In mid-2019, the outdoor company Nature of the North was planning to open their first brick and mortar location with an indoor climbing wall. It would be the first commercial bouldering gym in the Fargo, ND-Moorhead, MN area. They didn’t have much space for a huge wall, but they wanted to create a place where climbers of all levels would have the chance to try out indoor climbing. They also wanted a wall that climbers could train on and customize the difficulty level to prepare for outdoor climbing. With typical bouldering walls, gym owners can design the wall with different angles and change the setting, but they can only put up so many routes until the wall is over-saturated and they can’t adjust the angle. Enter Kumiki Climbing’s EverActive® adjustable climbing wall.
Meet the EverActive Adjustable Climbing Wall
The EverActive climbing wall was the perfect complement to Nature of the North’s primary 800-square-foot Kumiki bouldering wall because it doesn’t take up too much extra space, but adds many more route possibilities. On the EverActive wall, Nature of the North installed the Kilter training board with LED light-up holds which now provides thousands of route combinations. Nature of the North could have also chosen a Moon Board or Tension Board, as they are also compatible with the EverActive climbing wall.
Kumiki’s EverActive wall is available in three different widths―8’, 12’, and 16’―and allows climbers to adjust the angle of the wall from 0 to 65 degrees so they can make the route as challenging or as beginner-friendly as they want. Nature of the North chose the 8-foot wall. “Having the EverActive Wall with the adjustable angle makes it feel like we have thousands of routes,” said Nature of the North climbing director Chris Deal.
The wall went up in early 2020. Deal said the installation process for the wall took all of a few hours and it was ready for holds. Now, according to Nature of the North, the gym has the only public Kilter board in all of Minnesota and North Dakota.
A Climbing Wall for All Levels and Ages
Since the EverActive wall went up at Nature of the North, it’s been dazzling everyone from experienced climbers to beginners and kids. The wall shifts to different angles smoothly and safely which makes using the training board a fun and accessible experience.
So far, Deal noted the main groups that use the wall are experienced climbers looking for a tough training session and kids or brand-new climbers who want to try something new. “[Kids] like to make their own routes on it. They like to set it [and] challenge each other at different angles,” said Deal. It’s also been a great way to help parents keep their kids interested in climbing because it offers an endless supply of new routes to try.
Climbing Competitions with the EverActive Wall
Along with training and everyday use, Nature of the North has been able to use the EverActive adjustable wall to help strengthen their community by hosting socially distanced climbing competitions on the board. On September 16, the gym had their first climbing competition in which they were able to use the EverActive wall.
Every participant chose their own routes to try at 0, 10, and 20 degrees and they recorded the top three completed routes at each angle. At that competition, the community welcomed and cheered on all the climbers at every level including two women climbing for the first time. Given COVID-19 restrictions, the gym didn’t allow any in-person spectators, but it live-streamed the event on Facebook so supporters could comment encouragements for competitors.
Bringing Climbing to Everyone
As the only commercial bouldering gym in the Fargo-Moorhead area, Nature of the North is able to introduce the joy of climbing to people who might have never tried it otherwise. Once in the door, the EverActive adjustable wall then ensures everyone can find routes that are fun and challenging regardless of skill level.
After seeing the EverActive wall in action and climbing on it over the past six months, Deal concluded it’s “probably the best thing in the gym.”
To add the next best thing to your climbing gym, check out Kumiki Climbing’s EverActive Walls.
Climbing Business Journal is an independent news outlet dedicated to covering the indoor climbing industry. Here you will find the latest coverage of climbing industry news, gym developments, industry best practices, risk management, climbing competitions, youth coaching and routesetting. Have an article idea? CBJ loves to hear from readers like you!