This April The Crag Will Host Its First Annual Spring Para Festival

flier for the crag para festival

The Crag Nashville Presents Spring Para Festival

flier for the crag para festival

Join us for our first annual Spring Para Festival, April 11-13th at The Crag Nashville! This is a 3-day event that includes routesetting workshops, volunteer workshops, para game, and strength training workshops, as well as a para competition! We‘re inviting athletes with disabilities within the IFSC para climbing categories – visual impairment, amputee, and reduced power – sign up today!

We need setters and have financial assistance available. Those interested in assistance should reach out to

4/11/24 10am-6:00pm · Para Setting Workshop
4/12/24 10am-6:00pm · Para Setting Workshop
4/13/24 11am-2:00pm · Para Climbing Competition

The Full Schedule:
April 11th
10am–6pm · Para Routesetting Workshop
5pm–7pm · Volunteer Workshop

April 12th
10am–6pm · Para Routesetting Workshop
6pm–8pm · Para Game Workshop
6:15pm–8:15pm · Strength Workshop

April 13th
9am–10am · Adaptive Yoga
11am–2pm · Para Climbing Top Rope Competition


“Hey Yashu, good to see you! Who do you want your side climber to be?”

The Crag’s monthly adaptive climbing meetup had just kicked off and I was assigning volunteers to their athletes. I had not seen Yashu in a while. She had been recovering from a serious brain infection for the past several months, and she was finally starting to get back to the gym.

“I don’t want a side climber on this route, okay?”

“Ok! You got it Crusher!”


I stood frozen, watching her send, with a big dumb smile on my face. Yashu is 15 years old, has been climbing in The Crag’s youth adaptive league for two years, and has Cerebral Palsy, a disorder that affects a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. She descended, sweaty and smiling, “I’m joining Team Catalyst and I’m going to compete!”

The para climber population is growing and the benefits of rock climbing are being noticed by medical professionals. Improvements in problem-solving, communication, coordination, and proprioception can all be attributed in part to climbing regularly. Week after week, season after season, and year after year, I see strength and confidence exude from our adaptive recreational league climbers.

After volunteering for the High Point Riverside recreational para competition in December 2022, I knew I had to bring that kind of energy and stoke to my gym community. I remember driving home and building the components of a spectacular recreational para comp in my mind. I could not wait to share them with the Headsetter, Dylan Gary. I was practically ready to send out the invites. However, I had not considered an important factor. Our setting team did not have the training or experience to set for the IFSC para categories. The IFSC categories include Visual Impairment, Upper Amputee, Lower Amputee, Reduced Power, and Youth. It was apparent from the Highpoint comp, there was much more to it than a jug haul up an overhang. Our team needed quality training and resources to build a quality set for the kind of event I imagined.

Hope was on the horizon! We received a flyer for a para-setting clinic at the Riveter Climbing Gym in North Carolina, featuring Aaron Davis and Nohl Haeckel! These world-class setters set the Highpoint Para Comp, Para Nationals, and The World Cup, and they were going to be teaching a para-setting clinic just 5 hours away! While talking with the owner, Kim Rank, I began to realize we did not have the budget to send our team, but when she suggested we invite them to The Crag and ask them to duplicate their event in six months I felt reinvigorated. Undoubtedly, routesetters from Regions 51, 52, and others would be thrilled to have a second chance to attend a and centrally located workshop!

Dylan had attended his L2 with Nohl at Inspire Rock Cypress, and with his fingers crossed, he reached out. Nohl said he and Aaron would be happy to teach a workshop after Para Nationals at The Crag. The dates were finally set for April 2024!

Together we are changing the terrain of commercial climbing by ensuring climbing is approachable for everyone. Workshops like these are starting to pop up around the US and give routesetters, volunteers, and para climbers an incredible community-centered place to learn. With the guidance of Nohl and Aaron, my amazing team; Kim Rank, Ashley Roos, Dylan Garey, Jess Malloy, Bob Mitchell, and our sponsors, we are so stoked to present a 3-day festival of events for climbers like Yashu and so many more.

Last week Yashu rolled into practice and was presented with her very first Catalyst Team jersey and a brand new pair of Sportivas! She beamed as she slid on her royal blue jersey. She’s been stronger every week and is beginning to surpass where she was before her illness. Her mom tells me that this weekend “She’s sure the Para Nationals Climbers heard her as she cheered and coached from the couch.” If she has her way and sticks with her training, I have no doubt in my mind that one day she will descend spotlighted, sweaty and smiling, exclaiming ‘Crusher!’ from the Para Nationals stage to all the climbers who watch, cheer, and coach her from the couch. She’s starting her competition career this April at The Crag’s Spring Para Festival.

A huge shout out and thank you to High Point Chattanooga Riverside for inspiring me, The Riveter for bringing the idea to life, Catalyst Adaptive Sports for training volunteers, CWA for getting the word out, The Crag crew, and all of our adaptive climbers for teaching me never underestimate them.

Presented by Bulow Orthotics and Prosthetics, Catalyst Adaptive Sports, Inspirations Fitness, Genesis Auto Brokers, Less Leg More Heart, Patagonia, Peg Leg Porkers, Evolv.

We are $1000 from reaching our sponsorship goal and are so grateful to those helping make this incredible event a reality. If this event aligns with your heart and your community’s values, please become a sponsor here.

CBJ press releases are written by the sponsor and do not represent the views of the Climbing Business Journal editorial team.