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Chattanooga’s Take on Buildering

Chattanooga, Tennessee, known for its sandstone bouldering and single-pitch climbing, is now home to a new kind of climbing.

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Photo by Brad Shelton.Chattanooga, Tennessee, known for its sandstone bouldering and single-pitch climbing, is now home to a new kind of climbing.

The High Point climbing wall, located in downtown Chattanooga, features 28,000 square feet of climbing, 5,000 of that being on the exterior of the building. This eye-catching feature is part of a facility called The Block, which includes the climbing wall, a coffee shop and Rock/Creek, a local outdoor outfitter.

“Anyone who comes to downtown Chattanooga now will see what rock climbing is and hopefully try it,” John Wiygul, general manager and co-owner of the wall, wrote in an e-mail to Rock and Ice.

High Point caters to a wide demographic with grades ranging from 5.4 auto belay routes to 5.14 sport routes. It is also one of the only places in the country you can find international regulation speed climbing walls.

As of now, this $7.5 million facility has 90 toprope routes, 25 lead and 4,000 square feet of bouldering space. An additional 3,000 square feet of climbing, dubbed the Kidz Zone, will open later this year.

Photo by Brad Shelton.Prior to The Block, the space was being used as a movie theater, and is now one of the largest adaptive reuse projects in the town’s history.

“The Chattanooga rock climbing and outdoors community has been very supportive and proud,” Wiygul wrote.

Chattanooga is also home to one of the Triple Crown Bouldering Series, which begins in early October.