening Dec. 5 at Pok-O-MacCready Outdoor Education Center in Willsboro, and staff there are already looking forward to showing off this unique facility.

"The Adirondacks are a premier rock climbing destination and we are excited to bring this new venue for climbing to the area," said Pok-O-MacCready spokesman Stites McDaniel.

Nicknamed "The Crux," the new climbing center will provide residents of New York, Vermont, and the surrounding area an opportunity to experience rock climbing year-round at an easily accessible location.

The building, constructed with a sturdy steel frame, is entirely enclosed. It features seven separate climbable walls with varying levels of difficulty and an additional wall for rappelling.

There has already been a lot of interest shown for the new center. McDaniel said he's had nearly 100 people from Plattsburgh all the way to Glens Falls say they intend to come try it out.

"I think when people first start climbing there, it's going to speak for itself and people will keep coming back," said McDaniel.

Many of the walls have built-in stereo speakers for a euphonious climbing experience. Windows and a skylight not only provide excellent lighting, but also help heat the building with a passive solar design.

"It is a green building," said McDaniel, "and that's something we're very proud of."

During warmer weather, the Crux aims to act as a launching point for outdoor rock and ice climbing adventures.

The Crux will be managed by Reber native Mark Scott, who has become an experienced climber certified in training others as climbing instructors.

"I can't wait to see people climbing in The Crux and to get the local community involved in the center," Scott said.

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